Inugami Circus-dan (犬神サーカス團) is a Japanese rock band formed in 1994 through an advertisement in Garo, a manga magazine, placed by Inugami Kyouko. Lead by drummer Inugami Akira, who does most of the song and lyric writing, they perform a fusion of tradition Japanese music (enka) and hard rock. In 2003 they debuted under the major label zetima, with the single Inochi Mijika shi Koiseyo Jinrui!. In 2006, according to the Japanese wikipedia page, due to not being allowed to produce gloomy songs under zetima, they returned to the indies scene under the independent label "Office Kinmedai."
Since Japan is an island country, we cannot liberate ourselves from "inescapable human relations," the prime nature of a village society. Within those oppressive human relations, emphasizing one's true motives can be called an act equivalent to suicide.
Formerly, the Japanese have trusted in expressing their muddled "it can't be helped" thoughts and malicious sentiments through folk songs and children's songs. Even things that usually could never be said were able to be represented through a special form of expression known as "songs." Perhaps through singing these "songs," malice can be transformed into amusement and possibly even become purified, preserving the serenity of the soul.
It is there that we find the unique beings in Japan known as the Doggod Circus Troupe. According to the leader, Inugami Akira, their motto for all activity in the music scene is to shake up the Americanization of modern rock and pop, re-examine "what songs truly ought to be to Japanese people" and restore the spirit that should, by nature, dwell in the heart of every "song."
Indeed, their performances certainly release the malicious sentiments the Japanese have sealed into "songs," as if the shaman Inugami Kyouko had splashed the very blood herself. Her voice, which can reach even the subconscious levels, at the same time gently soothes the heart of those who listen, and possesses a supernatural ability that can awaken the brutality that sleeps in every person's genes.
Her voice will expose the joy, anger, pathos, and humor of any listener.
Every time I hear that voice, I cannot but recall Queen Himiko, who ruled Yamataikoku, in third century AD. It is my assertion that Inugami Kyouko is the owner of a voice which, just like Himiko, can provoke tens of thousands -- nay, millions of groups of people.
Nowadays, with modern technology improving, communication between mankind is in the process of becoming sparser and sparser. I believe the coming of the Doggod Circus Troupe's music, as if cursing this era, is actually a message to show humans how to live as true humans in this new century.
[The Samurai Jashima / Researcher of Folk Music]
The Inugami family are sorcerers hailing from Shikoku's Kochi Prefecture. The sorcery that has been passed down for generations in the Inugami family is defined as first, the act of burying a dog alive, placing food in front of it and leaving it there for three days and three nights, then after choosing at one's discretion the very moment when the dog finally turns mad, beheading it, then with the malice that dwelt in that dog's head, cursing and killing one's enemy. The seventh head of the Inugami family, Inugami Hiroshi, in Meiji 5 (1872) married Matsu, a descendant of the Snake God, who gave birth to three children: Jin, Jouji #2, and Kyouko. Just before that, however, it is said that one of Hiroshi's maids, Yone, gave birth to a horned child named Akira.
Before long, the four children, as the snake-girl (Kyouko), the Chinese magician (Jouji #2), the scholarly dog tamer (Jin), and the fire-breathing man (Akira) mastered their arts and toured the entire country as a circus troupe.
But these children were criticized as being "possessed by the Doggod," and in the end, were buried alive deep within the earth in the year of 1894.
100 years later, in 1994, thanks to the resurrection abilities of the alchemist Nishida Rou, the quartet returned to life, and started their band activity. The form of expression known as rock is naturally music that aims to acquire freedom of the soul through transforming malice into amusement. Therefore it was the most suitable way for the four to discharge their curse of having been persecuted and killed unto the world.
Using the "darkness of the heart" from which no one can avert their eyes, the music of the Inugami family became a nation-wide hit in the hearts of sickened boys and girls. At once, they had achieved entrance to the palace of the few Angura bands that exist.
In 2003, the "Will of Inugami Hiroshi," which held the key to the Inugami family's inheritance, was discovered. Below are its contents:
"I have decided to pass on all my fortune as well as my supernatural powers to Kyouko. As she is the reincarnation of the great ancestor of the entire human race, "I-sama," she is the first in a new breed of humans that possess cells of perpetual youth and longevity. Together with the power of her brothers, Kyouko should propagate her words along with the seven Buddhist precepts, around the entire world. If you follow my instructions, the world will soon become yours."
...however, after three years it was established, thanks to expert opinions, that this will was in fact a forgery. Obviously this is because no matter how long they waited, they were never able to take over the world. No, forget the world, they didn't even accomplish enough to make a steady living.
While nearing the end of their rope, on a provincial-wide tour, a divine message came to the Doggod Circus Troupe, and all the members saw the exact same dream at the exact same time.
In the dream, an old man with golden eyes said:
"Search for the shining, crimson fish that lives on the bottom of the ocean. If you do that then finally, the world will become yours."
The next day, a meeting was held backstage.
"A shining red fish...did he mean a hibuna goldfish?" "No, no, he said on the bottom of the ocean, so it's a rockfish, right?" "It can't be a rockfish. Although, I don't get why you'd say either one." (Silence for a short while) "Umu!? That! That fish!" "Ohhh! That's it! It's gotta be!" "Ahhh, that one?!" "My, so it was THAT fish!"
It was in July of 2006 when a single fish floated through the minds of the four.
And that fish is!?
...to be continued.
