Finally watched all 26 of the Zatoichi movies with Shintarô Katsu. It was interesting to watch the raise and fall of this franchise, and how it changes as different studio's produced the movies. I was particularly interested in Zatoichi.Meets.Yojimbo (Toshiro Mifune) #20 (1970). Big disappointment I will not give out any spoilers except to say it was like watching 2 different movies at the same time. The movie series was doing great up until about the 15th episode and then is started to peter out, after all how many variations on Zatoichi cutting down bad guys can you have. The original series more or less ended with #25 Zatoichi's Conspiracy where he returns to his home town after 23 years. After having watched the previous 24 the story is very predictable. They tried to revive the series in with Zatoichi (1989) I thought the movie was awful. The movie also had a fatal accident during the filming. A real sword was accidentally used in a sword fight where the blade actually hit the actor/stuntman as a result of the sword stroke that person died. You ask way real swords, if you watch the scenes in any Japanese samurai movie there are scenes where you see sword strokes cutting down bamboo, curtains, spear shafts, etc. Such scenes are done with actual razor sharp swords. It goes with out saying in sword fights flat edged swords are used and the actors wear body armor to keep the bruising down. Finally there was Zatôichi (2003) in this remake Takeshi Kitano reprised the roll of Zatôichi, Shintarô Katsu the original had died in 1997. The movie is boiler plate Blind Swordsmen nothing new. This movie does have absolutely the most ridiculous closing, something right out of a Bollywood movie from India. It could be edited out and you wouldn't even miss it. Now I am done with Zatôichi what's next? Japanese Kaiju (monster) movies there are about 70 of those.