Oooohhh! If there’s one thing more than films with zombies, ghosts, and ghouls that this wee Catgirl always loves, it’s a movie with feisty sword wielding heroines, and recently my sweet Carolyn found for me a collection of classic Japanese swordplay films on DVD…. specifically the entire 4 films in the “Blind Swordswoman, Oichi” series by Shochiku studios from back in 1969. I’d heard of them before… but never manged to find copies readily available for myself. Luckily for me, my loving wife keeps her eyes peeled for the opportunity to snag such things for lil’ ol’ me… she’s not always successful, and I can’t tell you how many times she’s bought a nice lil’ bargain only to discover I’ve long since acquired a copy for myself. Still…. when the price is right… she’s willing to take the risk, and sometimes it pays off. Just like this time ’round. Yay!!
Our film’s synopsis? How’s this grab you: “A young girl Oichi, cruelly abandoned by her mother, is struck by lightning and blinded during a thunderstorm. Alone and unable to care for herself, she is taken in by an old man and raised to womanhood as his own. When her guardian is mysteriously killed by old enemies, she learns the art of swordplay from a traveling “Ronin” so she can travel the lonely roads of old Edo alone to seek both her mother and her revenge.”
Sound a bit like the famous “Zatoichi” movies? Well, that was most definitely the idea when Shochiku decided to create a series of their own to cash in on the success of Daiei Studios successful series featuring Shintaro Katsu as wandering blind masseur, gambler, and swordmaster Zatoichi. Making their lead character a woman only seemed a natural choice to grab some audience at Japanese cinemas.
So… is Oichi up to the task? Can she rival the great Zatoichi in thrills and excitement? Guess you can all find out by continuing to “Read On”…. 😉