Traditional Japanese Samurai Cinema films feature an Ichi theme. Ichi means “masseur, a man who practices massage and physiotherapy.” In Japanese period films this also means “blind man, also a master of combat via cane sword” as well as “paladin, a legendary hero.”
Heroes defend those who cannot defend themselves against those who seek to take advantage of the weak. Ichi and other Samurai Cinema films are a kind of Japanese Western along the lines of Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo and Clint Eastwood’s A Fistful of Dollars.
This particular Ichi film that I am reviewing is shot in traditional Japanese Period style (including Japanese voice and English subtitles) but also including contemporary American multi-cultural influences such as the dances at the end. This version got “Two Thumbs Up” from Ebert & Roeper. Give this one a try by: putting it on hold from your local library, borrowing a copy from a friend, or *shudder* buying it online.
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zatoichi (2003_film)
PS. This version is also recommended by the inventor of the term Cyberpunk, William Gibson.