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Japan (1999 – present)

陰陽座 (Onmyouza, stylized as Onmyo-za) is a heavy metal band from Japan who released their first commercial album in 1999. They play quite orthodox style heavy metal music mixed with Japanese folk themes and pop music elements. Since their debut, they have appeared in traditional clothing characteristic of Japan’s Heian period.

Their songs mainly deal with oni, yokai, Japanese dragons, etc, but some songs have a more concrete theme and inspiration. For example, Onmyo-za has composed many “Ninpouchou” (Tales of Ninja Magic) songs, which are a tribute to the Japanese author Futaro Yamada and his Ninpouchou series. Kouga Ninpouchou was written for the anime “Basilisk”, whose story is from Futaro Yamada’s “Kouga Ninpouchou”. There are also some other songs inspired by Osamu Tezuka and Kyogoku Natsuhiko. The trilogy “Kumikyoku Yoshitsune” is based on the legend of Japanese ancient tragic hero Minamoto no Yoshitsune.

Each of their stage names has double meaning with a sense of humor. Kuroneko(黒猫) literally means “black cat”, which symbolizes her personality, as well as being a nickname she used before starting Onmyo-za. Matatabi(瞬火) means flashing fire, but it can also be read as a silvervine/catnip (loved by cats). Maneki(招鬼) practically means “summoning oni”, but its reading reminds most Japanese people of maneki neko (beckoning cat). Karukan(狩姦) is not clear in its literal meaning, though Karu(狩) independently means “attacking” or “hunting” and Kan(姦) means evil or debauchery and so forth. However, Karukan when spoken sounds familiar to Japanese people as a brand name of cat food. When written Tora(斗羅) has little literal meaning, but its spoken pronounciation means tiger in Japanese.


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  • Jondesu

    New promo picture avaliable. Vote for it.

    23 Sep 1:37pm Reply
  • darkonyxswe

    The new PV is quite nice, but I miss Matatabi's vocals :/

    15 Sep 10:21am Reply
  • Dudemanguy911

    Collecting things is nice though.

    19 Aug 3:58pm Reply
  • andoreh

    I need to sell one of my lungs to import it, Better be great as 鬼子母神

    13 Aug 1:49am Reply
  • afropunk90

    interesting stuff

    5 Aug 2:39am Reply
  • dememe

    The cover art for the albums is amazing. I love the fact that Matatabi designs and does the DTP himself.

    2 Aug 5:20pm Reply
  • MaRtInCeS

    Both albums will be released on September 24. I'm looking forward to listening to them.

    20 Jul 11:35pm Reply
  • GuilhermeDbanda

    WOOOOW! I'm so happy about these two full-lenghts coming <3 Let this new season for onmyo-za begin <3

    27 Jun 3:47am Reply
  • celloria

    11th album [風神界逅] (Fuujin Kaikou) and 12th [雷神創世] (Raijin Sousei), interesting titles btw :)

    18 Jun 6:38am Reply
  • celloria

    TWO full-lengths coming this fall! [2] Can't wait for new releases!

    18 Jun 6:35am Reply
  • Ancient_Entity

    TWO full-lengths coming this fall!

    15 Jun 2:48am Reply
  • KibTH

    cant wait for new album *

    30 May 10:03am Reply
  • darkonyxswe

    Really need to come back to this band soon...

    12 May 10:54pm Reply
  • dememe

    New Album this Autumn!

    10 May 5:54pm Reply
  • dememe

    Yokai Heavy Metal according to the band who announce themselves as such at the beginning of every single concert. But with the Yoshitsune and Masamune songs they definitely cover the Samurai angle too and of course the Ninja with all the Ninpocho songs. I always thought they would do an entire concept album of Ninpocho songs, it would be pretty epic.

    22 Apr 11:17pm Reply
  • SanCHEESE93

    samurai metal

    17 Apr 7:56pm Reply
  • andoreh

    青天の三日月 (Seiten no Mikazuki) is a f**g great single. Flawless as usual

    14 Apr 9:04pm Reply
  • elitist_jerk


    10 Apr 1:07am Reply
  • amorodioamor93

    This band is the pearl of Japan. Mindblowing!

    30 Mar 10:50pm Reply
  • GuilhermeDbanda

    I want this full version! :(((

    25 Mar 6:14pm Reply
  • All 832 shouts

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