New Tale of Zatoichi (1963) Script



Produced by IKUO KUBODERA Original Story by KAN SHIMOZAWA Screenplay by MINORU INUZUKA and KIKUO UMEBAYASHI Cinematography by CHIKASHI MAKIURA Art Direction by SEIICHI OTA Original Music by AKIRA IFUKUBE





Sister, more tea please.

That's Zatoichi, the masseur who killed Kanbei.

Everyone in Sekiyado is searching frantically for the bastard.

Let's tell them. We can't go back right now.

Ah, it's cold.

Just as I was warming up, it's cold again.

He's not wearing his sword.

Zatoichi, they say your sword drawing is spectacular.

Why don't you show us?

What family do you belong to?

I have ties to a man you killed, Kanbei of Sekiyado.

I'm going to kill you for his relatives.

Get ready to die.

I only cut the air.

So, do you want to come here and move some air?

Let's see!

Are you going to the mountains?

Are you going to see your family?

I'm not going to the mountains When I went there last spring A silly silly crow Was flying all over Circling around me I won’t go to the mountains again

A masseur's kimono is very very poor He is bald as an egg He only needs one razor blade He doesn't need any hair oil And he doesn't need a comb

So, I don't need a comb?

Aren't you Ichi from Kasama?

Yes, I am.

So it's you!

I am Tamekichi from Kojiya.

Tamekichi from Kojiya...

Oh, Tamekichi the good singer!

You remembered me.

Ichi, it's been so long.

Not just long.

I didn't know you were alive!

I'm alive. I'm so happy to meet a childhood friend.

This is my wife and my child.

Nice meeting you.

I envy you.

Are the three of you going to the hot baths?

No. We can't afford that.

Our business went bankrupt.

Do you recognize this?

It's a shamisen. This is our living.

We have fallen to earning money on the road.

I see you've been through a lot.

It's my own fault.

But I've heard so many rumors about you.

Never mind that.

Join me tonight.

Let's stay at the same inn. We'll talk.

Tonight, your family is hired by me!

The compliments I received about my voice became my enemies.

One's art consumes oneself.

This is my punishment for doing something I'm not cut out for.

And neglecting my father's business.

Me too.

As a blind man, I make those who see angry with me.

I was so absorbed in drawing swords and killing people that I entered the yakuza.

This is my punishment.

I did some things I shouldn't have done.

Cut those I shouldn't have, killed those I shouldn't have.

The grudges against me are piling up.

I've put myself in a dangerous position.

It's time I started regretting things.

I hear rumors about your sword drawing.

But you're not wearing one.

Is that wise after all you've told me?

Tamekichi, can I borrow your shamisen?

The shamisen?

I'm so glad I met you again. I feel like singing.

Kinu, the shamisen.

I'm embarrassed to give such a poor instrument -

Never mind that.

The back leather's torn. It doesn't make a pretty sound.

As long as it makes a sound.

Everyone, please pretend to be deaf.

Zato, Zato

That's what people call me

There's nothing I can do

A masseur earns only a few bucks

But all earnings are mine

Because I have no costs

If you want to live, hand over your money!

I warn you not to try and hide it.

I'll use my sword if I have to.

What about you? You're not coughing up?

Please don't! We - Shut up!

Please don't -

What is this?

Blind man, is that all you have?


Do you know what this is?

I'll cut you if you don't hand over your money.

I understand.

I hear there's a gang of thieves, Tengu from Mito or something like that, running around lately.

Is that you? What? Quickly!

That's really all I have.

Blind man! Are you still hiding something?

Take off your clothes!

Please, there's no need for that.

I don't even have money to lodge here tonight.

I was going to earn some small change playing the shamisen for these people here.

Is everyone finished?

They're all so poor, so much effort for so little money.

Nothing we can do about that. Let's go.

Don't even think about making trouble!

Hello. Is the boss at home?

He doesn't need a masseur this early in the day.

I have to talk to him.

On what business? I can't tell you.

It's for your boss's ears only.

He's out.

Well, if he's out, he's out.

Is Tashichi in? Yes.

Can you call him out here a minute?

Brother Tashichi!

There's a blind man to see you.

Are you Tashichi?

It's me, from last night.

