Onmyo-Za(also Onmyouza or Onmyoza: Japanese; 陰陽座 literally " a band in Onmyodo") are a Japanese Visual Kei / heavy metal band who released their first commercial album in 1999. They play quite orthodox heavy metal music comparable to Iron Maiden or Judas Priest , mixed with Japanese folk / pop musical elements. They are also categorized as a Visual Kei band for their theatrical live performance with kimonos.
Their name Onmyoza literally means the gathering of yin and yang, and this is also represented by the female and male vocals.
Matatabi - Bass and Vocals
Kuroneko - Vocals
Maneki - Guitar
Karukan - Guitar
Tora - Drums
Each of their stage names has double meaning with a sense of humor.
* Kuroneko(黒猫) literally means a black cat, just symbolizing her personality.
* Matatabi(瞬火) is a flashing fire, but it can also be read as a silvervine (loved by cats).
* Maneki(招鬼) practically means "summoning oni", but its reading reminds most Japanese people of maneki neko.
* Karukan(狩姦) is not clear in its literal meaning, though Karu(狩) independently means "attacking" or "hunting" and Kan(姦) is "adultery" or so. (The words 姦 and 奸, with the latter now meaning "wickedness" or "evil", are the same in old times but have been deviated.) But its reading is familiar to Japanese people, as a brand name of cat food.
* Tora(斗羅) has little literal meaning, but its reading is same to tiger in Japanese. This suggests also that he is a fan of Hanshin Tigers.
So, all their stage names are related with a cat. And it forms an image that the four men are following their heroine.
Their songs mainly deal with oni, yokai, Japanese dragon etc, but some songs have more concrete theme and inspiration.
For example, Onmyo-za have ever composed 10 Ninpocho songs. "Ninpocho" means "tales of ninja magic", and those songs are tribute to Japanese author Futaro Yamada and his Ninpocho series. Koga Ninpocho, the latest Ninpocho song, was written for anime "Basilisk" of which original story is Futaro Yamada's "Koga Ninpocho".
There are also some other songs inspired by Osamu Tezuka and Natsuhiko Kyogoku.
The trilogy "Kumikyoku Yoshitsune" is based on the legend of Japanese ancient tragic hero Minamoto no Yoshitsune.
an extended description!