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Shinobu vocalist/guitarist Mike Moroboshi-Huguenor and drummer Jon Fu were playing together in the local punk band Argyle when they decided in the fall of 2002 that a change was in order. Based in San Jose, the two began playing together on the side under the influence of bands like the Weakerthans and Death Cab for Cutie. They soon added bassist Bob Vielma and guitarist Vince to complete what had become the indie rock of Shinobu. Vince left the following summer to be replaced by local jazz vet Matt Keegan on guitar, and after various self-released demos and compilation appearances, Shinobu debuted on Let's Go Records with Herostratus vs. Time. Worstward Ho! followed in September 2006 on Asian Man.