In the 1960s Koji Wakamatsu was Japanese cinema's enfant terrible: A real-life outlaw — he once joined a yakuza gang and served time in prison — he made pioneering "pink" (softcore porn) films such as "The Embryo Hunts in Secret" (1966) and "Go, Go, Second Time Virgin" (1969), whose extreme sex and violence, filmed with raw energy and wild invention, gave censors and industry guardians conniption fits.

His defenders (including Wakamatsu himself) claimed he was reflecting the era's trends and critiquing its crimes, from the Vietnam War to the Manson family killings.

I interviewed and met Wakamatsu several times prior to his untimely death in a road accident on Oct. 17, 2012. He was feisty and outspoken, but his sense of mission also struck me. He saw himself as a truth-telling guerrilla in a business, society and world dedicated to peddling convenient lies.