Guitarist of Legendary Japanese Punk Band Anarchy Passes Away…
Written by Hidheki Takasakhi
Mari, guitarist of legendary Japanese punk band ANARCHY (active since 1979), passed away on June 4, 2017.
ANARCHY (“亜無亜危異” or “亞無亞危異” in Japanese) was formed in 1978 and were named after a famous Sex Pistols song Anarchy In The UK. Their first self-titled album ANARCHY was released in 1980 on Victor Invitation label which were a major label in Japan at the time.
The 1st album included original songs and some covers from bands like the The Clash, Chuck Berry, Stiff Little Fingers and Eater but all sung in Japanese. The album went on to sell over 100,000 copies which quickly made Anarchy an incredibly popular band in Japan. Once the album was released they courted some controversy which hampered sales. On a particular song on the album entitled Tokyo Is Burning, the band directly criticized the Emperor of Japan and his family.
The song itself is a Japanese cover of The Clash’s London’s Burning. The label too felt the wrath of the Japanese National Front due to the lyrical content of this track. During this period the band received an immense amount of support by the youth of Japan and especially from Japanese biker gangs. But even with this support the band still had to enlist the help of bodyguards to protect themselves from death threats and harassment by the Japanese national front groups who would show up at venues the band was to perform at.
Their guitarist Mari became a sensation amongst the rude boy fans of Anarchy. One of the main reasons why was because of Mari’s fashion style that came complete with punkish clothing and outrageous hairstyles. Mari became the founder of Visual Kei/Vijualkei culture which Wikipedia explains as the following:
“Visual kei is a movement among Japanese musicians, that is characterized by the use of varying levels of make-up, elaborate hair styles and flamboyant costumes, often, but not always, coupled with androgynous aesthetics, similar to Western glam rock.”
Aside from this, Mari’s honest, sincere attitude was also what enamored people. They believed in him.
For several years Anarchy continued releasing new albums and touring all over the country. The band continued to push the quality of their sound and shows as time went on. However, in 1986 Mari was arrested for an incident that resulted in some injury. Shortly after he left the band and Anarchy changed their name to The Rock Band and soldiered on. But the band ultimately ceased to exist a few years later.
Anarchy was scheduled to play a reunion show this July. As of now, the band will continue to play the reunion show even though the cause of death is still unclear.