|Original Story||Kan SHIMOZAWA|
|©2008 映画「ICHI」製作委員会||©2008 ICHI Film Partners|
Ichi is a goze (= a blind woman singer) carrying only a shamisen (= a traditional Japanese stringed instrument) and a walking stick, traveling on her own to find a man who has brought her up, and cared for her as a child. Because she is unable to see, people treat her coldly and take advantage of the fact that she is blind. However, Ichi does not stand silently to the treatment, and fights back with her unusual skill with swords, using the sword hidden inside her walking stick.
An incident brings her to meet Toma who is also traveling alone. He has tried to save Ichi from the Bankito Yakuza group, but ends up showing his awful skills in swordplay, and is saved by Ichi in return. Ichi unwillingly starts traveling together with Toma, and comes upon the village, where the Bankito group, led by the inhuman heartless Banki, is taking charge. They also run into Toraji, who is the successor of the Shirakawa Group, who tries to keep order of the village apart from Banki. Toma offers to help, but Ichi is uninterested, until she finds that Banki might know the man she was looking for.
Now the deadly battle between the Bankito and Shirakawas are about to begin…
“Zatoichi” has always been known for its masculine, virile character. A lonesome blind swordsman in search for justice. In ICHI, we bring back this character, but replacing the main character as a female. She carries a shamisen (traditional Japanese instrument), and wonders about, to find a place for herself in life. Because she is a female, and is unable to see, there are always people who try to take advantage of her. The yakuzas treat her even more coldly then others. She is even dismissed by the others who are in the same position as her. However, Ichi stands tall in dignity. It may be that because this character, who fights with pain every time she swings her swords, is a woman that the audience will be able to feel her sorrow and the sting in the heart of the difficulty to live. It is also through the eyes that she cannot see, that the audience will reach her soul, and her true relief when she finally connects with others by finding friendship, and love. The swordplay will be done in a classic form with intensity, but shot in a truly SORI style - with a stylized and the most advanced visual effects. The story follows ICHI where her emotions burst and with action sequences which will sure to pull in the audiences.