Cast: Tomisaburo Wakayama, Akihiro Tomikawa
The first film in the series is surprisingly racy and bloody for its age (1972). Ogami Itto is a wandering Ronin and assassin for hire who pushes along a baby cart with his adorable son Daigoro. Dated film techniques and technology make the film a slow starter, but it pays off in its grim intensity, fighting, and bloodletting. The sword fighting is very good and features some of the messiest blood squirting wounds ever to be inflicted on screen.