Top 10 Best Japanese Guitarists

The Top Ten
1 Hide (X Japan)

I like X Japan, but I think I slightly prefer his solo work. Genkai Haretsu is my favorite song.

Moreover, Hide is just such a fascinating person. It's really hard to explain, but I can't listen to any of his songs without feeling some connection to him, and I don't even speak Japanese. He just seems like such an artistic, genuine person with a good heart. That's not even to mention the fact that I'm automatically drawn to anyone who seems like a tragic figure. I can relate to the struggle, I guess.

I'm disappointed that he died before I was born, as he could've accomplished so much more had he lived. He might've even become an American household name. It's a personal goal of mine to go to Japan and put flowers on his grave one day.

2 Aoi (The Gazette)

Aoi has the ability to play a range of guitar styles, from amazing riffs and solos to amazing acoustic ballads. The greatest thing about him is his ability to constantly assess and improve himself.

He is always striving to be more than he is at the moment and convey the greatest level of feeling through his music to reach all of the six guns around the world.

As many fans have said, Aoi's work in the band is not the easiest. Maybe he is not the main guitarist, but it is a fact that he makes fairly good music, and I think he is a very nice and clever person.

Think about the band in the other way around: if some of the members, in this case Aoi, weren't in it, how would it be? He is a very important part of the band as a group and in its sound.

3 Pata (X Japan)

Making killer duos with Hide. Almost nobody can do the solo harmonies like Pata. Mostly, they just harmonize the bridge part, not the main solo like Pata.

Listen to how the synchronization of Pata's two harmonies on each X Japan ballad complements Hide's main melody. So beautiful.

Pata rocks on quietly. I love how he can play with anyone but doesn't have the ego that ruins so many people's lives. Enjoy your fame and life.

Pata is a rock. He played with Hide note for note. Too cool to complain, he just keeps rocking, even now.

4 Hizaki (Hizaki Grace Project)

Hizaki is the best and most talented guitarist in Japan, actually together with Teru. The Versailles band is a relatively young band, and their progress is amazing. His (Her, I know) techniques and performances are perfect.

Hizaki fell on stage in London when he began the solo of Revenant Choir, and he went ahead with the solo on the floor! I'll tell you the reason why Hizaki is the best guitarist in Japan together with Teru. They play symphonic power metal and progressive, one of the most evolved genres of metal, combined with visual kei, ero guro music style, and sounds of gothic metal. And their costumes are amazing.

5 SUGIZO (Luna Sea)

I can't say I like him better than Hide, but I feel badly that Sugizo gets so much flak from people who think Hide should never be replaced. The fact of the matter is, X Japan can't perform without a guitarist, and if Yoshiki thinks he's a good fit for the job, then I trust his judgment.

Sugizo is a great musician in his own right. He's also one of the few celebrities that I genuinely believe is a good person.

Sugizo is the best guitarist for me. I like his style of playing the guitar. Besides playing the guitar, he can also play the violin. Can any other guitarist do what he does? Of course not. That's why I say he is the best.

Moreover, Yoshiki was very confident in choosing him as the new guitarist for X Japan to replace Hide. Playing guitar for two bands is not easy. Anyway, I hope Sugizo will rise to the top and become the greatest. Please vote for him.

6 Mami Sasazaki (SCANDAL)

It's not something we see every day: a female guitarist performing solo parts of a rock song. Considering their background and how they've worked themselves to the top, Mami Sasazaki of SCANDAL should at least be in the top 5. No offense, but she really does deserve that. From the beginning up until now, they (SCANDAL) have faced tons of obstacles and, at some point, almost lost it. But where are they now? At the top.

The band gives a positive influence to many youngsters out there. So yeah, I vote for Mami Sasazaki to be at least in the top 5 list. She deserves it. I have seen them grow.

7 Ken (L'Arc-en-Ciel)

Ken proves that becoming a great guitar player doesn't require very good technical skill. Just use your skill to put the right guitar part into each song. It will be different from others.

His solos are just amazing! Every time he plays the guitar, he can transport everyone to heaven. He is compared to many famous guitarists like Slash and Steve Vai!

Ken can compose beautiful, mellow melodies with his unique style, even though his skill is not as fast as Hizaki-Teru, or Hide-Pata. But his melodies can be heart-touching.

