Tama is lead by the diminutive Toshiaki Chiku, who plays guitar, mandolin & harmonica. Bombastic Kohji Ishikawa is the drummer and percussionist. He and Chiku formed the band in 1984 with melodically gifted Yoichiro Yanagihara who is a keyboard player. Bass player Kohji Takimoto, joined the Tokyo based group in 1986.
Their first single 'Sayonara Humanity' ranked as the fourth biggest selling single of 1990 and brought the group recognition throughout Japan. Successful albums and a handful of top 20 singles followed until November 21 1991 when "You Are The Only One", one of their dullest songs, only reached number 40 on the Japanese singles charts. They have yet to match the, number one chart, success of there first single.
Yoichiro Yanaghana was born August 5 1962 and lived in Fukuoka, Kyoto and then Tokyo. He liked Shubert and other classical music. He graduated from a prestigious university but did not find a job and ending up working in a French restaurant. Yoichiro was the keyboard player and he composer of the groups giant hit, 'Sayonara Humanity'. In December of 1995 Yoichiro Yanagihara left Tama.
Kohji Ichikawa was born July 3 1961. He wrote a porno novel when he was young. He quit theater school and university and went on to quit work as a hospital receptionist and a restaurant worker. In 1981 he meet Toshichi Chiku. Ichikawa San is a portly guy that, I hear, found a drum in the garbage and became a drummer.
Kohji Takimato the base player was born December 7, 1961 and has always lived in Tokyo. He was the last to join Tama when he was accepted in 1986. Takimato San writes beautiful moody songs that use more interesting chords than others Tama songs.
The musicians that make up Path Cruise;
|Rocket Matsu / accordion|
Tetsuya Saito / accordion
Ms. Akane / Timpani
|Taro Kanai / guitar|
Toshiaki Chiku / ukulele
Hara'n / banjo
|Ms. Ayumi Matsui / violin|
Ms. Utsuo / violin
Salary Otake / violin
Chiinu Coulisse / violin|
Hiromichi Sakamoto / cello
Kota Miki / cello
Kazahito Nagahata / trumpet|
Koji Ishikawa / percussion
Ryutaro Yokozawa / drum
At the beginning of the new millennium two members of Tama joined a new band called Path Cruise. Path Cruise is an eccentric band of about 15 musicians. They play accordion, guitar, ukulele, banjo, trumpet, violins and cellos. Record stores cannot decide whether to place their CDs in the independent corner, avant-garde corner or the jazz corner.
The group is based around Kichijoji in Tokyo but they have a fan base in France where they seem to tour every year. They recently came back from their November, December of 2003, tour of France, and are now doing gigs around Tokyo.
They have two alums out the and the second one, called "Path Cruise goes", came out on September 13, 2002.
When they are not playing, as Path Cruise, many of the members, go there own way and, go back to playing in their own little groups like Tama, duos like Twin Cafe or individually.
Patrick Connolly January 1, 2004
Other Japanese Tama site addresses are;
Tama Fan Web Site - Tama no Ongaku - http://www.omn.ne.jp/~kenshin/
Noa's Room - http://www.geocities.co.jp/Hollywood/8930/
Path Cruise or (Pascals) site addresses are;
The official Path Cruise site; http://pascals1.hp.infoseek.co.jp/index.html
Ms. Akane's Twin Cafe site; http://www.ne.jp/asahi/twin/cafe/akane.htm
Hiromiti Sakamoto site (some English); http://home.catv.ne.jp/dd/piromiti/etop.htm