The band's name is derived from an ethnic slur that Japanese people look like monkeys, and Asian people are "yellow" in skin colour. The Yellow Monkey took part in the first Fuji Rock Festival in 1997 and their song "Kyūkon" reached #1 on the Oricon weekly single charts in 1998. The band's activities were ceased starting from January 2001 and officially disbanded on July 7, 2004.
The Yellow Monkey is considered one of the most important rock groups of all time in Japan. Together with X Japan and Luna Sea, The Yellow Monkey is responsible for the increase of the popularity of the genre. Their success in Japan was huge, and according to some critics, the band could be in the list of the 100 main artists of all time in Japan; a great achievement for a group whose songs were considered to be outside traditional Japanese quality standards. However, outside Japan and Asia, the band was not popular, being remembered only for the song "Tactics," ending theme song of the anime, Rurouni Kenshin.