Kitano employs his wellknown "offbeat" sensibilities to add memorable dimensions to the ambiance through which his characters move. Despite his protestations that the film is "an entertainment," and presumably not to be taken too seriously within his oeuvre, it is
quite apparent that his use of color, music, and shot composition, as well as his pastiches of Japanese film and of Japanese culture more widely, make of this much more than another installment in the long-running Zatoichi series. These aspects, as well as the particular characterization of
Zatoichi by Kitano, will be the focus of this study.
Asian Cinema is a seminal journal, which has been published since 1995 by the Asian Cinema Studies Society under the stewardship of Professor John Lent. From 2012 Asian Cinema will be published by Intellect as part of our Film Studies journal portfolio. The journal currently publishes a variety of scholarly material - including research articles, interviews, book and film reviews and bibliographies - on all forms and aspects of Asian cinema. The journal's broad aim is to advance understanding and knowledge of the rich traditions of the various Asian cinemas, thereby making an invaluable contribution to the field of Film Studies in general.