ange Sazen is the prototype mould of the embittered ronin, at least in film; from the outside gruff and alienated, often physically disfigured in some way implying wounds inside, however a soul scarred but gentle, operating the sword with a mindful emptiness that cut through all sorts of social hypocrisy. From that mould was cast the outcast image of Zatoichi and others from him, a long tradition that has been replicated wholesale in the West.

Overview from themoviedb.org