The Podcast

A regular magazine programme about East Asian film, with the latest news, reviews and interviews

Episode 38 – Spotlight on… Zatoichi

May 3rd, 2022

This time Jonathan Wroot, senior lecturer in film studies, joins James and Andy to chat in detail about the topic of his new book, Zatoichi! As well as the various influences and successors. And yes, we chat Rutger Hauer too!

This episode’s handy timecodes

00:00:44 - Episode introduction
00:02:12 - Before we start, how did our guest get into Asian film?
00:06:05 - Kitano's Zatoichi, was it a remake?
00:13:10 - Let's go back to the start 
00:17:08 - How star Shintaro Katsu's previous work fed into the film series
00:20:22 - Zatoichi begins
00:25:05 - A minor diversion on Shintaro Katsu's brother
00:29:09 - Something for everyone, the Daiei way
00:30:23 - How wacky did the films get?
00:32:46 - Are there roots to disabled swordsmen?
00:38:14 - The Marvel connection
00:40:45 - Good ol' Westerns
00:45:34 - Zatoichi The Last
00:47:54 - The female versions
00:52:13 - Let's talk about Rutger (and other influences)
01:07:26 - Recommendations on where to start
01:15:43 - Outro

Jonathan's book, The Paths of Zatoichi, is available now from Use discount code LXFANDF30 and get 30% off!

Music played on the show: 
Zatoichi’s Lullaby, sung by Shintaro Katsu. The most commonly known version of the Zatoichi theme song, which first turned up in Zatoichi and the Fugitives (#18).

Festivo – the musical number from the end of Zatoichi 2003, written and composed by Keiichi Suzuki.

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