Best Japanese Rock Drummers


This are the list of best Japanese Rock Drummers from early Japanese rock years to recent years. Only Japanese drummers with a band or was in a band should be included on the list. Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

Uke Yutaka - The GazettE
Some of the others on this list are very good. They've had years more experience than Kai, and that's great and all, but Kai's got so much passion when he drums. Any video you see of him, his whole body moves with the music; he sings along, while maintaining a perfect rhythm. His licks are really unique more often than not. Anyone can learn to kick the bass in 16ths, but to have that strong ability and the variety to make it matter is why I think he's the best.
Plus... He's just so damn nice. You can't NOT love him.
I really feel he has something, he plays drums so fantastic, I'm not saying he's like Yoshiki, but this guy has... I don't know, I can say he doesn't make any face when he's on rehearsal, ahhm... It looks so easy to him just take the instrument and start to hit it... I don't know why, but he catch me.
I love his smile, he is the best drummer ever, he always work so hard in everything and love what he does, we can always be happy with him
[Newest]He's amazing, sweet, perfect, passionate, a great cook, great friend and a great leader. I love him!
More comments about Uke Yutaka - The GazettE

2Yuki - Versailles
the craziest drummer I ever seen, I'm not the type who root for a drummer but he made me go crazy with his skill. I'm just impressed!
Yuki's playing style is unique. he dwells on complexity. and of course you gotta give props to this guy. his stamina is monstrous!
If you see his old band, you couldn't see how good he was, but now... O my god Yuki, DAISUKI! I mean, his speed, his rhythm and his energy. It just gives a good vibe.
[Newest]He's my favorite drummer so far. One of the greats in my book.
More comments about Yuki - Versailles

3Shinya Terauchi - Dir en grey
I can say that although Yoshiki is an amazing composer and an amazingly fast drummer that Shinya has a higher quality drumming style. There is so much depth and emotion in his drumming. It really pierces you. Take the time really focus on his drumming. It's complex and unpredictable.. yet beautiful, brutal, intense and satisfying. It really reverberates in your chest when you listen to him drum.
Shinya does not only keep the rhythm, like many modern drummers - he also adds feeling and emotion to the song. There is so much texture to his playing, he's very unique.
There is a lot of drummers on this list that I would like to vote for (Yoshiki, Sujk, Tetsu, Yuki) but Shinya is probably the most unique. Love the small solo in Vinushka.
[Newest]I am amazed by his drums when I first heard of Dir En Grey. You know, for most bands, I usually noticed the guitarists and the Vocal. But Shinya has made me fallen in love with his drumming - He is fab!
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4Yoshiki Hayashi - X JAPAN
I did have second thoughts, despite the fact that I am a X freak. I do think that Shinya from Dir en grey has more variety in skills and techniques than his drum hero, but Yoshiki basically started everything in what we consider as the j rock / visual kei scene today. I am more rooted for the "old" Yoshiki.. and I am referring to the time period between X's breakthrough in the underground music scene until roughly 2 years ago. As an emotional and talented drummer, Yoshiki devotes all of himself into his drums. He drums with his heart. You feel his emotions - usually sadness and pain- by just watching the way he drums. You can mute your TV and feel "something" by just watching. He's trying to fight through all his emotions when he drums, and it just catches you. Other than drumming skills, which everyone has a different standard for "bad/good", Yoshiki is an overall more talented, and polished, musician. He can write music, write lyrics, plays piano(which is actually his "natural instrument), strings arrangements, conducting... He has proved that he can do a lot more than just "drums" and do it well, and this is why I think he is the No.1 drummer on this list.
He is the god of the Japanese music world. His composing and intense drumming are beautiful.

