Director Kenji Misumi (1921-1975)

The Tale of Zatoichi Fight, Zatoichi, Fight Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance

The Demon Crusader (1957)
Ghost of Yotsuya (1959)
Satan's Sword I: Great Buddha Pass (1960)
Satan's Sword II: The Dragon God (1960)
The Tale of Zatoichi (1962)
Destiny's Son (1962)
Shinsengumi Chronicles: I Want to Die a Samurai (1963)
Fight, Zatoichi, Fight (1964)
Nemuri Kyoshiro 2: Sword of Adventure (1964)
Drifting Crow (1964)
Zatoichi and the Chess Expert (1965)
Nemuri Kyoshiro 5: Sword of Fire (1965)
Sword Devil (1965)
Nemuri Kyoshiro 8: Sword of Villainy (1966)
Return of Daimajin (1966)
Zatoichi Challenged (1967)
Samaritan Zatoichi (1968)
The Devil's Temple (1969)
The Magoichi Saga (1969)
Zatoichi Goes to the Fire Festival (1970)
Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance (1972)
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx (1972)
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart to Hades (1972)
Hanzo the Razor: Sword of Justice (1972)
Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart in Land of Demons (1973)
The Last Samurai (1974)

Kenji Misumi When you're watching an episode of any popular chambara series like Zatoichi, Nemuri Kyoshiro or Lone Wolf and Cub and you see "Directed by Kenji Misumi" flash up on the screen, that's your guarantee of excellence. Somehow Misumi fashioned an outstanding career out of serialized matinee franchises, though his talents certainly were capable of more than popcorn entertainment. He directed a number of fine projects all his own, in particular through a strong partnership with Raizo Ichikawa. His final movie, 1974's The Last Samurai, bears absolutely no connection to the Hollywood mess starring Tom Cruise and is considered one of the great underappreciated classics of Japanese cinema.

But to me, Kenji Misumi will always be the unsurpassed master of Zatoichi and Itto Ogami tales. And there's no disgrace in that whatsoever.

The Jidai-Geki Knights
Cinema