I placed this in my netflix queue on a lark. A blind swordsman/masseuse traveling in medieval Japan and writing wrongs couldn't be THAT right?
Turns out it was pretty good.
In the grand tradition of Yojimbo, Zatoichi comes to a town where two gangs of gamblers are preparing for a war. He is accepted as a guest by one of these clans' leaders because of his reputation as a swordsman.
While fishing, Zatoichi meets the "hired gun" brought in by the other clan of gamblers, a Samurai dying of consumption (insert your favorite Val Kilmer line here- me I'm going with "I'm as right as the mail").
The two men respect each other and both try to stay out of the fight, knowing each has been brought in to kill the other.
Of course it doesnt end that way and in the end Zatoichi kills the sick samurai, letting him die with his boots on.
A great film if you like Samurai films and dont mind subtitles. Little light on the action but a well made movie.