You haven't forgotten my face, have you?

Where did I see you?

You put your sword here and said:

"Is that all, blind man?

If you don't give it all, I'm going to cut you..."

What are you blabbering about? I'm not going to listen to this.

Yes. That's the voice.

Say it again, will you?

"Is that all you have? I'll kill you!" Go on, say it.

You bastard!

I was patient last night, so no one would get hurt.

That's an interesting place to have a tattoo.


It hurts!


Yes, yes, he has a tattoo. It's him.

Are you still denying it?

What's going on?

This man is a thief who barged into an inn last night holding a dagger.

And not only him, there were three others.

It's a lie! It wasn't me! It was someone else.

Quickly, tell us who your friends are.


Kyuroku, Yamakichi and Gonroku.

Kyuroku, Yamakichi, Gonroku. Where are you?

Come out!

I see no one here understands anything.

People who were robbed of their traveling expenses are standing there at a loss.

If you have any complaints about what I've just said, compensate them first and then deal with me!

Are you going to give them their money back or not?

A gang of thieves!

As you say, they're a bunch of thieves.

Aren't you Zatoichi?

I see someone who understands has arrived.

Everyone, come here.

It looks like you're going to get your money back.

This is a serious boss.

As an apology, he'll give you two-three times what you were robbed.

Come here, and say your thanks.

Thank you.

We have to part here.

We'll meet again someday.

Miss, don't be discouraged. Good luck.

You too. Take care.

Ichi, seeing you again has encouraged me.

Next time we meet, I'm not going to look so pitiful.

Of course not!

You have such a fine wife and child.

I do.

Next time we meet, I too, am going to become an honest man.

Take care. Good luck.

You too.

Welcome back! The boss is back.

Welcome home.

Shimakichi, welcome.

We just met outside.

I'd like to be a guest in your house tonight.

What happened to this door?

Just now there was one by the name of Zatoichi here.

Where is he? Where did he go?

He was heading west.

I'll explain later, but now there's no time to waste.


What do you want?

I'm Kanbei of Sekiyado's younger brother.


I've searched for you, and I've found you at last.

Put on your weapon.

I'm waiting. Prepare yourself.


Can't you wait for a man to put on his sandals?

Brother of Kanbei.

I did kill your brother.

But do you know why I had to kill him?

I'm sure it was my brother's fault, and I'm sure you had your reasons.

But I don't care what they were.

I can't overlook a blind man killing a sighted one!

I'm not trying to justify my brother or avenge him.

But this has to be settled in the yakuza way.

I see.

In that case, I'll fight.

Who's that?

Ichi, do you recognize my voice?

That voice -

We're meeting in peculiar circumstances.


It's been so long.

Stop this stupid fight.

You started it, didn't you?

Who are you?

I'm the man who taught Ichi here how to use a sword.

As the case may be, I sometimes stand in for my pupils.

Stay out of this!

Don't be a sore loser.

Consider this as saving your life and put your sword away.

Ichi, come. Let's have a drink.

Will you overlook what happened here tonight?

No way! Come back when you finish your business.

We'll be waiting for you.


I'm back.

Welcome home.

I've brought an unexpected guest with me tonight.

Who is he? Ichi, the blind man.

Master Ichi!

Good evening, miss.

Really unexpected. Please, come in.

Come in.

Welcome back!

Did you all practice hard while I was gone?


Yayoi, give me some water.


And make some tea for Ichi.

Those who can't see can smell very well.

So, does it still smell like when you studied here?

It brings back memories.

Nothing's changed in four years.

None of my present pupils are as hardworking as you were.

You practiced like crazy, rain or shine.

Yayoi, I've settled the matter.


Your marriage to Morooka.

But I asked you to decline.

Why decline? He's the son of the respected Mizuno family.

What are you unhappy about?


So why are you reluctant?

Like Morooka said, for me, being a poor samurai's daughter, it's a dream match, but I don't wish to marry for convenience.

What an ungrateful thing you are!

Is it not for your happiness that I bowed my head and begged just now?

Who else would want the daughter of a degraded samurai?

Is there anyone in the world who'd pass up a single chance for happiness, by clinging to silly ideas?

