Samaritan Zatoichi is the 19th of the Zatoichi films and it came out December 28 1968. It was written by Kiyokata Saruwaka, Kan Shimozawa, Hisashi Sugiura and Tetsuro Yoshida. The director is Kenji Misumi who had directed the very first of the 26 film series. Besides Samaritan Zatoichi he'd direct 4 other Zatoichi films and several other interesting samurai films.
Zatoichi gets hired by a town boss to eliminate a debtor. The dead man's sister, Osode, arrives with the money just after the killing. The boss takes the money and then tries to kidnap the sister. He wants to give her to a more powerful creep for future favors. Zatoichi puts a stop to that.
With the local boss angry Zatoichi offers to protect Osode. They travel together for a while. He feels he needs to make it up to her and mete out some punishment to the boss. We all know how that's going to go, huh.
There's a nice mix of introspection and sword play as Zatoichi works towards righting the boss's wrongs. There's plenty of pretty scenery and the film looks great. Here's some nice images from the end of the movie.
As usual Zatoichi wanders off, all alone.