New Tale of Zatoichi (1963)

And again we continue the story from the previous film, just in colour this time… anyway, I saw a documentary a couple of years ago called Blindsight about blind kids in Tibet and was interested to discover there’s a considerable cultural prejudice against blind people there, and apparently something similar is or was true of Japan as well. Knowing that gave this film a certain additional edge; obviously in the first two films you could see Zatoichi was tolerated by others only as long as he was useful to them, otherwise he just gets cursed out, but in this film he gets it from his own sensei… who’s kind of miffed, to say the least, at having tried to arrange a decent marriage for his sister only to have the latter decide she likes our blind friend better. All he wanted was to live a good life again and it looked like the love of a good woman was going to provide him with the drive to do so until sensei decided otherwise. Then again, with sensei mixed up in some bad business, perhaps the quiet life was going to be hard to achieve… and then there’s the brother of a character killed in the previous film out for revenge as well. I think I liked this on the whole more than I did the first two in the series.

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