Wagakki Band

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Wagakki Band
Wagakki Band during a photo shoot at Japan Expo 2014 in Paris
Wagakki Band during a photo shoot at Japan Expo 2014 in Paris
Background information
Years active2013 (2013)–present
Associated actsHanafugetsu
MembersYuko Suzuhana
Kiyoshi Ibukuro
Daisuke Kaminaga
Beni Ninagawa

Wagakki Band (Japanese: 和楽器バンド, Hepburn: Wagakki Bando) is a Japanese band that plays rock music with wagakki (traditional Japanese musical instruments).[2][3] Their early songs were adapted from Vocaloid recordings but they have since written their own original music. Their music videos for the songs "Tengaku" (天樂) and "Senbonzakura" (千本桜) have attracted millions of views on YouTube.[4][5] They have played live in Asia, Europe, and the United States.


2012–2013: Conception and early work[edit]

Shigin singer Suzuhana Yuko [ja] (who had been elected Miss Nico Nama ニコ生 in 2011), shakuhachi player Kaminaga Daisuke, and koto player Ibukuro Kiyoshi formed the band Hanafugetsu in February 2012.[6][7] Suzuhana also played piano at this time. Suzuhana then conceived a band that fused the traditional and modern sides of Japanese culture, leading to the formation of Wagakki Band.

In August 2012 the members of Hanafugetsu met guitarist Machiya, who was a notable session musician with a reputation for fast playing.[8] Around this time, Suzuhana also met drummer Wasabi of the band Nico Nico Douga.[6][4] Wasabi, Kaminaga, and Ibukuro had all previously worked with wadaiko player Kurona, who was invited to join the new ensemble.[8] The band's first work, still under the name Hanafugetsu, was an adaptation of the Vocaloid song "Tsuki Kage Mai Ka" (月・影・舞・華) with Kanade on shamisen and Shirakami Mashiro on bass. A video of the recording was released in October 2012 and went viral, remaining in the top 3 of the "Played It" category since then.[9]

Bassist Asa, a popular Vocaloid producer and creator of the hit song "Yoshiwara Lament", then joined the band.[4] During a gig in a Shibuya bar, the band was approached by shamisen player Ninagawa Beni, who became the final addition to the band.[6][8] The formation of the new band was officially announced in March 2013.[10][11] They initially operated under the name Suzuhana Yuko with Wagakki Band, but by early 2014 the name was shortened to simply Wagakki Band.[12][9]

2013–2014: Early mainstream success[edit]

A video for the first song recorded by all eight current members of Wagakki Band, "Six Trillion Years and Overnight Story" (六兆年と一夜物語), was released in April 2013.[13] In August of that year they played their first live concert at Nico Nico Music Master 2.[12][14] The music video for "Tengaku" (天樂) was released in October 2013; this video marked the first time guitarist Machiya revealed his face.[15] They then performed at the 10th Tokyo International Music Market (TIMM) for three nights in October.[12] At THE VOC@LOID M@STER 27, a Vocaloid convention in November 2013, the band released Joshou (序章), a mini album featuring Vocaloid covers.[12]

Wagakki Band held their first new year's concert, Wagakki Band Dai Shinnen Kai 2014~Wagakki X Band Gassen~ (和楽器バンド大新年会~和楽器Xバンド合戦~), on 31 January 2014 at Shibuya's Club Asia.[12] On the same day, they released the music video for "Senbonzakura" (千本桜), which instantly became a hit on both Nico Nico Douga and YouTube, expanding their international exposure.[16] Wagakki Band covered Vocaloid songs for their first full-length album Vocalo Zanmai (ボカロ三昧), released in April 2014.[17][18] The album reached no. 5 in the weekly Oricon rankings and stayed in the top 100 for 22 consecutive weeks.[12] After their early Vocaloid works, Wagakki Band has composed original music for their subsequent albums.

