Mikio Fujioka, who played guitar for Japanese pop-metal outfit Babymetal’s backing group Kami Band, has died at 36 years old.
“The ‘Little’ Guitar Kami of #BABYMETAL’s #Kamiband has passed away in the METAL GALAXIES,” the band wrote on Twitter. ” We hope that he is now with his GUITAR MASTER A.Holdsworth and enjoying an epic guitar session with him.” They also added lyrics from one of their signature songs, “The One”:
“We are the one / Together / We’re the only one / You are the one/Forever.”
Referred to as “Ko-Gami” (or “The Little God”) by fans of Babymetal, Fujioka reportedly fell from an observation deck on December 30th, and “his condition rapidly deteriorated” until he passed on January 5th, according to Metro. “His Twitter account was taken over, thought to be by his wife, and tweets confirmed the death and revealed that his two daughters were by his side.”
Fujioka had been performing with Babymetal’s Suzuka Nakamoto, Yui Mizuno, and Moa Kikuchi since 2013; he was there for the group’s first world tour a year later and subsequent dates opening for Red Hot Chili Peppers and Guns N’ Roses. He also helped confused the heck out of Stephen Colbert on The Late Show. Fujioka also played with groups Trick Box and MMM.