- [1999.09.23] Jigoku no Komoriuta (地獄の子守唄)
- [2000.06.15] Hebigami-hime (蛇神姫)
- [2001.12.12] Ankoku Zankoku Gekijou (暗黒残酷劇場)
- [2002.07.31] Kaidan! Kubitsuri no Mori (怪談 首つりの森)
- [2003.05.28] Kami no Inu (神の犬)
- [2005.04.06] Sukeban Rock (スケ番ロック)
- [2006.02.24] Kejijou no Eros (形而上のエロス)
- [2010.12.08] Viva! America (ビバ！アメリカ)
- [2012.10.24] Osorezan (恐山)
- [2014.05.21] Seishonen no Tame no Inugami Nyumon (青少年のための犬神入門)
- [2014.12.17] Tamatsubaki Hime (玉椿姫)
- [2015.10.21] Koko Kara Nanika ga Hajimaru (ここから何かが始まる)
- [2016.11.09] Ougon Kyou (黄金郷)
- [2017.10.25] Shinjuku Go Go (新宿ゴーゴー)
- [2018.09.26] Tokyo 2060 (東京2060)
- [2004.05.26] Greatest Hits (グレイテスト・ヒッツ)
- [2009.10.07] Kago no Tori, Tenkuu no Shirazu (籠の鳥、天空を知らず)
- [2014.05.21] Seishounen no Tame no Inugami Nyuumon (青少年のための犬神入門)
- [2019.06.05] Greatest Hits -GOLD- (グレイテスト・ヒッツ -GOLD-)
- [2010.11.14] Otameshi Inugami Circus-dan 1 (お試し 犬神サーカス団 1)
- [1997.01.xx] Goreizen (御霊前)
- [2000.12.13] Akaneko (赤猫)
- [2006.11.15] Machiwabita Hi ~ Keijijou no Eros Gaiden (待ちわびた日～形而上のエロス外伝)
- [2008.04.09] Juren (呪恋)
- [2008.11.05] Yakouressha Gokuraku Yuki (夜行列車極楽行)
- [2010.05.12] Setakamui (セタカムイ)
- [2011.10.19] Shinumade ROCK! (死ぬまでROCK!)
- [2013.10.16] Fukakuteisei Genri no Akumu (不確定性原理の悪夢)
- [2001.05.07] Jinkou Ninshin Chuuzetsu (人工妊娠中絶)
- [2003.09.10] Saigo no Idol (最後のアイドル) (2-track CD+18-track DVD)
- [2003.10.29] Inochi Mijikashi Koiseyo Jinrui! (命みぢかし恋せよ人類！)
- [2004.04.14] Saisho no Tobira (最初の扉)
- [2004.12.15] Tsugou no Ii Onna / Honto ni Honto ni Gokurou-san (都合のいい女・ほんとにほんとに御苦労さん)
- [2007.08.01] Hikari to Kage no Toccata (光と影のトッカータ)
- [2007.09.05] Jigoku ni Ochi ta Kodomo Tachi (地獄に堕ちた子供たち)
- [2007.10.03] Takara Mono (たからもの)
- [2007.11.07] Babironia Koi Monogatari (バビロニア恋物語)
- [2007.12.05] Itsuka (いつか)
- [2010.08.04] DEAD END KIDS
- [2011.08.24] Sakura Chirunaka (桜散る中)
- [2012.04.11] Koko wa Doko no Hosomichi ja (ここはどこの細道じゃ)
- [2013.04.21] Harukitaru Oni (春来たる鬼)
- [2020.06.03] Mezawarina Ibunshi / Shinimizu (目障りな異分子 / 死に水)
- [2008.xx.xx] Kawaii Ondo (かわいい音頭)
- [1998.08.xx] Yoru ga Owacchimau Mae ni (夜が終っちまう前に)
- [1998.12.xx] Nozoki Karaku Kyouken Shibai (覘キ絡繰狂犬芝居)
- [2000.08.23] Ijou no Utage (異形の宴)
- [2003.02.26] Yomi no Kuni (黄泉の国)
- [2003.03.26] Sennou (洗脳)
- [2003.04.30] Chingonka ~Requiem~ (鎮魂歌～レクイエム～)
- [2004.06.09] Video Clip-Shuu - Seppuku (ビデオクリップ集・切腹)
- [2006.08.18] Kaidan! Hyakumonogatari (怪談！百物語)
- [2008.xx.xx] INUGAMI CIRCUS DAN LIVE AT OMOTESANDO FAB MAY 28 2008
- [2009.xx.xx] OFFICIAL BOOTLEG LIVE CLIP SERIES DVD Vol.3
- [2011.04.20] Sainara Omotesando (さいなら表参道)
Other Video Releases
- [2000.08.23] Igyou no Utage (異形の宴)
- [2002.04.04] Hakoiri Idou Circus ~Tent Sono Ichi~ (箱入り移動サアカス~テント其ノ壱~)
Compilations / Other
- [2000.08.20] Inugami Circus-dan & Guruguru Eigakan - Akai Hebi
- [2001.09.26] Forever Young - Tribute to Great Folk Songs (#6 Takeda no Komoriuta)
- [2001.01.24] 365:TRIBUTE TO STALIN (#3 STOP JAP)
- [2007.06.15] HAVE A NICE DIE! A Tribute to Hi-Technology Suicide
- [2007.07.04] Kyoko no 'Kyofu Radio'
- [2007.11.28] Jingle All The Way! (#3 Jingle Bells)
- [2012.06.27] CRUSH! 3-90's V-Rock best hit cover LOVE songs- (#6 Rusty Nail)