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 think there are wayy too many talented drummers in Japan (;_;) but my vote belongs to Kai. He's the craziest, cutest, fastest and insanely consistent drummer I have ever laid eyes on. He stays in rhythm perfectly, even during lives when he's smiling all the way and laughing and it's like drumming just becomes second nature to him. I'm also astonished how he can hit out the fastest beat in the world and barely break a sweat. He even put himself in hospital drumming so hard and so quickly, and he keeps on going no matter what. He puts so much energy into each song and it's incredible to watch; I could stare at him all day. He gets my vote for sure! Love you Kai!

! I'm NOT SAD OR MAD! BUT I LIKE WHEN I SAW THE NUMBER 3! ITS MY favorite! AND MY VERY VERY VERY LOVELY DRUMMER IS ON THE 3RD PLACE! I DUNNO BUT I'm NOT SAD! OR MAD KYA! Well about him, his a one HEAD BANGING! BEST BAD ASS DRUMMER I EVER KNEW! His very passionate and very dedicated to his work, to his family and esp to his band. He cook! He always think about others before thinking about himself.. Sorry about my English but I'm not really good explaining about my favorite. Drummer. Kinda shy though but his really the best of the best for 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.

My vote goes to Kai. He is a really good drummer. No wonder he's on the first place. He's not just simply drumming but he has passion in drumming. He is really talented and amazing, whenever they play on stage, you can see that he is totally enjoying what he's doing. He love what he is doing and that is the most important. It doesn't matter if other drummers entered the jrock industry earlier than him, we are not talking of experience here, it's about skills. There is no doubt why he's got the first place. Kai is the best!

2 Yuki - Versailles

This guy can turn the clash of symbols into a melody line and knows the difference between crescendo and forte when it comes to those transitions in the middle of a song. Not many drummers even care about that. But other than his knowledge and skill, he so much stamina! During those long songs at lives they are constantly transitioning and changing, he manages to maintain speed and keeps going no matter how long the song is. All the while, he has a big grin on his face when he's done! He often fist pumps in the air even though his arms should be so tired they would feel like they're going to fall off. Skill, Experience, Stamina, Enthusiasm: He's got it all.

YUKI is the best drummer ever!... I usually do not pay attention to drums in any band, but YUKI has changed that!... I can't listen to a Versailles' song and not to feel his drums in my heart. He is amazing to watch and listen in live, and he is also a man with an adorable personality, he makes me wish to learn Japanese so I can talk to him more. In fact, that guy has influenced me in many ways... he is often the less noticed in the band but.. he deserves the same attention than others, because he is equally good. He is just, perfect! :3

I looked past this man first time when listening to Versailles (I guess Hizaki and Teru got all my attention) but Yuki is insanely good. After Hizaki's second solo in princess the drumming is the best I've heard; it really is incredible.

As all the other members of Versailles have had their own composed songs I would love to see what Hizaki can do in Versailles next album.

He is so good, just vote Yuki, he's the best of the world! I can talk more than a whole year about how good Yuki is, but I think I better can't do that because than your ears are burning! But just vote Yuki, he wants it, really. He is the best drummer I ever have seen! If you think the same, VOTE YUKI! Come on! just tap on that vote button! And if he wins, I'm going to Japan, way? Because of Yuki!

3 Shinya Terauchi - Dir en grey

Shinya is not only the best Japanese drummer, but also the best drummer in the world, in my opinion. There's so much more to him than just a fancy drum set, or his looks, so much more that easily surpasses Yoshiki. Shinya is technical, fast (when he needs to be), and breaks boundaries between himself and other drummers. He is one of the most creative, diverse, and flexible in terms of fills, beats, etc. In a nut shell, if anyone else can do it, Shinya can do it 100 times better than anyone ever could.

You almost can feel the passion by yourself which Shinya experience during the time he drums... he is quite, shy and passive.. but it seems that he's another person behind his instrument. I can feel his love to his instrument like it is his own best friend, whom he can tell all his sorrows and emotions with beats and rhythm... unique, fast, deep with emotions.. just amazing. To be honest: I cannot find the accurate words what I feel and see while he drums.. just fascinating.

Shinya is definitely the back bone of Dir en grey. His playing is so complex and so full of meaning, and his drum kit just gets huger and huger every time I see them live. He said in an interview that he "uses every piece at some point", and that just shows that he's a very accomplished drummer, and definitely knows what he's doing. During lives you can see the intensity and passion in his playing, and the love he holds for drumming, which you don't really see in many drummers.

Shinya is the Monk of the drums*He is incredible he humble but strong a beast when he drums*His percussion game is just simply Marvelous don't get me twisted*I admire the other greats such; as Yoshiki from X Japan and Yuki from Versailles any Uke from the Gazettes. Shinya style, his stamina and speed is incredible also to sexy*so it is hard to choose the best drummer when have so many great one. Shinya is my best. I love Monk Shinya.

4 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.

If not number 1 at least he should be in number 2 behind Shinya Terauchi. Dir en grey is the only band I can deserve for in front of X Japan if it become to technical aspect as a band overall. Other bands just NAH, Yoshiki can plays other drummer can as long not complex like Dir en grey.

He started & making visual kei of metal popular. It doesn't matter how much technical complex of jrock newer drummer after him. They wouldn't even to be there without Yoshiki for being one of the first. More ridiculous is somehow the drummer that play softer than X Japan is better than him. What

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.


