Director Kimiyoshi Yasuda has directed two previous films in the Zatoichi series (Zatoichi on the Road and Adventures of Zatoichi), his third, Zatoichi's Cane Sword (1967) and #15 in the series, is somewhat unusual. In this installment, Zatoichi (Shintaro Katsu) is more comedic and light-hearted than in other episodes. Watching Zatoichi eat is always entertaining and here he dispatches would be assassins while chowing down on noodles and he always attacks riceballs and rice with gusto. In another scene he is introduced to maids at an inn where he will work as a masseuse and throws up a pickle and catches it in his mouth. Later he is caught red handed while stealing food at the inn. His massages are comedic as well, with the magistrate's former consort he flirts with her while massaging her. Later he gives Boss Iwagoro (Tatsuo Endo) a passive aggressive massage, trying to inflict pain, showing his distaste for the man. Later when he is entertained by Boss Iwagoro Zatoichi does a silly little dance and gently mocks the Boss and "accidentally" pour sake on him. There is the usual amazing loaded die reveal during a gambling session and the lack of kills from earlier in the film are made up for in the final sequence as he cuts down dozens of henchmen. There is a sub plot involving a sword maker Senzo (played by Eijiro Tono who starred in such films as Masahiro Shinoda's Pale Flower and Kurosawa's Red Beard). This subplot is integral to the final duel in the film. But overall, this is a kinder, gentler Zatoichi.