In my story, the BLIND MAN is named SHI, which means “4” but also “DEATH”. The term “ZATO” was the last ranks that ruled the blindmen during the MEIJI period. So technically ZATOICHI (who is the contraction of ZATO-NO-ICHI) is the last one and the first. Played by an actor who is named SHITARO KATSU (the one who wins). What a bunch of great names, don’t you think ?
My graphic novel CLAN is taking place in 2016, so i don’t need the “ZATO” term anymore. I named him SHI (aka FOUR “4”) because the character doesn’t know who his parents were. He is also (for me) the fourth version of the character created by KAN SHIMOZAWA in 1961.
I wanted to reinvent the myth of the BLIND SWORDMAN by returning to his roots. Vagabond, Bakuto, blind, smart & fearless. Everybody think they can play him, and half of them are right. The BAKUTO are now replaced by the YAKUZA, technically my story is “ZATO in a KITANO flick”.