He is very creative in rearranging every part of the guitar melody. This is because he never plays the same melodies in every L'Arc-en-Ciel live performance. Sugoi!

8 Kaoru Niikura (Dir en Grey)

Kaoru is truly a freaking god of guitar. Granted, Die is amazing too, but Kaoru has some of the best solos as well as songs he has composed.

He comes up with so many unique rhythms for each song that I am blown away by the differences in each song. He is a strong band leader and a very strong guitarist. I mean, come on, he's managed to keep Dir en Grey together for so long!

It's hard to argue with the composition in Dir en Grey. They are incredible songwriters and know the perfect part to complement what is going on in the song at any given time. Kaoru is great, along with Die.

They may not be the most technical, but they certainly make up for it in literally every other category. I can't think of a more inspiring songwriter.

9 Uruha (The Gazette)

Uruha is the most talented guitarist in my opinion. His solos are fantastic, his fingers are so fast... And to think he taught himself how to play guitar! Nobody taught him. He's just a genius when it comes to guitars.

Not to mention, he's beautiful and very talented. Plus, the songs he composes are often my favorites by the Gazette.

I don't know why Uruha is not in the top ten, but I can say that Uruha's skills are as superior as those of his seniors, such as Daita or Sugizo.

His compositions, on the other hand, have many varieties, just like Ruki's compositions. Even though Uruha's compositions are not as melodious as Ruki's or Aoi's, when it comes to hardcore sound with fine details, his compositions top the other two.

10 Sakito (Naitomea)

Sakito is a superb guitarist. Most people just admire the heavy guitarists, such as Aoi and Uruha. However, there is nothing compared to Sakito. I am pretty sure Sakito can play as well as them if he wants to play heavy stuff. Sakito has super-fast strumming, even on acoustic. That's incredibly hard, as you can see the skill in the song Shian. He performs fantastic two-hand tapping in the song Trickstar and delivers a super-fast solo in the song In the Trash Music. He knows how to use delay perfectly in the song Cloudy Dayz.

He's also got an awesome funk riff. To be honest, I don't think Gazette guitarists can beat him. At least, he is more handsome than them. Sorry, this is very subjective. I think there are only a few guitarists who can compare to him, such as hide, Sugizo, and Syu.

The Contenders
11 Die (Dir en Grey)

I think Daisuke is such a great guitarist, and he's good looking also. It would be wonderful if he had the opportunity to win this contest. I think he has what it takes to be the winner.

An awesome guitarist alongside Kaoru.

Listen to Yokan, Cage, and Mushi.

Just amazing! If you don't believe me, listen to some of his riffs from their newest album, DUM SPIRO SPERO. I suggest Juuyoku, Different Sense, Diabolos, and Rasetsukoku (new version). Please take a listen for yourself.

12 Miyavi (S.K.I.N)

Everyone on this list deserves to be here. (Small thank you to whoever added Pata. He always seems to live in Hide's fame shadow.) But I think Miyavi shines in a unique way.

It might just be me, but I personally disliked his voice at first, though he got a lot better. I think without his amazing guitar skills and unique style, he would never have stayed famous. Hence, my vote goes to Miyavi.

Miyavi uses the guitar in a way I hardly ever see with any other artist. He's known for his skills worldwide. I even know music buffs who know of him despite having no interest in Japanese music. He is THAT good.

13 Toru Yamashita (One Ok Rock)

I've watched a lot of guitarists play on stage, but this guy has grabbed my attention the most. His presence alone demands attention, and even more so when he starts holding his guitar. It's almost impossible to take your eyes off him! He can spin in tight circles while rocking his instrument without missing a beat.

When he starts dancing and swaying to the beat, it feels like he is hypnotizing you to join the dark side. Technically, he's getting better and better. He's one of the guitarists who is very meticulous with sound. He makes sure that every guitar he uses in live shows is in perfect condition. You can tell by the way he plays his instrument that he's always passionate about music and loves the band he created.

14 You (Janne Da Arc)

I listened to all the bands on this list, and although none of the guitarists could hold a candle to guitarists like Herman Li of Dragonforce, this band (You included) impressed me the most.

He is very good, and I like his style. That's wonderful.

I think he practices hard every day, and he loves the guitar. I respect his technique. I love him.

