ZATOICHI MEETS THE ONE ARMED SWORDSMAN (1971)

Director: Kimiyashi Yasuda
Actors: Shintaro Katsu, Jimmy Wang Yu

My 2 favorite swordsmen from 2 different genres collide! A walk on water Shaw Brother character meets the blind gambling swordmaster!
Both with physical defects that would cripple the mere mortal, but these mythical legends with enhanced awareness turn their misfortunes into lethal weapons! The legendary ZATOICHI, a blind masseur with extraordinary samurai skills moves swiftly & gracefully with quick and precise slashings of doom while the ONE ARMED SWORDSMAN has mastered the technique of the iron palm coupled with sweet buttery nipple moves with his short curved stunted blade that any crocodile hunter would wish for. That, tripled with extraordinary aerial skills that even the crouching tiger-hidden dragon would have a hard time keeping up with! The end result is an amazing blend of asian fusion cinema that mashes up 2 well known characters into something called: ZATOICHI MEETS THE ONE ARMED SWORDSMAN!

The skinny of the movie without spilling the rice porridge is that Jimmy Wang Yu, who plays the one armed swordsman defects to japan in refuge to a buddhist temple to escape the enemies that have been building up in his native home of china. Jimmy Wang Yu meets a chinese family of 3 hustling on the streets of countryside japan with a Peking Opera like performance. The one armed bandit & this chinese family instantly hit it off & they all stroll to a nearby restaurant to celebrate when…hell breaks loose. The kid from the chinese family loses his kite & it flows directly in front of a procession of japanese samurai parading a bunch of expensive abalone to the yakuza. At first, I thought it was a funeral procession but, I guess those samurai’s are deeply one with seafood! Talk about giving the bouncer at a club a stink eye! The chinese father & mother both lose their lives to protect their kid because of a kite that flew into a path of a few nazi swordsmen. This left the One armed swordsman no choice but to take some lives of a few bad, bad japanese men. Wang Kang disperses when chinese cleaver meets jap flesh meanwhile the chinese kid flees & happens upon Zatoichi. The bad japanese men slaughter a few more innocent lives that witness the senseless killings of the chinese family. The “rearranged” story now is that the chinese one armed swordsman is the crazed devil that murdered the samurai & the innocent ones. A heavy reward is issued to anyone that can bring the head of the one armed chinese bandit! As far as Zatoichi knows, he thinks the chinese man is the assassin. The story takes a few twists & turns as the one armed swordsman continues on his path to this Buddhist temple in the countryside to meet his monk friend & to escape the japanese assassins looking for their scapegoat. A few more twists & turns of the story leads me off the cliff with a final end fight that pits the sloppy in appearance but, sharp in skill ZATOICHI vs the handsome looking one armed raggamuffin of a swordsman! This fight will leave both of them scarred with a bit of chinese & japanese soul lodged in between them! Suddenly, I have a craving for chino & japones food!

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