I know I'm being stubborn, but just this -

Have you more to say? Please forgive me, just -

No! Stupid girl!

Master Ichi, your tea. Thank you.

Is this the house of Master Banno?


I came on behalf of Master Okumura.


Kinosuke Okumura?

All right.

I'm going out. Ichi, wait here.

Where to? Close by.

Take care.

It's been a long time. How have you been?

My head is still on my neck.

I heard that some Tengu members have been caught and killed.

Yes, we already have no place on this earth to lay our heads.

That's what I've come to ask your advice about, Master Banno.

Here, it's hot.

I'd like to go visit the grandmother. So -

Have this before you go. I've already made it.

Very well, since you insist.

She'll be very surprised.

Yes, it's been four years.

It's like seeing your own mother, isn't it?

Yes, she breast-fed me and brought me up.

You left here four years ago.

Time passes so quickly.

I was sure you were already settled somewhere.

I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that.

Why don't you have a drink? I don't drink. You have it.

Thank you.

In this, please.

In the tea cup?

Thank you.


Come in. Customers are here.

Is the usual room ready? Yes.

How much do you need?

For now, 300 ryo.

That's a big sum. I beg you.

Even so, we don't know how much money this one or that one has.

For now, there's no other way but to aim at a rich man's house.

There's one, Jimpachi Kanda, an eminent squire in these parts.

His son is a pupil at my place.

He is sure to have a lot of money.

As long as he has money, I trust you.

I see that the fugitives of Mito Tengu degraded themselves to stealing while running from the law.

Nothing can be done about that.

But there are eight members who will be killed unless we help them escape.

Please help us.

Have you brought sake? Yes.

Leave us for now. We will call when we need you.

Okumura, I'm saying this just to make sure, I'm helping you because you asked for it.

But, no matter what, you mustn't tell anyone I'm involved.

I know.

I don't care about myself, but I have a little sister.

How old is Yayoi now?


The moon is so beautiful.

Oh, I'm sorry. It was wrong of me.

That's fine.

When I'm told the moon is beautiful, it floats inside my own eyes too.

I can still see the image of Shimodate in my mind lit by the moonlight back when I could still see.

I feel like playing the flute now.


Take care.

We'll wait for you tomorrow.

Thank you very much.


Excuse us.

Welcome. Put us up for the night.

Yes. We have customers.

Welcome, the bath is ready.

This is your place too? Yes.

Let's have a drink first. Let's have it after the bath.

Come on, Brother.

You're a mean bastard.

Welcome. A few bottles of sake please.

What would you like to eat? What is there?

There's a very good fish stew. That's fine. Bring the sake.

The mistress of this inn is a refined beauty.

Thank you.

That good for nothing has just seen me.

Yes. If we could get into his nest, we would know where Ichi is.

Put three bottles of sake on the tab.

Please bring the sake.

I decline. Why?

If they want a drink, let them go somewhere else.

What are you saying?

I'm not so stupid as to prepare drinks for such men!

I don't want the sake anymore.

Damn it!


You came at the right time.

Do you need a treatment? Yes. In that temple there.

I was thinking of calling it a day.


A priest needs treatment?

A samurai. He's asking for a masseur all the time.

Come, it's here.

What's taking so long?

They must be drinking.

Only we haven't had enough drinks.

Damn, we need more.

Excuse me.

What is it? I've brought the masseur.

Good. Take him to the next room.

Masseur, here I am.

My shoulders and my back hurt. You can work on them strongly.

I understand.

Oh, that's good.

Thank you.

Sir, you're very competent, aren't you?


Your arms, you use your sword often.

Can you tell? It's many years experience.

When I press this muscle here, I can usually tell immediately.

Is that so? Masseur. Yes?

To this day, I've killed seven men, and brought 11 men close to death, and I've not been hurt once.


I'm grateful to you for letting me massage the shoulders of such a strong samurai.

It's a great honor for a masseur.

Masseur, massage me next.

Very well.

Sir, please lie down.

This masseur is very good.

You don't meet one like him often.


Hey, you must have a lot of work.

Not that much.

That hurt. Sorry.

What are you doing? Forgive me.

It hurts!

You're back.

Don't bring a masseur in here.

You should be more careful.

Anyway, we'll talk tonight. Send the masseur away.

