Zatoichi's Pilgrimage

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A reluctant warrior must deal with love and revenge in this, the 14th film in the "Zatoichi" series. After he's ambushed in a small village terrorized by a gang of thieves, the legendary blind swordsman Zatoichi (Shintaro Katsu) is forced to kill a young man in self-defense. As fate would have it, his travels soon lead him to Okichi (Michiyo Yasuda), a woman whom Zatoichi discovers is the sister of the young man whose life he stole. In anger, Okichi attacks the blind swordsman, but her conscience gets the better of her, and as she tends his wounds, the two fall in love. However, the same bandits who ambushed Zatoichi before happen upon him again, and begin their reign of terror against new victims in Okichi's village. Determined not to allow his new benefactors to be abused, Zatoichi teaches the villagers how to defend themselves, and leads them in an attack on the bandits. Zatoichi's Pilgrimage also features Takahiko Tono. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Zatoichi's Pilgrimage

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Audience Reviews for Zatoichi's Pilgrimage


Criterion's 25 film Zatoichi Boxset includes the film here, Zatoichi's Pilgrimage, in it's first ever State-side release on home video. What a great and rare treat as this 14th film in the Zatoichi sage is another great entry and features several great set pieces and plenty of impressive swordplay and skill shown throughout. The bandit who wields a bow makes for some fun battle scenes with Ichi as well and only adds to the depth of battle choreography. One of the better films in the Zatoichi film set and a great new addition here in the U.S.!

Chris Browning
Chris Browning

Super Reviewer

A very good Zatoichi tale that owes a lot to High Noon. The film starts on a boat and has Zatoichi being the only man to stand up against a wallet thief. It ends in the thief losing a hand. After the boat hits land, Zatoichi vows to not kill again, and promises to visit 88 temples until he receives some answers to his questions. This doesn't last long and he is soon attacked, resulting in his attackers death. In a sweet, weird and comical scene, Zatoichi is led to the mans hometown by the horse of the deceased. He is attacked again but in a first he fails to hear the attack coming, or just chooses not to act. As the story progresses and a mob boss attempts to take over the town, it becomes apparent that, once again, only Zatoichi will stand up to injustice. There's a fantastic shot that zooms in on him and we see the frustrated realisation on Katsu's face, that he will have to kill again. The finale is very brutal, you actually fear for Zatoichi's safety. He doesn't have the upperhand anymore. It's one of the best choreographed fights in the series, and the action feels ahead of it's time. This does not feel 43 years old. This really empthasises Zatoichi's loneliness and makes for yet another bittersweet ending.

Luke Baldock
Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer

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