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.

The Top Ten

1 Uke Yutaka - The GazettE

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.

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 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

He can't be like Yoshiki about drums, really. But he knows how to play it, really really. Especially with Ugly and Undying, he show us what can he do with drums and we can be sure now, he'll be a legend about drums at least in Japan. Normally, I must choose Yoshiki, but I want to give a chance to Kai.

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2 Yuki - 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.

He has it all - speed, technique, complexity, endurance. And on top of this, he's very elegant. As a drummer, Yuki is in a different league.

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3 Shinya 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.

You will never know how powerful this skinny drummer is until you see him on the stage. Powerful & beautiful movement.

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4 Yoshiki Hayashi - X JAPAN Yoshiki Hayashi - X JAPAN Yoshiki Hayashi is a Japanese musician, songwriter, composer and record producer. Better known by his stage name Yoshiki, he is best known as the leader and a co-founder of the heavy metal band X Japan, for which he is the drummer, pianist and main songwriter. The band achieved breakthrough success more.

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 ...more

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.


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.

Yoshiki not good?
Watch art of life live or the last live
Can other drummer do drum as aristic as yoshiki while maintainig stamina and energy on stage?

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5 Nao - 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.

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.

I like his style of drumming.. So cool, and the sounds that he makes.. Really awesome. And I really like when I see him drumming in every songs, he looks like really enjoy it. It always looks like he could communicate with his drums, for me. (call me crazy )

Noa is the best drummer I ever seen I really like there music and he seem so nice and kind person a happy go lucky man and a good member ;) I really like you noa. :3

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6 Yukihiro Awaji - L'Arc~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

yukihiro is not a simple fast drummer, like tetsu kikuchi, he was a drummer of die in cres zi kill and l'arc en ciel. tetsu kikuchi and yukihiro are endorser of pearl drums. for tetsu kikuchi see his drum solos in youtube, why does people thinking about only x-japan is the best? - ronluna


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7 Rina Suzuki - SCANDAL

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

She definitely can rocks! Talented, nice, cute, and a hardworker ^^ And top of that she will improve knowing she is still young~

She's also funny

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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!

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!

He is MY BEST DRUMMER I've seen in the world
I think, in my Opinion, he is my best INSPIRATION...
He Played totally, from basic to the difficult the song rhythm...
He always looks happy with his performance, and enjoying his played...
His hands is very FANTASTIC I LOVE HIM

He is badass drummer

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9 Jin - ScReW

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

10 Shirato 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!

To me his not a amazing drummer that keeps his rhythm, add feelings and groove to SID's songs. He composed a few of SID's song and those song were one of the more popular song among their albums too. He is also a entertainer in the band, he adds laughter and joy to the band. Overall he is a talented musician.


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The Contenders

11 Tomoya - One Ok Rock

" He deserves to be one of the most outstanding drummers in Japan whom really give all his energy to perform at the high stage level. His technique, style that never made the audiences bored. He really make the ONE OK ROCK songs into a SPECTACULAR- those beats. He really make ONE OK ROCK a rock solid ever.."

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!

Tomoya's drum skills are outstanding! Beat and the energy are so awesome. He deserves to be on the top as well. He is like the heart of one ok rock. The beating of the drums is like the heart that beats and you can definitely feel his passion and determination. Tomo you're so cool and cute at the same time.

Taka's vocals may drive each and every One Ok Rock performance, but Tomoya's drumming is what really gets it going in my honest opinion. He is very skilled and brings a ton of energy to every song.

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12 Minase - D=Out
13 Junji Tokai - Kiryu
14 Kei - Sadie
15 ROI - Jackman
16 Shinpei - 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!

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17 Tetsu 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. - ronluna

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 - ronluna

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

see their 2007, 2008 concerts his drum solo is fast and unique - ronluna

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18 Shuji Suematsu - Janne Da Arc

He's could be the leader of drummer. see GUNS, RED ZONE, DIAMOND VIRGIN and LABYRINTH songs to see it.. - rakora77

I like he, his drum, & his style... I hope shuji, yasu, you, ka-yu, & kiyo will reunite and make janne the arc on the top again...

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19 Makoto - EAT YOU ALIVE
20 Nero - Merry

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

21 Natsume - LEZARD
22 Minato 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.

His technique, speed, fills and ghost note are outstanding. His creative drums lines can be simple and complex at the same time. You'll be surprise on how you can rediscover the 4/4 time signature.

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 - ronluna

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23 Ruka - 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~

24 Takasama - Spell Box
25 Shinya 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

26 Yasunori 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.

27 Yagami 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. - saaarsdej

28 Kami - Malice Mizer

Amazing Visual kei drummer. Listen to his drum duet with Gackt on piano and Bel air, Le ciel, Illuminati or Au Revoir. - TD17

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.

He is very talented Drummers, Malice Mizer give respect for him.. Rest in Peace KAMI SAMA

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29 Hideki 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

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30 Kiyoshi 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. - TD17


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31 Amano Tatsuya - Crossfaith

He is the best, top 10? no, of course he must be in the top 5, the best rock or metal or whatever drummer alive. No doubt.

I think he is the next joey jordison - hrf23

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.

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32 Munetaka Higuchi - LOUDNESS

This guy was amazingly good when he was alive - locus14

a deceased drummer of LOUDNESS - ronluna

33 Nao 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! - MeowMix

Nao plays an insane number of different styles from death metal to jazz and makes them all look easy. She's also a true show-stopper with her entertaining performance style and she sings too! There is literally nothing she can not do.

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

34 Tomonori - 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.

Very excellent drummer I've seen!

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35 Jun-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?

36 Ko-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!

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37 Shintarō - UVERworld

This should have a higher ranking ;A;

38 Hiroshi Iwasaki - FLOW

Another great indie drummer. - TD17

39 Sano 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.

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40 Ryo - Girugämesh
41 Takashi Kashikura - Toe, HIATUS

Known as a drummer of Japanese indies Post Rock band "Toe" and Japanese Rock Band "HIATUS"(with Takeshi Hosomi ex. ELLEGARDEN Vo. Gt )
His drumming is so powerful, skillful, and so extremely emotional. Takashi Kashikura is one of the bests.

Check out his drumming.

GoodBye - Toe

Come on now. Easily the best drummer in Japan now, bar-none.

42 Tadayoshi Okura - Kanjani Eight
43 Yuumi - 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..

44 Satoshi - DIV
45 Tohru - Moi Dix Mois

Great visual kei/Gothic drummer. - TD17

46 BOBO - Miyavi Crew
47 Satochi 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!

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48 Daishi - Esprit D'Air

Just listen to "The Hunter" and you will be blown away! Great drummer.

49 Shiho 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.

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50 Naoki - Deathgaze
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List Stats

6,000 votes
69 listings
8 years, 343 days old

Top Remixes (4)

1. Uke Yutaka - The GazettE
2. Nao - Alice Nine
3. Jin - ScReW
1. Shinya Terauchi - Dir en grey
2. Yuki - Versailles
1. Yuki - Versailles
2. Shinya Terauchi - Dir en grey
3. Uke Yutaka - The GazettE

View All 4


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