Get out!

Sir, please pay me for the massage.

You think I'm going to pay you for that?

Go, get out!

It's been so long since I've been here, I overslept.

What? What?


She's completely deaf.

Ichi, are you deaf?

You are the one who's deaf!

Probably. To be blind and deaf is a little too much.

By the way, are you not planning on going back to Kasama?

I'm still thinking about it.

If you're in Shimodate, how can you not go to Kasama?

You should visit your parents' graves sometimes.

Very well, I'll do that.

Here, breakfast is ready.

Good morning, miss.

A man staying at the Aburaya Inn said that he fought you at the hot baths at Kinugawa.

It must be Kanbei's younger brother and his friend.

I thought I should let you know. I ran all the way here.

Thank you for that.

Anyway, let's go to my home together.

The young leaves of the bamboo smell so strong.

It's so quiet.

It's good that it's quiet.

It's like being in another world.

Yayoi, is something the matter?

No, not at all. Let's go.

I'm sorry we're late.

I took the long way to avoid bumping into those people.

I'm sorry for putting you to all this trouble.

Come in.

Excuse me.

Ichi, I want you to demonstrate your sword drawing tonight.

Who am I to show it to? To some of my pupils.

Tonight? Yes. All right?

Takekichi, go to Kingo's house and tell him to come at 6:30.

I'm going.

Zatoichi is going to demonstrate his sword drawing.

I understand. Tell Shiro on the way too.

6:30. I'm going.

I'm going out for a little while. Make yourself comfortable.

Thank you.


What? A visitor From the Aburaya Inn.


What is it?

He was going to kill me.

Who? Your husband?

I didn't want to die by his knife, so I ran here.

Don't be silly.

That coward's not going to do anything so bold as killing his wife.

No, it's true, he threatened me with a knife.

He was just trying to upset you.

I'm not going home! I'll be killed if I go back.

Don't exaggerate.

Not going home? Where will you go then?

That's what I came to consult with you about.

Don't be a bore.

Try to get along with your husband.

It's no use.

If you are throwing me out -

I'm busy.

What should we do? What should I do?

I don't care.

I told you never to come to me with such stupid affairs.


But I -

If I tell you to beat it, beat it!


So, are you surprised?

It's a miracle!

Here's a man who can't see but still learned such techniques.

You, who can see, what do you have to say for yourselves?

We're ashamed.

We saw something amazing tonight.

Well, you two, go home.

Yayoi, bring a lantern.

A surprising masseur.

He's everything they say he is.

Take care on your way home.

Master Zatoichi, thank you.

Good night.

Ichi, thank you for your trouble.

My shoulders hurt.

Give me a massage.

Kingo Kanda?

Are you Kingo Kanda? Yes.

We have no business with you, beat it!


Kingo was kidnapped! Kidnapped? By whom?

They had some business with Kingo and told me to beat it.

Take me there!

You come too.

It's him.

If we're going to kill him, now is the time.

That's what I'd like to say.

But it wouldn't be a pretty sight if both our heads went rolling off like those candles.

So, you're afraid. Coward.

Brother, are you going to do it?

Of course.

Let's leave. I want to live.

If you don't want to do it, don't. I'll do it.

Tonight is the night.

They said they have business with Kingo Kanda, which means they knew he was coming here and were waiting for him.

That might be it.

Master Ichi, do you suspect something?

No, no.

Master is always so busy.

He too doesn't like this way of living and is trying to change it.

But it's not that easy.

If you were settled, he could work more calmly, I think.

Yes, but I -

Master Ichi, I was thinking today.

Maybe you wouldn't mind taking me as a bride.

Master Ichi, what do you think?

Can you say what you've just said one more time?

I would like you to take me for your wife.

Maybe I shouldn't say this, but I'm no good.

I'm a poor samurai's daughter with one kimono to my name.

But you know all this, and I felt that you wouldn't mind so much.

Miss, do you really mean it? Do you really -


I thought about it this morning as I was walking with you through the bamboo thicket.

I've been thinking about it all day today.

Master Ichi, do you dislike women like me?

What nonsense!

You're too good for the likes of me.


Stop joking.

I don't care about status.

My family is military, but my parents were ronin.

