Omega Tribe (Part 1 : Sugiyama Kiyotaka)

It’s finally time to talk about one of the best city-pop bands. bands in city-pop are ultimately quite rare. Indeed, most singers are either performers or producers/composer/musician/performers (we think in particular of Tatsuro Yamashita and Toshiki Kadomatsu ). Omega Tribe ‘s journey is quite tumultuous, through several formations, and different singers. But who is really hiding behind Omega Tribe ?


From “Cutie Panchos” to Omega Tribe


Cutie Panchos is written in Japanese きゅうてぃぱんちょすand read Kyutipanchosu

In December 1978, amateur rock band Tony Taguchi & Cutie Panchos was founded by bassist and frontman Masato “Tony” Taguchi , along with guitarists Kenji Yoshida and Shinji Takashima . In its early days, the group consisted of a dozen individuals, all tied to a concert hall in Yokohama. Notable members included drummer Keiichi Hiroishi and backing vocalists Kumiko Nagasawa and Kimiko Mohri (both members of the band Sugar ). Many of them were still high school students.

Masato Taguchi basse omega tribe cutie panchos

The Original Founder of Cutie Panchos : Taguchi Masato (Bass)

Kiyotaka Sugiyama, who wanted to be mangaka in his childhood, was inspired to do music after hearing “let it be” by The Beatles and joined the group as a singer. The following year, the band shortened their name to Cutie Panchos . Around this time, Taguchi Masato was playing as a bassist for another band called Larry’s Papa , and would leave Cutie Panchos around 1980. Also, keyboardist Akira Senju joined Cutie Panchos and other members left the band in the same period . He will finally give way to Toshitsugu Nikihara .


cutie_pancho_omega_tribe_sugiyama Kiyotaka Sugiyama (Chant) - Takaho Oshima (Basse) - Shinji Takashima (Guitar) - Toshitsugu Nikihara (Piano) - Kenji Yoshida (Guitar) - Keiichi Hirishi (Batterie)

From Left To Right: Sugiyama Kiyotaka (Vocals) – Taaho Oshima (Bass) – Shinji Takashima (Guitar) – Toshitsugu Nishihara (Piano) – Kenji Yoshida (Guitar) – Keiichi Hiroishi (Drums)



Another photo with all the members of Cutie Pancho ‘s last formation which will become Sugiyama Kiyotaka & Omega Tribe

Update : a live from 1981 before signing in Major


Sugiyama Kiyotaka & Omega Tribe

Although having received a first prize at the Yamaha Popular Song Contest (also called PopCon ), the group is not satisfied with their second participation with the song “Nori Okureta 747” and Kiyotaka Sugiyama was offered to do a solo career, but had not ambition for a solo career at that time.


Producer Koichi Fujita , the shadow man of Omega Tribe . He has also worked with Momoko Kikuchi and Toshiki Kadomatsu.

Producer Koichi Fujita convinced them to change the group’s name to Sugiyama Kiyotaka & Omega Tribe, starting with the first single: ” Summer Suspicion “.

The name Omega Tribe was suggested by Kamasami Kong , an American DJ and radio host. If his name means nothing to you, perhaps you have already heard his voice? Indeed, it is him that we hear in the albums ” Come Along ” by Tatsuro Yamashita or “Summer Time Romance” by Toshiki Kadomatsu !


Kamasami Kong : you knew his voice, here is his face!

Summer Suspicion peaked at number 9 on the Oricon Singles Chart. (Miki Matsubara ‘s Stay With Me had peaked at #28). 4 albums will follow:

Aqua City (1983)

Released: September 21, 1983. It includes Summer Suspicion and Midnight Down Town .


River’s Island (Mars 1984)

Released : March 21, 1984. It includes River’s Island, Asphalt Lady et Kimi no Heart wa Marine Blue (“I want to hold you again“).



Never Ending Summer (1984)

Released: December 21, 1984. It includes Riverside Hotel .



Another Summer (1985)

Released: July 1, 1985. It includes Futari No Natsu Monogatari ~Never Ending Summer~ .



A last live with Sugiyama Kiyotaka, but already his replacement in the audience?

