Sunday, April 30, 2006


The character's name is actually Ichi. Zato is a title, the lowest of the four official ranks within the Todo-za, the traditional guild for the blind, which was abolished in 1871. The three other ranks, in ascending order, were koto, betto, and kengyo. Ichi is therefore properly called Zato-no-Ichi ("Low-Ranking Blind Person Ichi," approximately), or Zatoichi for short. Giving massages was a traditional occupation for the blind.

A recurring theme of both the films and television series episodes concerns Zatoichi protecting the innocent from oppressive warring clans and general injustice.


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