My brother wants something else for me, but as a woman, I don't.

As long as I'm loved by someone all my life, it's the best happiness I could ask for.

Miss, are you really serious about what you are saying?

I am.

Master Ichi, please take me.

Was that a yes?

So, can I believe it is settled?


Thank you very much.

You are saying this seriously too.

Yes, I am.

I'm sorry for imposing myself on you.

Not at all!

But will the Master approve?

Let me be the one to ask my brother.


I am blind. I'm crippled, very crippled!

You still want me?

I've known it for a long time.

It's not just that.

I'm a gambler, shunned by the world.

And not just that.

I've killed people.

You could say I'm a criminal.

And there's more.

I've known women.

These women I've bought with money -

And not just five or 10 of them.

My body is already withered, rotten.

What shall I do with that?

That was yesterday.

From today, please become a new Ichi.

Yes, I will.

I will be born again.

I will leave the yakuza. I'll become an honest man.

Become honest and lead a steady life.


It's Kanbei's brother.

Prepare yourself and step outside. I'm waiting.

Master Ichi.

It's trouble.

What will you do?

No! Don't do that!

I've just promised you something.

I will not defy what you told me.

Choose the place. I'll be there.

I would like you to spare my life.

What was that?

I care about my life.

Could you please spare it?

I beg you.

Instead, you can beat me up or kick me, whatever you choose.

You can do with me as you like.

It's a cowardly thing to say, but spare my life.

Whatever you do to me, I won't utter a sound.

I know it's not enough to ease your mind about your dead brother, but please find it in your heart to forgive me.

I beg you.

I don't know who you are, but Master Ichi listened to me just now and has sworn to me that he'll throw away his sword and leave the yakuza.

From today, he has sworn to be an honest man.

I beg you. Please spare his life.

It can't be done.

That's your business to draw your sword or leave the yakuza.

An offense to a yakuza must be avenged.

I did not search up and down for you just to beat you up.

I've prepared myself for this moment.

Stand up.

What you're saying won't happen.

If you're determined not to spare me, then kill me or wound me now.

I wish to be killed as well.

What kind of nonsense is this?

You're thinking about becoming honest and getting married?

Don't make me laugh! You think I'm stupid?

Zatoichi, what is this?

Fine. If you say you're not going to draw your sword, it's no use.

We'll settle this with dice.

Your last fight as a yakuza will be called by odds and evens.

If you win, I will let the whole thing be water under the bridge.

If I lose?

You'll give me your right arm.

The arm that killed Kanbei of Sekiyado.

Severed from the shoulder.

Fine. So be it.

If I lose, I will give you my arm.

Master Ichi!

It's decided.

You're a clown. Let's take a swing then.

Little miss, you'll be his eyes.

I'll be odds.


Four and six, even.

This man's lucky. I lose.

You won't see me again.

Master Ichi, that man -

The dice were odds.

Welcome back.

What about Kingo? Any news?

No. I've sent Shiro to Kingo's house too.

It's a mess.

Ichi, are you staying at the old lady's tonight?

You leave tomorrow, don't you? Yes.

Then you can go now. Brother!

I have something to ask of you.

Ask? What is it? Tell me.


What are you hesitating about? Can't you say it?

With your permission, I would like to marry.

So you've decided to marry Morooka?

No, I have no wish to marry him.

Then who is it that you wish to marry?

Who is he?

Who is it?

It's me.

What? You?

Yayoi, who is the man?

Master Ichi. Idiot!

Master, please give me your sister's hand in marriage.

Shut up! Are you crazy?

You can't be serious.

I am.

I would like to live my life with him.

What are you talking about?

Yayoi, I am a samurai!

I don't want a man like that in my family line.

What do you think he is?

He's a gambler. And a blind man.

And you, you don't see you're a cripple.

You place conceit on little strength, allowing yourself too much arrogance.

I don't even want to see your wretched face.

Get out!

I'm ending our teacher-pupil relationship starting today!

Brother - Master Banno!

This was thrown in the yard.

300 ryo.

They took your son hostage and are blackmailing you for money.

What will you do?

If they bring Kingo back safely, I don't mind paying even 300 ryo.

But is there no mistake?

