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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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  • 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
  • EvilMaleKikyo

    Ninja Metal

    15 Apr 10:51pm 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
  • MaRtInCeS

    Sounds really good. Looking forward to listen to the full version of it.

    20 Mar 4:21pm Reply
  • darkonyxswe

    Longer teaser/trailer of the music video here:

    18 Mar 6:23pm Reply
  • darkonyxswe

    New single "青天の三日月" / "Seiten no Mikazuki" out in 19th March! And here's a music video trailer to tease you all: :P

    16 Mar 11:23pm Reply
  • Feminism


    13 Mar 10:02am Reply
  • Ronnie_RM

    Kappa kappa!

    23 Feb 9:42pm Reply
  • cxqthere

    whooaaaa really loving 陰陽座

    9 Jan 3:07am Reply
  • allbluedream

    @dememe The two new songs fit well with their post Inyo-Shugyoku style. Personally I prefer their early style, but 生きもの狂い is pretty interesting.

    2 Jan 8:20pm Reply
  • dememe

    What does everybody think of the new two songs? and the upcoming single in March?

    26 Dec 2013 Reply
  • dememe

    Wuh hold on, CDJapan says there are two new songs and a remix version on the new best of. Almost gave this release a way now with two new songs! 生きもの狂い and 吹けよ風、轟けよ雷 - remix of 甲賀忍法帖.

    23 Nov 2013 Reply
  • David_Baez_Lepe

    Una de las mejores bandas para mi

    15 Oct 2013 Reply
  • allbluedream

    They've chosen a few from before the first best album. To me, one disc makes more sense.

    27 Sep 2013 Reply
  • dememe

    New best of album out in December. Not sure how they are going to fill two entire discs with just best songs from four albums and a few singles though. A best of Onmyo-za for me is basically any album (especially their older ones that most people don't like :P)

    12 Sep 2013 Reply
  • Mystique_x-men

    Can anyone recomend a Onmyouza song with classical influences, like Maou? Love that song.

    4 Jul 2013 Reply
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