On December 11, 1985, Omega Tribe ‘s last concert took place with Sugiyama Kiyotaka, as he and Kenji, Takao and Keiichi decided to leave the group. The name given to the concert will be “First Finale “, since the group will continue its journey with another singer. Moreover, the producer Koichi Fujita has already listened to demos of many singers. His choice ultimately went to a certain Carlos Toshiki , a Brazilian born to Japanese parents. He even attends the last concert of Omega Tribe and Sugiyama Kiyotaka .



Omega Tribe : “First Finale”

A last album: First Finale (1985)

Released: December 11, 1985. Parting gift to fans, only ガラスのpalm tree on the album was played on the final tour.


FIRST FINALE , the latest album by S. Kiyotaka & Omega Tribe


Beginning of a solo career for Kiyotaka Sugiyama

Sugiyama Kiyotaka is therefore embarking on a solo career. His 1st album Beyond was released on July 2, 1986 and sold 250,000 copies. Kiyotaka Sugiyama has been releasing a new album every two years or so since then. However, during his concerts and his television appearances, he will often perform Omega Tribe titles, in particular Summer Suspicion or Never Ending Summer .


A reunion with Omega Tribe in 2004

A first meeting will take place in 2004 called ” First Finale 2 ” The titles of the album First FinalGlass No Palm Tree ” and ” First Finale ” will be played there in particular.


A reunion with Cutie Pancho in 2018

Kiyotaka Sugiyama regularly collaborates with other artists. In 2009, he sang with the group Stardust Revue . In 2018 and 2019, Sugiyama Kiyotaka reunited with Omega Tribe for a series of concerts. In 2018 more particularly, it is with the original members of Cutie Panchos that we find him for a live called KIYOTAKA SUGIYAMA & OMEGA TRIBE – THE OPEN AIR LIVE ”HIGH & HIGH 2018

cutie_pancho_omega_tribe_sugiyama_2018 Cutie Pancho : 1er rang de gauche à droite : Shinji Takashima (Guitar), Sugiyama Kiyotaka (Chant), Tagushi Masato (Basse) Kenji Yoshida (Guitar) Derrière : Keiichi Hiroishi (Batterie) Toshitsugu Nishihara (Clavier)
2018 reunion with the members of Cutie Pancho : 1st row from left to right: Shinji Takashima (Guitar), Sugiyama Kiyotaka (Vocal), Tagushi Masato (Bass) Kenji Yoshida (Guitar) Behind: Keiichi Hiroishi (Drums) Toshitsugu Nishihara (Keyboard) )
cutie_pancho_omega_tribe_senju_akira Senji Akira
Senji Akira (Keyboard)


A tour with Omega Tribe in 2018 and 2019

Several dates will take place in 2018 and 2019. One of these concerts will be released on blu-ray under the name KIYOTAKA SUGIYAMA & OMEGA TRIBE – THE OPEN AIR LIVE ”HIGH & HIGH 2019 .


Shows in 2021 were also planned but ultimately cancelled because Shinji was unable to attend due to sickness at the time.




Don’t miss the next part to come on the blog!

1986 Omega Tribe

Soon !



(1986: You Are Here!)





Source & Go Further:


S. Kiyotaka & Omega Tribe: o pop clássico do verão está de volta

2 Replies to “Omega Tribe (Part 1 : Sugiyama Kiyotaka)”

  1. Hi! Okay so, gave it a read, great concise article!

    Here’s my list of corrections

    Some of the names are incorrect, here’s the corrections: Toshitsugu Nishihara, Takao Ōshima, Keiichi Hiroishi,

    The article implies that Kiyotaka’s change from wanting to be a mangaka to a musician occurred closely to when he joined Cutie Panchos. However this change in ambition occurred during childhood after hearing let it be by the Beatles.

    Kiyotaka actually rejected an offer for a solo career after the win at Yamaha Popcon, at that time he had no ambition for a solo career, wanting to continue as a band.

    One song from first finale was played in the final live concert, that is ガラスのpalm tree.

    Kiyotaka more so proposed for omega tribe to disband as opposed to simply him leaving, as Kenji, Takao and Keiichi also agreed with his proposal. Omega Tribe continued because Koichi had found success in the band, and Toshitsugu and Shinji were determined to stay as a band.

    And lastly, there was a concert in 2021, it was not cancelled due to covid. However Shinji was unable to attend due to sickness at the time.

    Also! Keep your eyes on Masato Taguchi, he joins 1986 Omega Tribe’s live band as bassist!

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