Anzen Chitai (安全地帯, literally "Safety Zone") is one of Japan's most successful rock bands. It was formed in 1973 by 5 talented musicians in Asahikawa, Hokkaidō, Japan and debuted in 1982 in Tokyo, Japan. They are considered as the proteges of the "King of POP" of Japan.
- - Vocals, Guitars & Percussion (1973-present)
- - Guitars (1973-present)
- - Guitars (1977-present)
- Bass, Piano & Keyboards (1977-present)
- - Drums (1977-1978, 1982-present)
- - Guitars, Keyboards (1973-1981)
- - Bass (1973-1978)
- - Drums (1973-1977)
- - Drums (1977-1982)
Beginnings - 1970s
Formed in 1973 as the high-school garage band Invader
, its original members included vocalist Koji Tamaki, guitarist Yutaka Takezawa and guitarist/keyboardist Toshiya Takezawa, who is also Yutaka's brother. Later, in late 1973, Koji's brother and drummer, Kazuyoshi Tamaki and bassist Takahiro Miyashita joined. In 1977, the band changed its name to Anzen Chitai ("Safety Zone"), and Kazuyoshi Tamaki left the group to be replaced by Ichiji Ohira. By December 1977, Anzen Chitai merged with another band, the , and added three more members: bassist Haruyoshi Rokudo
, guitarist Wataru Yahagi
, and drummer Yuji Tanaka. By this point, they had expanded to an eight-member group. Within the next three years, Toshiya Takezawa and Takahiro Miyashita would leave. Yuji Tanaka would also leave at this point.
In 1981, they began work as a backup band for singer/songwriter , and released their debut single, in February 1982. However, the final personnel change would occur as Ichiji Ohira would leave, and Yuji Tanaka would return in his place, establishing the current lineup.
Under the guidance of their producer and co-arranger , lead guitarist and vocalist of the psychedelic rock group MOPPS, the band continued to refine their craft in the studio. Their status as a backup band would soon change: in 1984, reached No. 1 on the OriCon charts, to be followed by among others, Kanashimi Ni Sayonara (悲しみにさよなら) and Suki Sa (好きさ) (featured on the popular Rumiko Takahashi anime series Maison Ikkoku). Koji Tamaki was credited as the sole composer in virtually all of Anzen Chitai's music, with Gorō Matsui being the lyricist frequently. Their popularity in the 1980s culminated in a five-day soldout concert tour at the Nippon Budokan in 1987, which had a total attendance of 60,000.
Present - 1990s and Millennium years
Despite a couple of hiatuses for the sake of solo careers (July 1988-March 1990, 1993-2001), Anzen Chitai continued to record and tour. A new studio album was released in 2004, titled Anzen Chitai X
(their tenth studio album). After their Japanese concert tour in support of the "Anzen Chitai X" album, the band announced at the end of 2004 that they are taking yet another indefinite hiatus.
As of 2006, Koji Tamaki remains active as a solo performer and television actor, with Wataru Yahagi performing in both his solo albums and concerts. Yutaka Takezawa is also active in the music business as a composer, producer, arranger and session guitarist.
On 28th April, 2008, fan club members were notified that Koji Tamaki has announced his retirement from music, as well as the closing of the official Koji Tamaki & Anzenchitai fan club, Star. Illness that requires long-term treatment was cited for his decision.