Zatoichi the Fugitive – 1963
After arriving in the town of Shimonita, Ichi finds that a price has been put on his head by a local yakuza boss. He’s drawn into a trap, but after hearing of the slaying of a former love, Ichi furiously fights his way through the entire clan to face the killer, a hired ronin.
The adventures of Ichi, the blind swordsman continues with a story heavy on drama until the end which pays off with a spectacularly ferocious showdown between Ichi and an entire clan of yakuza thugs.
Episode four follows the previous film in offering a light-hearted opening as Ichi participates in an open wrestling competition. Of course, trouble is just around the corner as a thug named Kisuke loses his life attempting to collect a bounty on Ichi. Ichi pays respects to the dead man’s mother and begins to seek out the man responsible for the bounty which turns out to be a local yakuza boss and banker named Yagiri Tokyuro. Yagiri has hired a ruthless ronin named Tanakura to dispatch with Ichi. Their impending
clash is complicated by the fact that Tanakura’s lover is Tane, a woman who returns from Ichi’s past (Zatoichi 1) and whom he still loves.
Ichi’s main companion becomes Nobu, a spunky innkeeper’s daughter who loves Sakichi, the hesitant heir to the Shimonida clan. Yagiri plots to kill Sakichi, take over their territory and do away with Ichi all in one fell swoop. He convinces Sakichi to lure Ichi into a run down house as Yagiri’s entire clan surrounds the structure. But, the unexpected murder of Tane at the hands of the ronin sparks a fury in Ichi who charges out to lay waste to the yakuza thugs and exact revenge on Tanakura