Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman (9 Blu-ray Deluxe Set) [The Criterion Collection]

$139.99 USD $199.95 USD

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Welcome to the Vinegar Syndrome Staff Picks section, where we highlight our favorite releases from the many other fine labels releasing films on home video. This section, which will be updated semi regularly, features an array of crucial genre films, which no home library should be without.


The colossally popular Zatoichi films make up the longest-running action series in Japanese history and created one of the screen’s great heroes: an itinerant blind masseur who also happens to be a lightning-fast swordsman. As this iconic figure, the charismatic and earthy Shintaro Katsu became an instant superstar, lending a larger-than-life presence to the thrilling adventures of a man who lives staunchly by a code of honor and delivers justice in every town and village he enters. The films that feature him are variously pulse-pounding, hilarious, stirring, and completely off-the-wall. This deluxe set features the string of twenty-five Zatoichi films made between 1962 and 1973, collected in one package for the first time.

Deluxe hardcover book and slipcase featuring artwork by acclaimed illustrator Ron Wimberly (Prince Of Cats). Additionally, Criterion commissioned new work from twenty-five acclaimed illustrators to represent each of Zatoichi films, including Bill Sienkiewicz (Elektra: Assassin) and Paul Pope (The One Trick Rip Off).


  • Digital restorations of all twenty-five films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks
  • The Blind Swordsman, a 1978 documentary about Zatoichi portrayer and filmmaker Shintaro Katsu, along with a 2013 interview with its director, John Nathan
  • Interview from 2013 with Asian-film critic Tony Rayns
  • Trailers
  • PLUS: A book featuring an essay by critic Geoffrey O Brien; synopses of the films by critic, novelist, and musician Chris D.; The Tale of Zatoichi, the original short story by Kan Shimozawa; and twenty-five illustrations inspired by the films, by twenty-five different artists