Koji Wakamatsu died last week hit by a taxi a tragic end to a man who directed and produced many films, his career began in the early sixties his first film Hageshii Onnatachi (1963) would star Tamaki Katori daughter of a Pharmaceutical tycoon and she would become a big star of the pink films that introduced sex and nudity to mainstream Japapanese cinema, Flesh Market was the first in 1962 and the Police intervened and the film was censored but the wave started and Flesh Market became a box office smash made for 8 million yen took over 150 million at the box office.
Koji Wakamatsu made over 20 films at Nikkatsu studio low budget erotica that also dealt with current affairs, social attitudes, disasters and celebrity, but the studio went into decline and Koji struck out alone, not as sleazy or dark as Giichi Nishihara, also Tamaki would appear in other films of his including Sex Jack (1970) that went to Cannes the story was seen as anti social as it dealt with students who wanted to assassinate the prime minister and hijack a plane.
Through pink film many independent production companies found a voice and box office.
Koji rode this wave and as producer found more international success with Ai No Corrida (1976) or In The Realm of the senses this was the first film of his i saw and the film despite being graphic and quite realist, based on the true story of a woman who had a husband that betrayed her sexually in every way that she cut off his penis and was arrested with it in her pocket.
Koji as director made 105 films that would each leave an impression be it good or bad but he was an artist his final film Millenial Rapture (2012) based on Kenji Nakagami ‘s novel which has received tepid reviews.
His work will stand and influence who knows now with his passing what will come next.