Kyo is a Japanese musician, poet and singer-songwriter. He is best known as the vocalist of the metal band Dir En Grey. He has been with the band since its inception in 1997 and was formerly in La:Sadie's. Kyo was inspired to become a rock star when he saw a picture of Buck-Tick vocalist Atsushi Sakurai on the desk of a junior high school classmate.
While he has only composed a handful of Dir En Grey's songs (for example, "The Domestic Fucker Family" and "Hades"), Kyo is responsible for all the lyrics, which usually have negative implications and touch on a variety of dark, sometimes taboo, subjects, such as sexual obsessions ("Zomboid"), abuse ("Berry"), and mass media ("Mr. Newsman"). Several songs deal with specifically Japanese issues, such as the country's casual attitude towards abortion ("Mazohyst of Decadence" and "Obscure") and its conformity-oriented society ("Children"). Others deal with more traditional subject matter such as personal feelings, emotions, and lost love ("Undecided", "Taiyou no Ao", "Mushi").
The vocabulary used ranges from vulgar to exalted, with wordplay and double entendres occurring frequently. For example, the title of the song "Mitsu to Tsuba", which is about rape, means "Honey and Saliva", but is written with the kanji inverted, suggesting reading them with an inverted pronunciation - "Tsumi to Batsu" - which would translate to "Crime and Punishment", a more appropriate title.
His stage performances became known for their shock elements such as full-body makeup resembling heavy burns, fake vomit of varying color and consistency, and various acts of self-mutilation. The authenticity of the latter is debated, given how frequent certain practices occur, sometimes firmly in place within a tour's usual set-list. For example, Kyo would regularly engage in fish-hooking during the performance of "Kodoku ni Shisu, Yueni Kodoku" throughout the "It Withers and Withers" and "Inward Scream" tours. However, in recent "Uroboros-era" performances he has toned down this violent stage persona.
Throughout his career, Kyo has been hospitalized multiple times: once in 2000, due to hearing problems (remaining partially deaf in his left ear) and again in 2006 and 2009 with edema of larynx (inflamed vocal cords).