If it's money they're after, they won't hurt him as long as we pay.

Will you give the 300? Yes.

There's no substitute for my son's life.

Tomorrow morning, 6:00 in the forest.

I will come too.

Master, is it not the doings of the Tengu gang?

Why the Tengu gang? I suddenly had that feeling -

Beware of stupid slips of the tongue!

Master Banno, I'll go home and prepare the cash for tomorrow.

We will meet there tomorrow. I beg for your help.

Are you still here?

Brother, Master Ichi is going to become an honest -

I don't care! You can't marry him.

Every dog knows what you are.

Nothing but a lowlife masseur. And worse than a dog!

Beat it!

Or if you resent being cursed like that, attack me!

If you can fight me, draw your sword!

Go on, draw!

You're not drawing? Blind idiot!

Thank you for everything.

Master Ichi! Yayoi!

Do you want to shame me that much?

Don't you think you're crazy to want to spend your life with a mean cripple like him?

You're so stupid!

If only you'd married Morooka, I could peacefully go to Edo.

That's it.

The 300 ryo.

Yayoi, so you're not disappointed, I'll prepare a grand wedding for you and Morooka.

I'm asking you, marry him!

I'm going to claim Kingo right now!

Don't do anything stupid!

You're back.

Have you eaten?

Have you eaten?

Don't you have any sake?

There's nobody here to drink it.

If you want a drink, go to a bar.

Grandma, I'll be leaving now.


I'm never coming back here.


Why are you never coming back?

What's wrong?

Grandma, where's the bar?

The Aburaya in Katawamachi.

The Aburaya.

Are you really going there?

Ichi, you're not even going to say good-bye to me?

Take care.

Blind as a bat, walking around all day, always on the road.

Ah, the lady from Master Banno's.

Is Master Ichi back?

Yes, he just went to the Aburaya.


Excuse me, one more. Sake?

Don't make such a face. We won't have any more.

Owner, it's all right, isn't it? I'm the guest on the second floor.

Maybe I'll have it here.

I'll drink it here in the corner. I won't disturb anyone.

Give me sake!

I'm sorry, we've just turned the stove off.

I'll have it cold.

What is it? Weren't you going to kill Zatoichi?

I've decided not to.

You must be proud to have such a pupil.

You're saying he's a good man? Is he a bad man?

Of course!

He has a worse nature than a thieving cat!

A thieving cat. Great.

You are not a thieving cat, are you?

What did you say?

In our world, a thieving cat is a man who nibbles on another man's wife.

Coming out at night like a stray cat in heat.

Disgraceful, isn't it?

You, come here.

Why should I? Come here, I said.

You're going to show me now?

Forgive me if I've offended you. I'm drunk.

Sister, what about the sake?

It's coming.

Please hurry, before I sober up.

Let's hear your lecture about the thieving cat one more time.

Leave me alone, please. No!

Damn it!

I've killed the man who was after you.

God help him.

Poor man.

What happened?

Shimakichi, I came to thank you for the good thing you've done.

He's killed an unarmed man.

How brutal.

Damn him!

Who is that?

Just the masseur. Let's go!

What are you doing? Move!

It's the masseur from last night.

Yes, it is.

That voice -

You're the one who failed to pay me for my massage last night.

What was that? Never mind him now, let's go!

You're going to leave without paying me?

Insolent bastard! Watch your language!

Masseur, here's your payment.

Who are you?

As you can see, I'm a masseur.

You're no regular masseur.

Maybe I'm not.

Even if I can't see, I've a pretty good idea what you're up to.

There's a 300 ryo hostage in that straw carrier, isn't there?

So I'm right.

I don't care if you're the Tengu Gang or not, you're bad people.

Thank you for your trouble.

I'm obliged. Here's the 300 ryo.

Let's go then.

You can leave the straw carrier here.

You too, wait here.

Let's go.

I'll take the 300 ryo now.

No. This is for Kingo's ransom.

Do you doubt me? Of course not.



How dare you!

I was trying to protect myself.

Shut up! Come!

I've no mercy for you. Let's go!

There's no other way.

I'll use what you've taught me.



That's fine by me.

Master, forgive me.

Ichi! Take out your sword.

Miss, it seems that...

I am that kind of man.