5 Nao - Alice Nine

I think the fact that he puts in so much effort into learning the drums and playing them well is really amazing and admirable. And the effort that he puts in obviously pays off from the distinct drum sounds in all of their songs, and if you listen closely or watch their PVs properly, you can really see how skilled he is.

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 )

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.

that's sound more emphatic and apparent!
his style so cool cute... and amazing!... he's drumming with smile always
and that's can why I feel happiness when heard this drums...!

i love you!

6 Yukihiro Awaji - L'Arc~en~Ciel

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?

Every time I think a song couldn't be any better Yukihiro Awaji changes my mind with his unique timing. He got mad skills!
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.

My personal favorite drummer honestly. I love Laruku and Yukihiro's drumming is absolutely amazing. He's got very complicated beats and creates some very nice music with Acid Android as well. In my opinion, he really is an amazing drummer and should be higher on this list.

He's awesome, incredible and undiscribable... He's very into drum while performing... I don't know there's something within him that can make people pay much more attention than his playing... I enjoy listening to his playing... Body and soul...

7 Rina Suzuki - SCANDAL

So cute and beautiful, but once she plays the drums, you'll be amazed of her skills as a drummer! She hits them so hard (with such vigor and energy), you can feel the energy vibrate from her. Also, despite not knowing how to play the drums at first, she rose to be such a brilliant drummer, which is very inspiring, especially to aspiring musicians. She's hard-working and talented, always wanting to improve her skills.

She should bethe number one! She's great and powerful drummer girl I know! Firstly, she want to be a guitarist in scandal band but she can't because haru and mami also guitarist in their group.. So she decided to changed as the drummer in the group.. But she can play it perfectly! So awesome Rina! Gabante! You're the most powerful girl drummer in the world I saw!..

Not just because she is pretty, it is because she put her heart in every beats she give in her drums. Her style are all unique and no one can have that passion of her. She wants to cry, 'cause she is happy, she wants to thank all people around her 'cause she loves us. That's the Rina Suzuki I know. A very Lovely & Talented person.

She may not be the best drummer out there but she's talented, pretty, cute and, of course, passionate and hard-working, plus she sings, tried dancing, and composes most of SCANDAL's songs. Yeah, she's still young but when the time comes, she will be the best of them all. As for now, she's the best female drummer.


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

SUJK has very impressive skill, because he can drumming while spin his stick and the tempo still good. His double pedal is amazing one! He can drumming while the tempo sometimes up and sometimes down, and his drumming still in stable condition! All Hail SUJK!

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!

Love him very much, I think he is talented and hard-working guy... Also he has recorded his solo-album and of cause this is a great indicator of his success

9 Jin - ScReW

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

10 Tomoya - One Ok Rock

Tomoya is so amazing! His talents I admire so much! He's such a great person and knows how to interact with his fans! He can play a drum out of anything and it'll still sound beautiful! They all form a perfect band that will never make you bored! Tomoya is such an weird but unique person, people love him for that! And he'll anyways stand out in the croud! His drumming sounds so amazing! I swear I can not stop listening to it! It makes me want to move and Bob to the music! I really want Tomoya to be in 1st or 2nd place! He's so amazing!

You can be a beautiful drummer like a lot of people in this list. Tomoya is the best because he makes a song better. But it's not all quality he have as drummer. When he plays, he is never concentrated, he is like a randy and happy little boy with her game. He can makes you smile and laugh whenever (mainly during concert). Without Tomoya, One Ok Rock wouldn't be as good as they are and so wouldn't be my favourite group too.

Tomoya is insane! He has so much talent, not even just the drums! He puts everything into what he does and kills it! I don't think there is anything he couldn't do or play. He is a huge part of what makes ONE OK ROCK so kickass. And live, he has a never ending supply of energy that sucks you into the performance and keeps you going. I've never known a drummer like him in my life. He has skills way past 100%.

Tomoya is not just a drummer, he's a true artist..with his beats he tries to communicate what he feels like!
He shares emotions on the stage. He's technically an awesome drummer but I guess he deserves to be one of the best because being a drummer isn't just a job for him, he really loves doing it! (Just look a live and you will notice that while he's playing he suddenly smiles! )
Let's keep going with his magical and emotional beats!

The Contenders

11 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!

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.

Yuuya is the best drummer that can create unique, fresh and awesome rhythm with his drum. Sometimes he adds the surprise element in his drumming when live shows. He creates beautiful music. Interesting person, and such inspiring.

I think Yuya is a good drummer. He can play his own place well, and also write great songs which I love. I really support that he is the best. And he is a joyful person in the band. Always can make everyone in the hall happy and laugh.

12 Minase - D=Out
13 Junji Tokai - Kiryu

He's like the cutest guy ever to sit behind a drumkit! Seriously!

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.

Shinpei is just great I'm a Mexican fan of him all I learned from my drummer skills are learned listening to his music he's a great drummer with a marvelous attitude and a awesome skill he knows how to play every type of rock music even to calm song like "Misora" to "KARMA DISCORD" he's just awesome how he wins at least be in the top 10 I don't know wht the hell he's on place 17 GOOD LUCK PEI PEI

The way Shinpei plays his drums is fascinating. It's really hard to get tired of seeing him play not to mention he is exteremly adorable. It is also very obvious that he puts a lot of his effort in playing those drums. He truly is an amazing drum player.

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.

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

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

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..

technical and speed drummer, just the best

Leader of rock drummer!
He's fast too!

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...

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

a drummer of one of the most influential band in japan

23 Ruka - Nightmare

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.

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.

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

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