The band held their first overseas performance at Japan Expo 2014 in Paris, France in July, in front of 4,000 attendees. Their first independent concert, Vocalo Zanmai Dai Ensoukai (ボカロ三昧大演奏会), was held later in July at Shibuya's Music Exchange.[12][19] The music video for Wagakki Band's first original song, "Hanabi" (華火), was released on Nico Nico Douga in July 2014, followed by a retail release.[12][20] In August they appeared at Japan's a-Nation Festival, followed by an appearance at a-Nation Singapore Premium Showcase Festival in October.[12] The band wrapped up 2014 with the release of a DVD and Blu-ray for the Vocalo Zanmai Dai Ensoukai concert.[12]

2015–present: International recognition[edit]

The band's first hall concert, Wagakki Band Dai Shinnen Kai 2015 (和楽器バンド大新年会2015), was held at Shibuya Public Hall in January 2015.[12] Their first independent overseas concert, Taipei Dayanchanghui (台北大演唱会), was held in Taiwan in May of that year.[12] Also in 2015, Wagakki Band headlined a sold-out concert at Club Nokia in Los Angeles in conjunction with Anime Expo. The Vocaloid IA software persona was the opening act, also in her first North American live show.[12] They appeared in their first television commercial that year, for Kirin Mets.[12] The album Yasou Emaki (八奏絵卷) was released in September 2015[21] and reached number one on the weekly Oricon chart.[12]

On 6 January 2016, the band held its annual New Year's concert, Wagakki Band Dai Shinnen Kai 2016 Nippon Budokan - Akatsuki no Utage (和楽器バンド大新年会2016日本武道館 -暁ノ宴) at the Nippon Budokan.[22] The concert was attended by approximately 10,000 people.[22] The album Shikisai (四季彩) was released in 2017, [23] followed by Otonoe (オトノエ) in 2018.[24]

In May 2019, Wagakki Band performed as part of Japan Night 2019 in New York with Hyde, Misia, and Puffy Amiyumi. [25] The EP React, featuring four new songs, was released in December 2019.[26]

On February 16, 2020, the band performed their "Premium Symphonic Night Vol.2" concert at Osaka-jō Hall, featuring a full orchestra and a special guest appearance by Evanescence lead vocalist Amy Lee.[27] Lee also collaborated with the band in recording the single "Sakura Rising".[28] The band's sixth full-length album, Tokyo Singing, which includes the collaboration with Amy Lee, was released in October 2020.[29]



Studio albums[edit]

Release Date Title Peak Position
East Asia
2013 Joshou (序章) - -
2014 Vocalo Zanmai (ボカロ三昧) 5 -
2015 Yasou Emaki (八奏絵巻) 1 1[31]
2017 Shikisai (四季彩) 2 -
2018 Otonoe (オトノエ) 2 -
2019 React EP 5 8[32]
2020 Tokyo Singing 5 2[33]
  • "-" means unknown.

Compilation albums[edit]

Release Date Title Peak Position
East Asia


  • "Hanabi" (華火) (2014) [35]
  • "戦-ikusa-/なでしこ桜" (2015) [36]
  • "Valkyrie -戦乙女-" (2016) [37]
  • "Kishikaisei -起死回生-" (2016) [38]
  • "Amenochi Kanjyoron" (雨のち感情論) (2017) [39]
  • "Yuki Kageboushi" (雪影ぼうし) (2018) [40]
  • "Sasameyuki" (細雪) (2018) [41]

Live albums/Video releases[edit]

