MONGOL800, an unassuming pop-punk band from Okinawa that has avoided the spotlight, sold millions of records in the early 2000s and is still going strong today.
∙ Formed in 1998—when its members were still in high school—the band released their debut LP, GO ON AS YOU ARE, two years later, prompting invitations to play at major festivals.
∙ MESSAGE, their 2001 breakthrough album, hit No. 1 on the charts and ultimately sold close to 3 million copies—one of the highest totals ever for a Japanese indie release.
∙ MONGOL800 opened for Green Day on their 2002 tour of Japan.
∙ Their 2004 LP, Momo, hit No. 4 on the Japanese charts, and over the course of more than a decade, the band’s next five studio albums—all of them indie releases—also placed in the Top 10.
∙ After years of shunning interview and press requests, MONGOL800 finally appeared on TV in 2007, allowing broadcaster NHK to document their tour of the remote Ryukyu Islands.
∙ Since 2009, the band has thrown their own festival, What a Wonderful World!!, which takes place semi-annually in their native Okinawa.