Mana shot to fame in Japan in the 1990s as the leader and guitarist of the influential visual-kei band MALICE MIZER. He is renowned for his feminine beauty and stylish cross-dressing and is widely considered the creator and figurehead of Japan's Gothic Lolita fashion movement. Following the breakup of MALICE MIZER, Mana started his solo project, Moi dix Mois.
- Stage Name: Mana
- Date of Birth: 19th March
- Place of Birth: Hiroshima, Japan
- Blood Type: O
- Hobbies: cooking, video games, watching anime and Italian horror films
- Favourite Food: Indian curry
- Favourite Colour: Deep blue
- Favourite Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Mana was born on 19 March in Hiroshima, his real name and year of birth are unknown. Both his parents being music teachers, Mana was introduced to classical music at an early age and it has remained one of his main musical influences ever since. Typically, Mana’s compositions blend classical music (especially baroque music, featuring pipe organ and harpsichord) with gothic and heavy metal music and other, more unlikely elements such as French pop music.
After graduating from an all music school, Mana moved to Tokyo. In 1992, he and fellow guitarist Közi founded MALICE MIZER, which went on to become one of the defining bands of the Japanese visual-kei scene. Mana was the band’s leader, guitarist, chief songwriter, choreographer and overall artistic director. He also founded his own Indie music label, Midi:Nette, on which most of MALICE MIZER's work was released.
In 1999, Mana decided to start selling his own elegant gothic lolita and elegant gothic aristocrat designs and to this end created the fashion label Moi-même-Moitié. Moi-même-Moitié quickly established itself as one of the most coveted brands of the Gothic Lolita fashion scene. Mana continues to regularly appear in the scene's top publication, the Gothic & Lolita Bible, modelling his own designs and giving updates on his various other projects.
After the announcement of the indefinite hiatus of Malice Mizer in 2001, Mana founded his solo project, Moi dix Mois. He composes all of Moi Dix Mois' music, writes the lyrics, produces, directs and designs the band’s stage costumes. In 2002, Mana signed the goth / techno music duo Schwarz Stein to Midi:Nette and went on to produce them. Despite their growing success, Schwarz Stein split up in March 2004 and Mana has since been looking for new bands to sign and produce.
Most recently Mana has started to branch out internationally by opening his fan club to overseas members (a rarity among Japanese Indie artists) and setting up international distribution channels for his music and fashion. In early 2005, Moi dix Mois had their first European tour. Mana, who has always had a fascination with Old Europe and France in particular, has two stores in Japan, and hopes to open a Moi-même-Moitié shop in Europe in the near future.
Mana never smiles or speaks in public, at least not intentionally. In his (rare) filmed interviews he whispers into the ear of a band member or confidante, who then relates his words back to the interviewer. However, there is a rare video from an interview in 1996 where he says "Gitaa no Mana desu," meaning "Mana, the Guitarist". He is a fan of the Castlevania series, and claims his favourite animes to include Sailor Moon, and Gundam Wing.
- [2009.08.xx] Fool's Mate I.S. No.005 (Feature)