  • Vocalo Zanmai Dai Ensoukai (ボカロ三昧大演奏会) (2014)[42]
  • Dai Shinnenkai 2016 Nippon Budōkan -Akatsuki no Utage- (大新年会2016日本武道館 -暁ノ宴-) (2016)[43]
  • WagakkiBand 1st US Tour 衝撃 -DEEP IMPACT- (WagakkiBand 1st US Tour 衝撃 -DEEP IMPACT-) (2017)[44]
  • Dai Shinnenkai 2017 Tokyo Taiikukan -Yuki no Utage, Sakura no Utage- (大新年会2017東京体育館 -雪ノ宴・桜ノ宴-) (2017)[45]
  • Dai Shinnenkai 2018 Yokohama Arena -Ashita e no Kokai- (大新年会2018横浜アリーナ ~明日への航海~) (2018)[46]

Other releases[edit]

  • Cradle of Eternity (2016) - Yūko Suzuhana solo album[47]


Year Ceremony Award Nominated Work
2015 Japan Gold Disc Award[48] Best 5 New Artists
Japan Record Awards[49] Planning Award Yasou Emaki
2018 Japan Record Awards Excellent Album Award Otonoe

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Yeung, Neil Z. "Wagakki Band - Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  2. ^ "鈴華ゆう子with和楽器バンド". ニコニコ大百科. Retrieved 2014-06-14.
  3. ^ "WagakkiBand". JpopAsia. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
  4. ^ a b c "WagakkiBand in showcase". Japan Expo. Retrieved 2014-06-28.
  5. ^ "Nihongo".
  6. ^ a b c "Wagakki Band – Metropolis Magazine". Metropolis Magazine. 2016-07-03. Retrieved 2018-03-12.
  7. ^ Suzuhana, 鈴華ゆう子Yuko (7 Feb 2018). "本日華風月6周年記念日 全ては、この3人の出会いから始まりました これからも共に歩んでいきます". @yuchinsound (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-03-12.
  8. ^ a b c "WagakkiBand". Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  9. ^ a b "【Wagakki Band】Tsuki, Kage, Mai, Ka【Played it】". Niconico Video. 2012-10-29. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  10. ^ Suzuhana, 鈴華ゆう子Yuko (4 March 2018). "今日はこの3人でお仕事三昧っ! 5周年だねーって言いながらの1枚。pic.twitter.com/JaivDI1wkm". @yuchinsound (in Japanese). Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  11. ^ Suzuhana, 鈴華ゆう子Yuko (4 Mar 2018). "今日もスタジオです!和楽器バンド5周年記念日です皆さまお祝いメッセージありがとう!あっという間にだなぁ (´ω`*)". @yuchinsound (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-03-12.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "和楽器バンド Official Site". 和楽器バンド Official Site (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-02-03.
  13. ^ "【和楽器バンド】六兆年と一夜物語【演奏してみた】". Niconico Video. 2013-04-22. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  14. ^ Wagakki Band / 和楽器バンド Live (2017-02-11), Wagakki Band / 和楽器バンド - Live at Nico Nico Music Master 2 (17.08.2013), retrieved 2018-02-03
  15. ^ "【和楽器バンド】天樂【演奏してみた】". Niconico Video. 2013-10-12. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  16. ^ "【和楽器バンド】千本桜【演奏してみた】". Niconico Video. 2014-01-31. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  17. ^ "Vocalo Zanmai - WagakkiBand". AllMusic.com. Retrieved 2014-06-20.
  18. ^ "和楽器バンド Official Site". 和楽器バンド Official Site (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-02-03.
