This 2003 film won Kitano the Best Director award at the Venice Film Festival and Best Picture Award at the Toronto Film Festival. If you only see one Japanese film in your lifetime, Kitano's "Zatoichi" should be it.
I started with a custom-made resin head of Kitano in one of his other roles. I closed the eyes using Quickplastik putty, 'shaved' off the hair with a razor and sculpted-on 'Zatoichi-like' hair with putty, then painted it.
For the body, I took a John Belushi 12" Samurai figure and replaced the head. I custom painted the sword to match the crimson sword cane of Zatoichi.