Kishidan (氣志團), which means "The Knights", are a Japanese rock band. They have a retro image, wearing Japanese school uniforms in the style of bōsōzoku. The lead singer, Show Ayanocozey, was DJ OZMA, until the persona was "retired" in December 2008. Kishidan announced a "comeback", after a three year break, on January 27, 2009. The band had never officially split up, but had been taking a break while Show and Hikaru were working on the DJ OZMA side project. Their song, Omae Dattanda released on November 10, 2009, was used for the 11th ending theme song for Naruto Shippuden.
Show Ayanocozey (綾小路 翔, Ayanokōji Shō, Show) -- Vocals, Dragon Voice and emcee; born 26 April,
Hikaru Saotome (早乙女 光, Saotome Hikaru, Hikaru) -- Dance and scream; born 24 January,
Hitomi Saionji (西園寺 瞳, Saionji Hitomi, Tommy) -- Guitar; born 23 October,
Hoshi Grandmarnier (星 グランマニエ, Hoshi Guranmanie, Ranma) -- Guitar; born 1 March,
Shouchikubai Shiratori (白鳥 松竹梅, Shiratori Shōchikubai, Matsu) -- Bass guitar; born 17 March,
Yukinojoe Shiratori (白鳥 雪之丞, Shiratori Yukinojō, Yukki) -- Drums & drunk; born 24 May,
Their various uniforms, modeled after the short and long-coat bōsōzoku-preferred versions of old Japanese gakuran (boys' school uniforms), their matching bōsōzoku uniforms (the kind modeled on those worn by kamikaze pilots)--everything is done with a touch of humor and a nostalgic fondness for the gangs and values of days not-long gone by. Since the band started touring again in 2009, they have started wearing different styles of gakuran, as well as outfits from Tokyo-based fashion group, Saturday Nite.
The group's lyrics are predominantly about motorcycles, being with your gang, conflicts with school, and adolescent love. Though Kishidan has something of a comic approach to their presentation and performances, their songs are often sincere and about issues that are generally important to young people.
Kishidan's hit songs "One Night Carnival" and "Zoku" were featured in Nintendo's Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, and Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2, respectively, which are games about ouendan (cheer squads). The song "One Night Carnival" (a cover version) is even used for a level that was inspired by one of Kishidan's live performances. Coincidentally, the characters wear long gakuran coats and dance like Kishidan. The dancing style is based on actual ouendan cheering routines, and long gakuran coats are often worn by ouendan cheer teams. It is possible that Kishidan's lively and powerful dance routines were inspired by the tradition of ouendan cheering, a subject that is unique to Japanese culture.
A February 2011 appearance on MTV Japan's Mega Vector program was heavily criticized by the Simon Wiesenthal Center after the band appeared in costumes resembling Nazi SS uniforms. The band's agency, Sony Music Artists, issued a statement of apology, noting that the band members "deeply regretted" their attire and that the clothing "was not meant to carry any ideological meaning whatsoever."Avex Group, the band's current record label, also sent an apology through its homepage.
Kishidan embraces the theatrics of rock music in their live performance, and make extensive use of pop dancing and theatrics. Members of the band will sometimes pretend to perish mid-concert in battle with rival school gangs. Kishidan is also known to parody current popular Japanese songs, such as Matsudaira Ken's "Matsuken Samba II", and Nakashima Mika's "Glamorous Sky" from the film adaptation of Nana.
Use of ateji:
Since transferring to Avex, the band started to use ateji to promote their singles. In every promotional video, the band uses the ateji character for the Avex Trax label, 影別苦須 虎津苦須.