He was born in Fukuoka Prefecture.
Best known for his writing collaborations with directors Kōji Wakamatsu and Nagisa Oshima, often under the pseudonyms "Izuru Deguchi" or "De Deguchi" (出口出), he also directed a number of his own films, usually dealing with left-wing political themes. Adachi was a prominent director in the Japanese New Wave film movement, producing pink films alongside documentaries.  He stopped making films in the early 1970s and joined the Japanese Red Army. After residing in Lebanon for 28 years, he was arrested for passport violations.
Adachi was found guilty of passport violations in September 2001 and received a four-year sentence, suspended to 18 months. After his release he was deported to Japan via Jordan, where he was re-arrested on other passport violations. After being held for a year and a half he was convicted and released based on the time he had already served. Since his release, he has resumed making films after a 30-year absence.
- Masao Adachi and Go Hirasawa, Film / Revolution, 2003, 河出書房新社 (in Japanese).
- Masao Adachi, Le Bus de la révolution passera bientôt près de chez toi. Ecrits sur le cinéma, la guérilla et l'avant-garde, Rouge Profond éditeur, 2012 (in French)
- Eric Baudelaire, "The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi, and 27 years without images", installation for the MACBA in Barcelona,2011, text in English and Catalan, film 66 min (in English) and nine screenprints.
|Year||English Title||Original Title|
|1960||Kyou mo mata sugita (今日もまた過ぎた)|
|1963||Closed Vagina||Sain (鎖陰)|
|1966||Birth Control Revolution||Hinin kakumei (避妊革命)|
|1967||Violated Angels||Okasareta Hakui (犯された白衣)|
|1968||Three Ressurected Drunkards||Kaette kita yopparai (帰って来たヨッパライ)|
|1968||Sex Zone||Sei chitai (性地帯 セックスゾーン)|
|1968||Sex Games||Sei yūgi (性遊戯)|
|1969||Female Student Guerilla||Jogakusei gerira (女学生ゲリラ)|
|1969||A.K.A. Serial Killer||Ryakusho / Renzoku shasatsuma (略称・連続射殺魔)|
|1969||Rebel Woman: Dream Hell||Hanjo mugen jigoku (叛女・夢幻地獄)|
|1971||Gushing Prayer||Funshutsu kigan 15-sai no Baishunfu (噴出祈願 十五代の売春婦)|
|1971||Red Army/PLFP: Declaration of World War||Sekigun-P.F.L.P: Sekai senso sengen (赤軍PFLP・世界戦争宣言)|
|2007||Prisoner / Terrorist||Yûheisha - terorisuto (幽閉者 テロリスト)|
|2016||Artist of Fasting||Danjiki Geinin (断食芸人)|
- "Masao Adachi". Allmovie. Archived from the original on 2012-10-22. Retrieved 2007-11-17.
- "MASAO ADACHI". Retrieved 2007-11-17.
- Masao Adachi (I) on IMDb
- 足立正生 (Adachi Masao) at the Japanese Movie Database (in Japanese)
- "Claudia Siefen im Gespräch mit Masao Adachi" (in German). May 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-16.
- "Intervista ad Adachi Masao" (in Italian). May 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-16.
- "Masao Adachi First Complete Retrospective, Cinémathèque française 2010" (in French). Archived from the original on 2011-02-09. Retrieved 2011-02-02.