Ningen Isu
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Ningen Isu

A couple years ago I set out to learn what “metal” music is like in different cultures, just by typing in a country or people group and the word “metal” in YouTube. Thus I found Ningen Isu.

I’ll just get out of the way that the music is GREAT. Listen below. But this first paragraph from Wikipedia has SO MUCH to unpack.

Ningen Isu (Japanese: 人間椅子, Hepburn: Ningen Isu, lit. “The Human Chair”) is a Japanese heavy metal band formed in Hirosaki in 1987. The band’s current line-up consists of co-founders Shinji Wajima (guitar, vocals) and Ken-ichi Suzuki (bass, vocals) alongside Nobu Nakajima (drums, vocals), who joined in 2004. All three members contribute to the songwriting process. They have been noted for their stage personas, with Wajima dressing as a Meiji-era literary master, Suzuki dressing as a Buddhist monk, and Nakajima dressing as a Yakuza-style gangster.

The two guitarists have been playing music together for thirty-five years. Talk about sticking it out. Youtube has made them much more popular, but they worked hard as a band for SO LONG without the international attention they’re getting today.

I love the fact that they’re each in costume. It feels a little KISS like.

Speaking of comparisons, when you watch reaction videos the reviewers often say things like “Black Sabbath!” and “Listen to that Metallica!”. Comparing band start dates, Ningen Isu were teens when that music was really getting big, and they must have hoovered that stuff up as teenagers.

Enough pontification. Listen enjoy:

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