Nagisa Oshima

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Nagisa Oshima (Associated Press Photo)
TOKYO (AP) - Nagisa Oshima, a Japanese director known for internationally acclaimed films "Empire of Passion" and "In the Realm of the Senses," has died of pneumonia. He was 80.

His office says Oshima died Tuesday afternoon at a hospital near Tokyo.

A former student activist from Japan's ancient capital of Kyoto, Oshima debuted in 1959, often depicting social issues. Oshima quickly rose to fame as a leading Japanese "new wave" director.

Oshima stirred public indecency debate in Japan when he released "In the Realm of the Senses" in 1976. Two years later, Oshima won best director award at the Canne International Film Festival with "Empire of Passion."

Despite suffering a stroke in 1996, Oshima briefly returned to filmmaking in 1999 with "Taboo," which became his last work.

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