In Art of Life by X Japan he pounds the drums and piano for 30 minutes straight! Check it out!
Can Shinya do that? Ha. No.
How could he be 4th place!? THIS IS NOT FAIR! After all that he'd done, this is what he get? I do believe that many others vote those above Yoshiki right now JUST BECAUSE OF HIS LOOKS. Yoshiki is handsome, but he is even more talented! I'll tell you the truth, I don't really have a thing for drummers (I LIKE BASS! ). However, I'm very attached to Yoshiki- WHY? Try listening to his solos. If you don't want to, then that's because you're too afraid to admit he's good. He's good- no, HE'S LEGEND. JUST LIKE THE OTHER X MEMBERS. I'm not saying Kai, Shinya and Yuki is bad. They're good. It's just that they"ll never be able to play it like YOSHIKI.

[Newest]I have a question. How come Yoshiki at number 4? He should be number 1. Why? Just look at how he plays drum. He plays 2 bass drum. And Uke Yutaka from The GazettE just play 1 bass drum. Which one is the best? Of course Yoshiki. Although he was about to old, but he still have energy to play drum. Besides drum, he can play piano and guitar. I hope Yoshiki on top of the rank cause we are X!
More comments about Yoshiki Hayashi - X JAPAN

5Nao - Alice Nine
Nao has very nice and heavy drumming. I can always hear his drumming in songs. I always air drum to the drums because it's really audible and heavy. I really admire his drumming and hope I can be as good as him one day.
Nao is the leader of Alice Nine, he's so Cool and skillfully drummer
He's style is amazing, he have a nice face, hope Nao will be the best drummer in the world.
His hands very quickly when he drumming. I like that sound when he drumming, it has step to step slow to fast and Quiet sound to heavy sound. He make me amazing all the time when he drumming.
[Newest]The greatest drummer out there!

6Yukihiro Awaji - L'Arc~en~Ciel
Not only is he an awesome drummer, but he also composes some of the best songs of L'Arc~en~Ciel. I believe he brought L'Arc~en~Ciel into a new era and they have grown since Yukihiro joined. I love Yukihiro, and not only he he an awesome drummer but in Acid Android, his solo project, he's an awesome vocalist and guitar player as well! Guys, don't forget he was the bassist of P'UNK~EN~CIEL!
I like he's style of playing drums... He was my inspiration to continue playing drums,.. He's technical is good, he is better than the other... HE'S THE BEST DRUMMER IN JAPAN
Very high technical...
Very high speed drumming
Different drummer
[Newest]He puts his soul in his drumming... You can feel every time he plays

7Rina Suzuki - SCANDAL
She definitely can rocks! Talented, nice, cute, and a hardworker ^^ And top of that she will improve knowing she is still young~
She's the cutest drummer ever and the most talented
Most beautiful and most cutest drummer IN THE WORLD! And she ROCKS! SHE IS RINA SUZUKI WE ALL KNOWN! Reinkoku
[Newest]I like her style
More comments about Rina Suzuki - SCANDAL

The best drummer I've ever seen so far! His drums solos are terrific! His skills, his motion, his passion for drums! You can see all of them. His every move is full of emotion. I love him!
SUJK is COOL! He is not only fast, but see his drum set. Full of things that confuses me. He even got the nice fan thingy! The best part is he spins his stick while playing drum! Epic!
You had too see how he play the drum! Spins the drumstick without loose the tempo, he already had his special character! SUJK sensei was great!
[Newest]He is my inspiration for playing drum

9Shirato Yuuya - SID
Not only is he an amazing drummer, he gives life to a band as brilliant as SID. Often, bands lack a sense of union amongst their members, and even if their music is great, the chemistry between them is no good. This definitely doesn't apply to SID, there's an amazing bond between the four members of this band; they're not individuals, they're a true group, and Yuuya is a fundamental piece of this union. The music they make is amazing and creative, and he gives SID the soul they have. He's an incredible drummer and person! Go, Yuuya!
He is just amazing. Really skillful. His drumming beats are precise, fit every rhythm the band play. He is really talented and does a great work!
Yuuya-san must be the best drummer! He is talented and does a really great work~! And he composed many good songs, so I love him very very very much!
[Newest]Yuuya is the best

10Jin - ScReW
Jin might be small but he can kick ass with his drumming

The Contenders

11Minase - D=Out

12Junji Tokai - Kiryu

13Kei - Sadie

14ROI - Jackman

15Tetsu Kikuchi - D'ERLANGER
it doesn't mean if u're being first visual kei in japan, u're the best. being second band who influenced today's visual kei bands, and better than yoshiki of Japan. they are way underrated.


