You're thinking the fights in anime, not samurai cinema. Samurai Cinema is usually more famous for one person against multiple people, duels, or mass group battles... noone yels out technique names in Samurai movie battles. That type of thing is typical of only anime and video games, not other Japanese media... lol
Zatoichi's battles, at least, in the few films I've watched, usually start with him having his sword sheathed. From this position, he usually allows enemies to get close enough to him before he can attack and overcomes them with his speed when drawing and cutting in the same motion, using techniques from a martial art which is now known as Iaido and still practices these techniques all be it for different reasons. When his sword is already out, he usually relies on footsteps and other sounds to sus out where his enemies are before going after them. A few more memorable seens have him standing stock still and listening and listening to where his enemies are coming from before cutting them down as they all rush at him. Apparently one of his movies shows him in a seen duelling in a more prolonged fight, but most of the time he's skilled enough to defeat opponents quickly with one technique. Lots of it is exagerated for film and entertainment, obviously, but it's not out of the realm of plausability for someone to get this good, especially if they are blind and are used to using their sense of hearing. And I can say that with at least a bit of confidence, having done some training in Japanese swordsmanship and now training in Aikido, where listening for my training partners is crucial to anticipate angles of attack, or at least where they may be attacking from. Zatoichi, imo, is a lot more realistically imaginable than daredevil. Not to mention less superhuman a character.
From the wikipedia article on him
Zatoichi at first comes across as a harmless blind anma (masseur) and bakuto (gambler) who wanders the land, making his living by chō-han (playing dice) as well as giving massages, performing acupuncture and even, on occasion, singing and playing music. Secretly, however, he is very highly skilled in swordsmanship, specifically Muraku-school kenjutsu and iaido along with the more general sword skills of Japan, as well as Sumo wrestling and kyujutsu.
Little of his past is revealed, other than that he lost his sight as a child through illness. His father disappeared for undisclosed reasons when Zatoichi was about five years old. He is described by his swordsmanship instructor as having practiced constantly and with extreme devotion when he was a pupil in order to develop his incredible skills. Zatoichi says of himself that he became a yakuza (gangster) during those three years he spent training (which immediately precede the original The Tale of Zatoichi) and killed many people, something he later came to deeply regret. This is reflected in his willingness to involve himself in the affairs of others—chiefly, those suffering from oppression/exploitation, or some form of corruption. Despite that moral re-assessment and his new perspective and remorse (and most often because of them), he usually has a bounty (sometimes quite large) on his head from one source or another throughout the movies and series. However, because of his earnestness, wit, and natural sense of empathy, many people who encounter him during his travels grow to respect and even care for him.
Unlike a bushi, he does not carry a traditional katana. Instead, he uses a well-made shikomi-zue (仕込み杖, lit. "prepared cane" or cane sword), as the use or possession of true fighting blades was formally outlawed for non-samurai during the Edo period. The decree was virtually impossible to enforce, however, as evidenced by the Yakuza enforcers being shown wielding katanas throughout the films.
The principal recurring thematic formula of these films and the television series is that of the ever-wandering and sentimental drifter who protects the innocent and the helpless from oppressive or warring yakuza gangs, stops the worst of general injustice or predation and aids the unfortunate, and often, through no fault of his own, is set upon by ruffians or stumbles into harm's way. Zatoichi's saga is essentially one of an earthy but basically good and wise man almost always trying to do the decent thing, to somehow redeem himself and perhaps atone for past failings. Nevertheless, he believes himself instead to be a stained, corrupted and evil man, irredeemable and undeserving of the love and respect that some show and rightly have for him. This self-described "god of calamities" is routinely a magnet for troubles of one sort or another. Death is his only constant companion, as he pragmatically doesn't allow other people, especially those he loves or thinks highly of, to get close and stay there for long; such would lead to eventual tragedy. Death does seem, like a shadow, to actually follow an often reluctant Zatoichi almost everywhere he goes, and despite his mostly compassionate nature, killing appears to come entirely naturally to him.
His lightning-fast fighting skill is incredible, with his sword held in a reverse grip; this, combined with his unflappable steel-nerved wits in a fight, his keen ears, sense of smell and proprioception, all render him a formidable adversary. He is also quite capable with a traditional katana, as seen in Zatoichi's Vengeance and the bath house scene in Zatoichi and the Festival of Fire. Similarly, he displays considerable skill using two swords simultaneously, in Musashi-like Nitō Ichi style in Zatoichi and the Doomed Man. Almost preternaturally dangerous with blades, he is fully capable (whether standing, sitting or lying down) of fighting and swiftly defeating multiple skilled opponents simultaneously. Some, however, have come close to besting him in combat, in particular during the final duel in Zatoichi Challenged, where extenuating circumstances played a role.
A number of other standard scenarios are also repeated through the series: Zatoichi's winning of large amounts at gam bling via his ability to hear whether the dice have fallen on even or odd is a common theme, as is his catching loaded or substituted dice by the difference in their sound. This frequently culminates in another set piece, Zatoichi's cutting the candles lighting the room and reducing it to pitch blackness, commonly accompanied by his tag line "Kurayami nara kocchi no mon da"|暗闇ならこっちのもんだ (roughly meaning "Darkness is my advantage") or "Now we are all blind".
But this is supposed to be blind charactes in video games, not about my love for a very specific character who is blind. But he is the fairest illustration of a blind person I have ever seen in media, though there are probably other ones I don't know about. He just happens to be my favourite. No portrayal has completely satisfied me, especially from western film and video games, but this comes the closest.
-- Audiogames-reflector mailing list Audiogamesfirstname.lastname@example.org https://sabahattin-gucukoglu.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/audiogames-reflector