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Biography

The Folk Crusaders were a Japanese pop music group, popular in Japan in the later half of the 1960s, with the group consisting of Kazuhiko Katō, Osamu Kitayama, and Yoshio Hiranuma.

The band was formed in 1965 by five university students consisting of Kazuhiko Katō, Osamu Kitayama, Yoshio Hiranuma (平沼義男), Mikio Inomura (Imura?) (井村幹生) and Maki Ashida (芦田雅喜), but Ashida and Inomura left the band at an early stage. The three-man band were active in the Kansai underground scene for some time, but in 1967 the band decided to split up, and to commemorate the split up they released the self-produced album Harenchi, in only 300 copies.

The same year, the album was picked up by radio stations in Kyoto and Kobe, where the songs "Imujingawa" and "Kaette kita yopparai" were played frequently. "Kaette kita yopparai" ("Drunkard Returns") sold over one and a quarter million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. The band members continued their musical careers in different bands but had reunions with The Folk Crusaders and released some more albums.

In October 2009, Kazuhiko Kato committed suicide by hanging himself at the age of 62.

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