Simply the best one! My only favorite guitarist ever. You plays so fast, and he is also a nice composer.

15 Syu (Galneryus)

How can this guy be ranked 16th? This is completely a joke. He should be in the top 3 easily. This guy is the complete package, and he's at an international level, not just in Japan anymore. He can totally compete with any guitar god from Europe.

Look on YouTube for comparisons between him and Hizaki. See how far the gap is between these two, with Hizaki ranking 4th. Really? Also, he could outplay the Gazette's guitarists combined with very little effort.

Hey Nitta, you should edit again very correctly. Research again by yourself. Don't just listen to the fans. If you ask about great guitarists and compare Justin Bieber to EVH among Bieber's fans, they would say Bieber because they don't care about EVH. It's the same with these shameless fans.

16 Teru (Versailles, Hizaki Grace Project)

Teru is in all aspects just perfect. His fast solos always have an awesome melody in them, and live, he is just... like a god! Or probably god number 2, because Hizaki is the true reincarnation of awesomeness! We are VERSAILLES!

Teru shares a similar fate to Pata, always in the shadow of the partner guitarist. Although both of them play the technical and more complex parts, it's ultimately charisma and creativity that stand out in the front.

No one can keep up with the speed of his magic fingers. His artistry cannot be surpassed by many, and with the assistance of Hizaki, he becomes a musical entity that none can defy.

17 Imai Hisashi

I love Hisashi's unique guitar playing. He may not be the most technically skilled guitarist out there, but his uniqueness sets him apart.

He can compose some good-sounding solos, but for every excellent song he composes, he also has some mediocre-sounding riffs. He is still one of my favorites for his uniqueness alone, but if there were a top 50 best guitarist list, he would struggle to make it.

Oh please. How come he got so far down on the list, below so many less skilled and experienced guitarists? His technique, unique style of playing, creativity, and all these years of hard work deserve at least some recognition.

18 Daisuke (Aqua Timez)
19 INORAN (Luna Sea)

He may be LUNA SEA's rhythm guitarist, but nobody can beat him for subtle impact. Listen to his live solo with Tourbillon at Budokan. It's like having good sex with someone who is both your lover and best friend.

He is so underrated.

There wouldn't be Luna Sea without his melody.

20 Gentaro
21 Hitsugi (Naitomea)

Just listen to "Criminal Baby" and "The World," and you will know why you should vote for him.

22 Shinji (SID)

Shinji's style of guitar is different from any other guitarist I've heard. He has this mixture of rock, pop, and even some jazz. It's a unique sound that only he can make.

Maybe not the fastest guitarist, but he is very creative with melody. His timing and guitar dance are some of the liveliest I've ever seen.

I am very fond of Shinji. His guitar skill is extremely good.

He also dresses very elegantly.

23 Miya (MUCC)

Awesome guitar player. He can play the sanshin and seven-string guitar. He's a great musician and brings a lot of energy when he plays.

I love that he also plays other instruments such as the piano, harmonica, and drums. There's depth to his guitar playing and the music he writes.

Miya is a fantastic and unique guitarist, my favorite from Japan! He is very talented and a great band leader. He writes beautiful music, and I have a lot of respect for him.

His guitar skills are so deep, I want to cry and scream with joy at the same time. He has passion.

24 Cipher (D'erlanger)

It's too bad that D'erlanger is not that popular outside of Japan. I really enjoy his playing!

He is one of the founders of the VK style and a massive influence. Check out some of his bands like Body, Craze, and D'erlanger.

25 Cazqui (Nocturnal Bloodlust)

He is impressive and truly a master of the guitar. Greatness and talent are in his nature. Cazqui is always striving for continuous improvement, seeking to be better than he already is. This demonstrates his professionalism. In each song, you can hear his passion, dedication, and love for his work. He gives shape, color, and life to music. He deserves to be among the best guitarists because he is indeed one of them.

Nocturnal Bloodlust is an excellent band. Each member is talented, and Cazqui is no exception.

He is simply awesome, a natural master of the guitar. Cazqui is not only talented but also passionate about his work. His work is a result of dedication and a deep passion for music. He is always improving.

The way he plays is wonderful, giving shape, color, and life to the music. That's what makes him the best guitarist.

His work in Nocturnal Bloodlust is distinctive. Everyone in the band is talented, and Cazqui is no exception.

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