don't believe in dir en grey fans, this one is one of the pioneers of visual kei and had drummed in many bands including CRAZE and this


the top two drummers here are well known try to discover new drummers like tetsu kikuchi


16Shinpei - SuG
An excellent drummer who shows not only his own skill, but compliments his band altogether as well.
Shinpei's incredibly well-trained. He's got all the flexibility to play any style of music he wants and the musical ear to be able to tailor his style to perfectly suit any song presented to him. As a result, SuG's sound has significantly improved since they added his talent into their lineup. An amazingly adept young artist, shinpei has managed to pull SuG out of three years worth of stagnation left behind by their undeniably charming but unfortunately average original drummer.
He had his own style of playing drum, unlike some other bands drummer, they play crazily, but Shinpei looks calm and enjoy when he is playing drum. And he looks cute and we can know that he put in a lot of effort when playing drum, because he is so chibi and the drum looks like a giant compared to him.
His talent surprised me. Being raised with a drummer for a dad, I've learned much about drummers and how style varies, etc. And I have to say shinpei is one of the best in my opinion. Very cute and very talented indeed!
A lot of sound for sutch a little guy!

17Shuji Suematsu - Janne Da Arc
He's could be the leader of drummer. see GUNS, RED ZONE, DIAMOND VIRGIN and LABYRINTH songs to see it..


technical and speed drummer, just the best
Leader of rock drummer!
He's fast too!


18Makoto - EAT YOU ALIVE

19Nero - Merry
Probably the best drummer in the Neo Visual Kei scene, very unique style of playing.

20Natsume - LEZARD

21Minato Masafumi - DEAD END
His drum fills are just out of this world, He's one of the most influential drummers of Japan. His tempo is amazing, his live performance is just as good as his studio recordings. He's got everything a drummer needs.
he is once a roadie of 44magnum but don't underestimate him because he is one of yasunori sakurazawa's great influences just like john bonham


a drummer of one of the most influential band in japan


22Ruka - Nightmare
He delivers what few other drummers can. I'm sure if he was part of Gazette he would be at #1, Ruka is amazing beyond comparison, and not only as a drummer but also as a song writer and composer as well. His solo project is brilliant, his drumming is amazing.
God-like drummer, if I should say. He's strong, every beats he delievers are meaningful, thoughtful in skillfull technique. He's beyoond comparison. He's not number 1 here, but he's absolutely the best drummer the world ever have. Oh not only in drumming. He's also the composer along with Sakito. And every songs, every each of the songs he composed, are truly beautiful. He's the best of all.
Although he looks tired most of the time
I'm still really impressed by his drumming skills~

23Takasama - Spell Box

24Yasunori Sakurazawa - SONS OF ALL PUSSYS
Sakura, still doing a great job still nowadays. He inspired himself in bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and The Police; to me he is epic in Japanese music world. I recommend searching about him, he's a winner in many other aspects in his life.
an ex-l'arc~en~ciel drummer, he is a drummer of SONS OF ALL PUSSYS


25Shinya Yamada - LUNA SEA
I'm surprised this man is not listed among the ten. If I just watched the spinning drum sets, I don't think I would have admired him. There is so much more to drumming than just power, speed, and anything else mentioned in comments here. He does a switch from drumsticks to mallets in his efforts to express, teases with manipulation of volume, develops different themes through background recordings (the tribal theme in Tokyo Dome Rebot was just beautiful) and puts so much emotion into his art. Add to that playing in a suit, which makes movement and range of motion more difficult, if the drummer chooses to go crazy. Even with the craziness he seems to want before J comes in, he still puts so much dignity into the art of drumming. This man should be occupying that number 1 spot.
I think, he is the best senior drummer in Japan. Not like another drummer in another band, shinya can make his "signature sound". He can create characteristic sound that LUNA SEA can make it. If you curious, see the PV or listen Luna sea - Rosier.
Amazing drummer, just watch the concert Never Sold Out - Capacity and you'll see

26Kami - Malice Mizer
Amazing Visual kei drummer. Listen to his drum duet with Gackt on piano and Bel air, Le ciel, Illuminati or Au Revoir.


