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Monpachi music group impacts hit charts

Date Posted: 2002-05-28

Mongol 800, nicknamed "Monpachi" is the latest Okinawan musical group to reach the top of national hit charts. The group's second album, called "Message" has sold more than 1.67 million copies while their first album sold over 400,000 copies. The achievement is the more significant as the members of the group produced it themselves without backing from one of the big record labels.

Kiyosaku Uezu, Takashi Gima and Satoru Takazato, all 21, form the three-member group. They were classmates in high school when they formed the band. As Uezu and Takazato are university students, the band performs only during holiday breaks. The group first gained fame in 1999 when one of the songs in their first album was picked up for a TV commercial. Their second album has been among Japan's top ten best selling albums continuously for 25 weeks making it second only to Michael Jackson's Thriller in sales in Japan.

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