Otaku USA Magazine
Celebrated director Koji Wakamatsu dies

Director Koji Wakamatsu, a revered filmmaker in the world of Japanese cinema, passed away October 17th after being hit by a taxi in Tokyo at age 76. Wakamatsu, who directed over 100 films, had recently won Asian Filmmaker of the Year at the Busan Film Festival.

Wakamatsu started his filmmaking career in the 1960s in the low-budget, softcore pornographic genre known as “pink film,” a framework which allowed him to develop his experimental filmmaking techniques and political commentary. In 1966, Wakamatsu founded his own company and produced films independently, including his noted works Ecstasy of the Angels and Go Go Second Time Virgin.
In recent years, Wakamatsu had won acclaim for his films United Red Army, a 3-hour epic about the titular ultra-leftist paramilitary group, and Caterpillar, a film about the effects of World War II on a disfigured Japanese soldier and his wife.

Said Wakamatsu, accepting Busan’s Filmmaker of the Year award earlier this month, “I am an independent filmmaker and this goes against the system in Japan. But you have to make the films that are in your heart, not films other people want you to make.”

Source: Fandor

Matt Schley

Matt Schley (rhymes with "guy") lives in Tokyo, and has been OUSA's "man in Japan" since 2012. He's also written about anime and Japanese film for the Japan Times, Screen Daily and more.