  19. ^ "和楽器バンド Official Site". 和楽器バンド Official Site (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-02-03.
  20. ^ "【和楽器バンド】華火-Short Version-【PV】". Niconico Video. 2014-07-27. Retrieved 2018-02-03.
  21. ^ "2nd ALBUM "Yasou emaki"". Wagakki Band. Retrieved 2016-12-31.
  22. ^ a b Inc, Natasha. "和楽器バンド、初の武道館ワンマンで1万人興奮". 音楽ナタリー (in Japanese). Retrieved 2019-02-20.
  23. ^ "【リリース情報】待望のNEW ALBUMが3月22日に発売決定!!". Wagakki Band. 2016-12-28. Retrieved 2016-12-31.
  24. ^ "和楽器バンド Official Site". 和楽器バンド Official Site (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-03-30.
  25. ^ Sibilsky, Cindy (2019-07-03). "Report: 4 acts that rocked Japan Night NYC 2019". JROCK NEWS. Retrieved 2019-08-30.
  26. ^ "和楽器バンド - UNIVERSAL MUSIC JAPAN". 和楽器バンド (in Japanese). Retrieved 2019-12-12.
  27. ^ "Evanescence's Amy Lee to Join Wagakki Band Orchestra Show at Japan's Osaka-Jo Hall". Billboard. 2020-01-30. Retrieved 2020-09-17.
  28. ^ "NEW ALBUM『TOKYO SINGING』の収録曲"Sakura Rising with Amy Lee of EVANESCENCE"ティザー映像公開". Wagakki Band Official Website. 2020-09-17. Retrieved 2020-09-17.
  29. ^ Tokyo Singing - Wagakki Band | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic, retrieved 2020-10-11
  30. ^ a b "和楽器バンドの作品".
  31. ^ "G-music 15/09/24". Archived from the original on 2015-09-24.
  32. ^ "G-music 19/12/28". Archived from the original on 2019-12-20.
  33. ^ "G-music 20201023". G-music.
  34. ^ "G-music 2020/4/24". Archived from the original on 2020-05-11.
  35. ^ "和楽器バンド / NEW MUSIC VIDEO「華火」先行トレーラー". Retrieved 2014-07-12.
  36. ^ "和楽器バンド / 2/25発売「戦-ikusa-/なでしこ桜」ダイジェスト/WagakkiBand"Ikusa""Nadeshikozakura"Digest". Retrieved 2015-02-25.
  37. ^ "[NEW]TVアニメ「双星の陰陽師」OP&EDテーマ ~Valkyrie -戦乙女-/アイズ ~". Wagakki Band. Retrieved 2016-05-18.
  38. ^ "[NEW]MUSIC DVD & Blu-ray 「起死回生」". Wagakki Band. Retrieved 2016-08-07.
  39. ^ "「雨のち感情論」". Wagakki Band. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  40. ^ "【リリース情報】待望の2nd Single「雪影ぼうし」発売決定!!". Wagakki Band. Retrieved 2018-01-24.
  41. ^ "[NEW] 3rd Single「細雪」11月14日発売". Wagakki Band. Retrieved 2018-12-09.
  42. ^ "LIVE DVD & Blu-ray 「ボカロ三昧大演奏会」". Wagakki Band. Retrieved 2017-04-16.
  43. ^ "和楽器バンド 大新年会2016日本武道館 -暁ノ宴-". Wagakki Band. Retrieved 2017-04-16.
  44. ^ "[NEW]LIVE ALBUM 「WagakkiBand 1st US Tour 衝撃 -DEEP IMPACT-」". Wagakki Band. Retrieved 2016-12-31.
  45. ^ "[NEW] LIVE DVD & Blu-ray 「和楽器バンド大新年会2017東京体育館 -雪ノ宴・桜ノ宴-」6月21日発売". Wagakki Band. Retrieved 2017-04-26.
  46. ^ "LIVE DVD & Blu-ray「和楽器バンド 大新年会2018横浜アリーナ ~明日への航海~」". Wagakki Band. Retrieved 2018-12-09.
  47. ^ "[NEW][鈴華ゆう子]1stソロミニアルバム「CRADLE OF ETERNITY」". Wagakki Band. Retrieved 2016-12-31.
  48. ^ "第29回日本ゴールドディスク大賞|THE GOLD DISC". www.golddisc.jp. Retrieved 2019-06-18.
  49. ^ "レコ大 各賞の受賞作品発表、最優秀アルバム賞にサザン「葡萄」 | Musicman-net". www.musicman-net.com. Retrieved 2019-06-18.

External links[edit]