The first Zatôichi film produced by Katsu Productions (Shintarô Katsu's own company).
The first Zatoichi film not to use the red title font in the opening credits, instead using white font.
This is the first Zatoichi film to feature graphic content such as: the use of bad language, a female character speaking in a provocative and sexualised way, showing bloodied dismembered stumps and multiple forms of suicide.
This is the first Zatoichi film in which the protagonist is not repeatedly referred to as a masseur in the English subtitles, instead using the Japanese term Anma. Anma was both the term used for the practice and the generally nomadic practitioner of Japanese massage. In fact, edicts were passed so that massage was solely a vocation for the blind, forbidden to be learned by any with sight.
The first Zatoichi film to use double exposure, whereby one image overlays another at a lower gradient.
In the film they refer to a character receiving a hook. This refers to the Japanese jitte, which translated means 'ten hands', and was a weapon carried by police in the Edo Period of Japan and was given to Constables to denote their rank.
Zatoichi's katana is a shikomizue. This is a sword which is concealed within a wooden cane, thus the cane itself is both handle and scabbard.
This film is part of the jidai-geki genre, which translates to 'period drama'. It is also a 'chanbara' (sword fighting) film.
The traditional rounded hats seen worn by several characters in the film are sandogasa. Translated this means 'travel hat'.
This is the first Zatoichi film to make use of a vocal song which is non-diegetic in the the soundtrack.
First Zatoichi movie appearance for Rentaro Mikuni (Asagoro), Ko Nishimura (Suga), Toshiyuki Hosokawa (Nisaburo), Kayo Mikimoto (Oyuki), Rokku Furukawa (Zato Kinsaku), and Ryuichi Tamagawa.