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KAMI (Malice Mizer)
An eternity pledged to the past and future
Farewell for Eternity

translated by Kurai

What should one say here? In late June we were informed of the sadness of Kami's (the drummer of Malice Mizer) death. Where should we put this feeling? People say to get over your sadness, and that you can be strong. Yet even so, the memories remain. We want to remember him for an eternity, and have him live on, a performer who was more than just a drummer.. Kami. For that reason, we are once again posting his gallant, as well as performing figure he has shown us throughout the years. So that no one will ever forget him...

[Kami on Personality]

Adorned in the clothes of the Japanese historical war generals he admired, his sense of justice was strong. In spite of this, he sometimes would suddenly be short-tempered, yet on the other hand affectionate. He cried easily, and was extremely sensitive. He who had a kind heart for others, Kami.

He was friendly, frequently going to see his friend's bands play live. Even after Malice Mizer had gotten considerably famous, he would go to the launch-off of bars with a good-humored nature. On the other hand, though, he sometimes with an extremely sad expression would give off an aura to others as to not come near him. The mask which Kami often used to use in photographs symbolized this split personality.

We first met Kami in 94, before Malice Mizer began recording their first cd "memoire". During our pleasant chat, he would sometimes give a shy smile as he talked about the band's direction and his own personal things, eyes sparkling. At the "memoire" recording studio, we went to get comments for this magazine. In the madness of the studio's scattered equipment, it was Kami who made a place for us to sit. Months after "memoire" had been released their former vocalist had decided to leave due to differences in what the band's direction should be. At their last live performance, the feeling was stifling. Of all the members wrapped up in their performance, only Kami, on stage playing drums showed an expression of sadness. It looked like even tears were welling up on his face. (Actually, sources say that backstage he really was crying).

In 1995 the band welcomed a new vocalist. While they started their new activities, Kami contemplated his role in Malice Mizer and what it should be. As a musician with honest feelings to be the so called "rock band drummer", to find his own evolution in the yet unknown world of malice mizer. When they were still a local band his hair was short and straight, and he played punkish music. Having experienced new music and met new friends, dealing with his own self's "light" and "shadow" probably was not easy for the ever-sensitive Kami. However, it and fulfilled a huge role in Malice Mizer. At the same time, he established the firm personality of "Kami" that no one will ever forget.

[Kami on Performance]

Kami first really demonstrated his special ability as a live performer in the 1995 revival of Malice Mizer. On stage he gave us various different performances, and as he said in the "Style" interview we published previously, "A drummer of course plays drums as a way of expression, but there is a part of me that doesn't want it to end just there." As a part of Malice Mizer, which went past all taboo's of what a normal band should be, he carried the choruses of countless songs during shows and would often even leave his drumset to boisterously play different percussions, or to dance or act. At events too, he would act as the master of ceremonies and announce songs, setting a good mood with his comical MC'ing.

Always fretting over getting a good sound, 2 years ago he cut off his trademark long hair without any regrets. When asked the reason, he laughed and replied "when I play the drums it always gets in my way!". Subsequently, at shows thereafter he showed us his drumming with even more intensity, yet without losing any delicateness. As a drummer he established a unique, peculiar style. The above picture of the butterfly print on the drum head is from a set Kami used at a show in the Shinjuku Power Station on 3/24/98. When we went to print this article, the staff there asked us "if you have the space, please post this photo in your article".