Kami is one of the few drummers who can deliver what I call "melodic percussion". Listen to his duet with Gackt on piano. Truly one of a kind. He will always live in his fans' hearts.
A truly inspirational drummer. He started up my love of the drums and now I play for his memory.

27Yagami Toll - BUCK TICK
Experienced, long time drummer of the back BUCK-TICK. He can play any kind of beats on any kind of music. Since the band is always changing styles and such, he has possibly went through a lot of changes as well on his drumming; always improving. He is that amazing.
I find his drumming really interesting and almost flawless. After years of experience he developed his own, unique style. It doesn't mean though that he's not versatile, on contrary, his drumming works well on every album in every song, and the band went through lots of changes.


28Tomoya - One Ok Rock
Tomoya is not only an AMAZING drummer who can play pretty much any style, but the energy and enthusiasm that comes from him while he plays is contagious. It really get's you excited!
Personally think he's one of the best out there - the variety in his drumming is amazing.
This guy plays with such emotion, it's simply amazing!

29Kiyoshi Ijichi - Asian Kung Fu Generation
Super solid and great feel. Supports the song in perfect ways and you know he could do way more but he keeps playing as a musician more than a drummer. Mad respect
Check out "Blue Train" by Asian Kung-fu Generation. Kiyoshi rocks. Amazing.
great indie drummer. Listen to Haruka Kanata or After Dark.


[Newest]He is a great solid velocity drummer!

30Hideki Aoyama - JAM Project
He is calm and exciting power, spirit
Just listening to him gets my all hyped up
He's more accurate than a drum machine

31Nao Kawakita - Maximum the Hormone
The drummer chick that can pound the drums effectively and quickly. She can sing very well while drumming too. She is good, I think someone like her deserves some respect!


By far the BEST female drummer and backup vocalist in the WORLD! Not just Japan!

32Munetaka Higuchi - LOUDNESS
This guy was amazingly good when he was alive


a deceased drummer of LOUDNESS


33Jun-ji Sakuma - BULL ZEICHEN 88
A very famous drummer in the Japanese rock scene. Jun-ji is a former member of Siam shade, and has done support drums for Gackt, T.M. revolution, Vamps, Acid Black Cherry, LM. C, and Janne the Arc. He's known for his humor and great talent.
I love that he can play drums really well, his orange hair his singing voice and his orange hair... Wait did I mention his orange hair?

34Amano Tatsuya - Crossfaith
Amano is the the fastest and most hardcore drummers in the world!
With double kicks and double bass, Crossfaith's songs are always fast beating and bass-tastic!
Who doesn't love bass?!
Plus his hair is super glossy and is always flicking his hair around.
On their ' Into the Zion ' tour around Britain and United Kingdom, everyone was awestruck at his drumming skills.
" The drummer dude. Oh man he's crazy. Just crazy! " said one of the fans after seeing an event.
Are you fcking serious? This guy is insane! Top 20 AT LEAST
Yeah! I love Crossfaith and Amano Tastuya!
I will do Who Tatsuya druminng play!
I love Tastuya! Becusse My band menber are loved crossfaith!

We love Crossfaith! Me to!

35Ko-Ki - ViViD
I LOVE KO-KI! The Crazy drummer King & the DJ! Ko-Ki's drumming beats really put my soul to the beat when I listen to ViViD's songs. He also has lots of cr8tiveness. So be sure to support our Ko-Ki sama!
Ko-ki is crazy drummer!
I really love ko-ki!
. Ko-Ki is AMAZING

36Hiroshi Iwasaki - FLOW
Another great indie drummer.


