It has been confirmed that Janne Da Arc has disbanded as of April 1, this was preceded by bassist ka-yu withdrawing from the band on March 31.
The official statement published on the band’s website states that in the month of September 2018, a law firm sent mail addressed to ka-yu. The contents were serious enough to put ka-yu’s activities to a halt, however, details on the letter contents could not be disclosed as there is a possibility that it could be taken to court in the future.
This situation created conflicts between ka-yu and the other band members but they concluded that he had done nothing that “transgressed the law”. After a lengthy discussion, the band explained to ka-yu that he needed to prove his innocence while focusing on musical activities. However, ka-yu decided that even though Janne Da Arc was important to him, there was something more he wanted to protect, resulting in his departure.
Amongst all this, there were other uncertainties that lead to the final decision of Janne Da Arc disbandment. One was the uncertainty surrounding vocalist yasu, also of Acid Black Cherry, and his still on-going recovery from health issues that lead him to his hiatus in 2017. Another was a matter of feeling that they could not continue as a four-member band—thus they decided to disband.
Janne Da Arc formed in 1996 with the lineup consisting of yasu, guitarist you, bassist ka-yu, keyboardist kiyo, and drummer shuji. The band released 26 singles, three EP’s, six albums, not including single collections, and 14 DVDs. They made their major-label debut with their first album D.N.A released on March 8, 2000 and released their final album Joker on June 15, 2005. In 2007, the members pursued solo activities with vocalist yasu most notably forming Acid Black Cherry and went through a period of inactivity.
Read our full translation of Janne Da Arc’s statement:
We regret to announce the withdrawal of bassist ka-yu from the band Janne Da Arc, as well as, from the company Uprise Product as of March 31, 2019.
Following ka-yu’s intention of leaving, various discussions about the future of Janne Da Arc were held a few days ago between yasu, you, kiyo, shuji, and the staff.
yasu is currently receiving medical treatment and had to suspend his artist activities. In consequence, Janne Da Arc considered that they wouldn’t be able to promise new proposals or specific guidelines in this current state.
As declaring Janne Da Arc as a four-member band would be unrealistic and absolutely dishonest, and because the band lost the possibility to continue their activities as a five-member band, we regret to officially announce the dissolution of Janne Da Arc today April 1, 2019.
We are aware that announcing the dissolution of Janne Da Arc at the same time of ka-yu’s withdrawal is harrowing and a lack of respect toward fans.
To fans who supported Janne Da Arc for such a long time, please accept our deepest apologies for such a painful announcement. We are truly sorry.
We would like to give you more explanations about ka-yu’s withdrawal from now.
In September 2018, during the preparation of Ka-yu’s new album announcement and the promotion of a live tour, our company received from a law firm a content-certified mail addressed to ka-yu.
The matters described in the document were a significant violation of social justice and, in a state in which we couldn’t establish precisely the veracity of these facts, we took the decision to put on-hold any project linked to ka-yu.
As the content details may possibly be disputed in trial in the future, we ask for your understanding in not being able to disclose them.
At first, we thought that the truth would come out quickly by going to trial thanks to the judgment of the administration of justice.
Yet, coming to a final conclusion will take much more time than we expected.
Also, regardless of facts that will be disputed during the trials, we have witnessed ka-yu’s behaviour against morality, which led to conflicts.
However, apart from the moral violations mentioned above, we assumed that ka-yu did nothing which would have transgressed the law, and we have had a conversation with him in person about the future.
We explained to ka-yu that the company need to prove his innocence as soon as possible by making some things clear. We asked him, with the pride of being a Janne Da Arc member and for fans who are supporting the band, to focus on the musical activities of the band.
The meeting lasted a long time and eventually ka-yu decided that despite Janne Da Arc being something very important to him, and even if it cannot be compared, there are things he wants to protect more than Janne Da Arc. He had no choice but to leave the band and the company. After consultation with the other members, we then decided to make this report as a sign of respect for his decision.
There are many regrets that we can’t put into words, but as our fellow mate who went through joy and pain with us during more than twenty years, we sincerely hope from the bottom of our hearts that ka-yu will completely prove his innocence under a fair judgment during the trials and that the life he has chosen will be without any regrets.
Also, we are aware that is a very selfish request, but if yasu, you, kiyo, and shuji would continue to walk, even individually, on the path of music, seeing you all warmly supporting them as always would be our greatest happiness.
As we said at the beginning of this report, we are devastated that we had to make such a painful announcement to you fans, who for such a long time have supported Janne Da Arc. Please accept our deepest apologies. Again, we are sincerely sorry.
But most importantly to fans who, for all those years, kept sending Janne Da Arc those warm encouragements and cheers, we express from the bottom of our hearts our deepest gratitude.
Thank you so much.
ka-yu’s greetings addressed to fans:
Thank you for everything.
Correction 2019-04-03: After reviewing Ka-yu’s recent activities, we have given the statement translation greater clarification by correcting the segment mentioning “the preparation of the new album announcement” to “the preparation of Ka-yu’s new album announcement”.