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Japanese pop band CHAI announce split after current tour

Japanese pop band CHAI have announced that they’ll be breaking up following their current live tour.

Formed in 2012, the Nagoya group – comprising vocalists Mana, Kana, Yuuki and Yuna – released four studio albums throughout their career: ‘Pink’ (2017), ‘Punk’ (2019), ‘ Wink’ (2021) and ‘CHAI’ (2023).

CHAI are set to head out on the road next Sunday (January 28) for the Japanese leg of their ongoing ‘We The CHAI Tour!’, which is scheduled to conclude on March 12. See the full list of shows here .

Taking to social media today (January 18), the band revealed that they will go their separate ways after completing the planned gigs.

“First of all, we want to thank everyone for all of the support you give us! We are sad to let you know that, following our upcoming Japan tour, CHAI will eternalize NEO KAWAII (=parting ways as a band),” they I wrote in a statement.

“To continue our journey of self-love, as CHAI have always said, and to continue to fulfill our own personal visions, we have decided to go our separate ways. We are so sorry to surprise you with this news.”

The message continued: “CHAI would never have been able to travel the world without all of your support, and we cannot thank you enough for the love and courage you have given us.

“Each of the members will continue to represent and spread NEO KAWAII in our own individual ways, so we would greatly appreciate your support in the future too.”

It concluded: “TEN-KYUUUU so much for everything! We love you so much, now and forever♡♡♡ We will travel Japan on our last tour to give LOVE to all of our NEO KAWAII BABIES one last time, so let’s have the best time together.”

The ‘We The CHAI Tour!’ visited the UK and Europe last November following a North American leg in September and October.

CHAI’s aforementioned ‘neo kawaii’ manifesto rails against Japan’s patriarchal fetishization of everything cute, and they celebrate what they feel society views as their ‘flaws’. Kana has previously talked about the pressures to have surgery to make her bigger eyes.

The first song the group wrote together, meanwhile, was about body hair.

In 2016, CHAI moved to Tokyo to focus on becoming full-time musicians before signing with Sony Music Japan. Their first two albums were released via Heavenly Recordings in the UK, with their latest records then arriving through Sub Pop.

NME wrote in a four-star review of last year’s ‘CHAI’: “With little allegiance to one particular sound, expansive love for their heritage and bold statements in each track, ‘CHAI’ is a bright declaration from a band forging their own sonic path forward all while acknowledging where they came from.”

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