37Tomonori - Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Tomonori is a super hardcore and fast - paced drummer of the metalcore electronica band - Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He's one of the oldest members in the band and most skilled. He has a great ability of collecting different crash symbols and high hats with almost 10 different kinds in his set. All for different sounds. He can make a cowbell sound great in a song!
He also has double kicks and lots of tom-toms for more variety of sounds. He like to be in the back of the group and hides himself. I guess that's why he wears a hat to cover his eyes and has long black hair.

In my opinion, the only drummer that can match him is Amano Tatsuya from Crossfaith. Both from Japanese screamo rock bands and lightning-triggered wrists. Tomonori deserves to be at least in the top 10 of Japan's most focus drummers.
He's got sick chops, he's creative, and tasteful. Most drummers here only have the first of these qualities.
One of the best drummers I've ever heard in my life... Sick talent and mad fills.

38Shintarō - UVERworld
This should have a higher ranking ;A;

39Ryo - Girugämesh

40Sano Hana - Gacharic Spin/Doll$Boxx
Cute and unique offset but once she's on she's breaking it down! Uses double pedals often, effectively, and is amazing at it! She really knows how to rock it with her whole body and sing/scream at the same time too. Plus she's hot/cute.
Ultimate blue haired Japanese female drummer/vocalist boi

41Yuumi - FLiP
Yummi is a really great drummer.. She is very talented as a girl.. She can plays the drum like John Bonham (led Zeppelin).. You should hear her drum play. She have the passion as a great drummer..

42Satoshi - DIV

43Tohru - Moi Dix Mois
Great visual kei/Gothic drummer.


44Satochi Takayasu - MUCC
SATOchi! Love the way he plays and entertains his fans! His drumming is powerful! Without him Mucc would not be Mucc which is definitely one of the Best bands of Japan!
Very unique style of playing the drums.

45Shiho Yamanoha - Stereopony
Shiho has been playing the drums only since late in high school, but she can already masterfully play with double basses, and while some may not see as impressive plays whole songs with her eyes shut, it's just a cool little thing she does. She plays ridiculously fluidly and she has never made a mistake in her entire career of drumming that has at least been noticed. Whenever she goes into a song, she is 100% completely in the zone and just pounds away like that is HER home. Despite her fairly short time in what you would call the learning stages of playing an instrument, she has ever since her debut played like a master drummer who has had years of experience. That is the kind of power that Shiho brings to the table.
This girl's got a cool and collected attitude and she tears up and lets loose when she's on the drumset. She even uses double bass pedals and owns at it. Also she's sexy.

46BOBO - Miyavi Crew

47Naoki - Deathgaze

48Tadayoshi Okura - Kanjani Eight
Ohh tacchon, you're in the list. Voted because I'm eighters

49Takeshi - BUG

50Joe - Hide With Spread Beaver

51Daishi - Esprit D'Air

52Takashi Kashikura - Toe, HIATUS

53Tsukasa - D'espairsRay
Seriously come on. It distresses me that he is not already on this list. Have a listen and tell me he isn't one of the best drummers anywhere.
Awesome drummer, listen to Maverick

54Satoshi Miyawaki - 44MAGNUM

55Yamato - Uchuusentai NOIZ
Yamato-san1! He may not be as popular as the other drummers of Jrock bands out there. But trust me, he's one of the best!
Such a great drummer

56Tôru Kawamura - Crush 40

57Tainaka Ritsu - Houkago Tea Time
One of the best drummer for me. even though she always rushing her drumplay it still sounds great. she's got tomboy personality and she's really funny and lazy. Laugh out loud

58Hiroki - D
I love his drum play

59Mally - Exist Trace
Best female visual kei drummer
Best female drummer in the game!

60Asanao - Lynch

61Nakajima Yuto - Hey! Say! JUMP

62Yasuno - Kra
Awesome drummer, original drum style.

63Kai-san - The Gazette

64Masayuki Muraishi

65Katsuji Kirita (Crush 40/The Cro-Magnons)

66Yutaka Watanabe - Nana Mizuki/Cherry Boys

67Hideo Yamaki

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This list was created 6 years, 8 days ago and has been voted on over 5,000 times. This top ten list has been remixed 3 times and has been blogged about 2 times.

Updated Tuesday, April 21, 2015

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