When you are stuck at home thanks to a wet and icy storm you see a lot of TV. One of the high definition channels we get is the Kung Fu channel. They take a movie and then play it over and over again for weeks. Zatoichi films get lots of air time.

Zatoichi Challenged image from Wikipedia

Ichi’s stories all follow this plot line: he comes across some nice people who need help usually from gangsters while he does him blind masseur bit. He needs to work because he like to gamble. When the bad guy makes his move, that’s when Ichi starts leaving piles of bodies around.

It’s great fun. In this movie he befriends Ryota the son of a woman he met on the road. Ichi agrees to bring the boy to the his father when the mother dies. Along the way he meets the samurai Akatsuka who is not really a masterless samurai and is on a mission to wipe out all the participants of an illegal operation. One of those unwitting participants is Ryota’s father so at the end of the movie Ichi and Akatsuka have a great duel.

Ichi loses his sword (he killed Akatsuka’s assistant by throwing it) and Akatsuka tries to kill Ryota’s dad. Ichi grabs and struggles with him and Akatsuka must decide to kill Ichi when he is unarmed and helpless. Aside from the fact that he genuinely likes him, Ichi’s determination wins him over and he walks away.

The movie ends with Ichi leaving Ryota with his father and the sadness that Ichi feels because despite not wanting to he actually cares for the little boy.