He died on Tuesday (15Jan13) in Fujisawa after a bout with pneumonia, according to the Associated Press.
Born in Kyoto, the filmmaker launched his career in 1959 with A Town of Love and Hope. He later shot a handful of controversial movies, including politically-charged Night and Fog in Japan and Taboo, about gay samurai.
Oshima also made a number of erotic films, including In the Realm of the Senses, which had to be completed in France due to its racy content, and Empire of Passion, which earned him a top prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1978.
The star’s only English-language film, Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, featured rocker David Bowie as a prisoner of war and was released in 1983.
Oshhima also served as the president of the Directors Guild of Japan.