Zatoichi the Fugitive (1963)

Zatoichi the Fugitive (Zatôichi kyôjô-tabi)
Directed by Tokuzo Tanaka
Written by Seiji Hoshikawa, story by Kan Shimozawa
1963/Japan
Daiei Studios
First viewing/FilmStruck

 

Man at inn: [about Zatoichi] His sword is shiny and ice-cold. The only thing it won’t cut in this whole wide world is oil and the bond of lovers.

This series is the perfect popcorn viewing!

Our hero Ichi, the blind yakuza/masseur/swordsman, tries his hand at wrestling at which he naturally also excels.  Because he has defeated the champion of a syndicate of yakuza bosses, he is now their number one target for execution.  He also has drawn the attention of a sinister samurai who is now the lover of his old sweetheart Otone. Ichi finds time to unite a couple of star-crossed young lovers while slaying all who dare to challenge him.

This series not only goes well with popcorn but acts like potato chips – you can’t watch just one!  There are three released in 1963 and I am kind of spacing them out to prolong the enjoyment.