Zatoichi is the famous, fictional, blind masseur and roving gambler who, when innocent lives are threatened, becomes the ruthless swordsman who can cut down a dozen men -- yakuza and samurai alike -- before they know what hit them.
Zatoichi, The Blind Swordsman
He's as famous a film character in Japan as the Indiana Jones character is in the States. He wandered the Japanese countryside in the early 1800s during the waning years of the Tokugawa Shogunate, barely scraping a living by giving massages and gambling. Although saddled with the physical handicap of blindness and the social handicap of living at the bottom of a rigid feudal class structure, Zatoichi manages to gain the upper hand with nearly everyone he meets, including the samurai or warrior class. He achieves this by using his good-natured wit, perceptive understanding of human nature, keen sense of hearing, and the lightning fast draw of his cane sword.
Often humorous and always filled with sword-fighting action, the Zatoichi series of films has succeeded in attracting a worldwide following.
"Any fan of Kurosawa's 'Yojimbo' should snatch these up." --The New York Post.