The Checkers (Japanese band)

The Checkers (Japanese: チェッカーズ) was a very popular Japanese band in the 1980s. They were a pop icon of their time as kids copied hair styles and fashion of the band members. [1] The band was formed in Kurume-city, Fukuoka Pref. by Toru Takeuchi, the leader and the guitarist, who asked Fumiya Fujii to start a band with him in 1980. They won the Yamaha Light Music Contest in Junior category soon after forming the band. Due to some of the members being high school students at the time they were approached with a record deal they waited until those members finished high school. They made a debut on 21 September 1983 and split up on 31 December 1992. All of their single releases entered top 10 in Japanese charts, many of them making it to No 1. Fumiya Fujii, who was the lead singer and the main lyricist, went on to pursue a successful solo career.

The Checkers
OriginKurume, Japan
GenresRock and roll, rockabilly, pop rock, doo-wop
Years active19811992
LabelsPony Canyon
Past membersFumiya Fujii (vocals, chorus)
Masaharu Tsuruku (vocals, chorus)
Yoshihiko Takamoku (vocals, chorus)
Tohru Takeuchi (guitars, chorus)
Yuji Ohdoi (bass, contrabass, chorus)
Yoshiya Tokunaga (drums, percussion, chorus)
Naoyuki Fujii (sax, flute, back-vocals, chorus)

Although it was a band which produced their own songs, they were frequently regarded as just male aidoru by Japanese rock fans because of their early marketing promotion.[2]



Original albumsEdit

Best albumsEdit

  • BEST The CHECKERS (21 July 1987)
  • Checkers The BEST (15 December 1991)
  • The CHECKERS (6 December 1992)
  • The OTHER SIDE (16 December 1992)
  • Early Singles (19 August 1994, Pony Canyon ポニーキャニオン)
  • Ballade Selection (1 February 1999)
  • Ballade SelectionII (17 March 1999)
  • ALL Songs REQUEST (5 March 2003)
  • COMPLETE The CHECKERS~all singles collection (17 March 2004)
  • COMPLETE The CHECKERS all singles collection REVERSE (14 July 2004)
  • All Ballads Request (16 March 2005)


  1. ^ Mark Schilling The Encyclopedia of Japanese pop culture 1997 0834803801 p.230 "In the latter half of the 1980s rock bands like Rebecca, The Checkers, Hound Dog, Tube, Anzen Chitai, Bakufu Slump, and Kome Kome Club began to take center stage on the pop scene. Unlike earlier bands, who played Western-style rock for hard-core fans, these groups had a more Japanized sound that ordinary kids could relate to. Also, taking a hint from New Music queen YUMING, who mounted spectacular stage shows.."
  2. ^ 藤井フミヤ 100回目の武道館公演を達成も扱い小さく (in Japanese). Ameba News. 2008-01-04. Archived from the original on 2008-04-30. Retrieved 2008-12-27.

See alsoEdit