Top 10 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 that were in a band should be included on the list.
The Top Ten
1 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

Pretty sic drummer. Being a musician myself, I tend to be picky. But this guy can throw down with the best. I'd even, and am prepared to be beheaded for it. Would love to see him play against Joey from slipknot just for fun. It would be one sic show to see. An amazing drummer. Like the rest on this list. I don't see how anyone can down anyone. But Yuki is definitely up there.

YUKI is amazing. For instance, when I first heard MASQUERADE, the drums were the first thing I noticed and it made me love the song even more. After that, I noticed YUKI was incredibly talented, especially for long songs like Faith & Decision and God Palace. YUKI must have some stamina. YUKI is amazing at drumming and a beautiful person.

2 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.

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!

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!

Kai isn't my favourite drummer only because he has a cute smile, only because he is cute or because he is sexy. He's my favourite drummer because he know how to play drums. He plays drums like a God for me. I can't imagine a better drummer for the GazettE. There is no better drummer for be. It's only Kai. He is hardworking. You can see it in every live, PV, in every song. He works so hard. Thank you Kai! You deserve to be #1! You will always be number one for me. I'm proud to be sixth gun.

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.

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.

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.

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 in the late 1980s, and besides being one of the first Japanese acts to achieve mainstream success while on an independent label, Extasy Records which he founded, the group is widely credited as one of the pioneers of the visual kei movement. Though the band disbanded in 1997, they reunited in 2007 after ten years. In 2000 and 2007, Yoshiki formed his solo musical project Violet UK and the Japanese 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 is actually his "natural ...more

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!

Yoshiki is by far the most skilled drummer of this list and currently the best Japanese drummer. Not just because of the knowledge he gained after all these years on drums, piano and composing, but also because he still plays with the same intensity and passion and it's like he gets better every time. He is like a Drummer God.

I consider him to be the best drummer in Japan. It's true that I'm having second thoughts because of Shinya Terauchi, but I believe that all of the names enlisted deserve to be here.

Yet, Yoshiki is number one for me, though it might be just because I appreciate him as a musician overall, and not just his drumming skills.

5 Yukihiro Awaji - L'Arc~en~Ciel

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...

Interactive drummer. Has an unique bits on his drum style. Can't compare with Yoshiki who play with power. He play more with technical bits. But both of them is really great drummer

6 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.

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.

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 )

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.

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.

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.

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!..


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!

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!

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!

9 Tetsu Kikuchi - D'ERLANGER
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 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!

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%.

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 Shuji Suematsu - Janne Da Arc

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...

13 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.

14 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

15 Kami - Malice Mizer

There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about the way Kami played the drums. I can't say the same for any other drummer. His style filled Malice Mizer with life. Mana was the mind, Gackt was the voice, Yu~ki and Kozi were the hands, and Kami was the heart. His complex rhythms complimented every song as he made the drums sing. He is truly missed and will always be remembered. Thanks for the beautiful memories, Kami.

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.

Malice Mizer was my first J-rock band... I miss Kami so much!
He was a great drummer - you can hear that in all Malice Mizer songs. We will never forget you, Kami. I love you - now and always! Just listen to Regret and you'll love Kami for sure!

Was one of the tightest drummers with incredible fills and grooves. Paired beats that were unconventional for song types (Au Revoir for example).

16 Yagami Toll - BUCK TICK

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.

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.

17 Yasunori Sakurazawa - SONS OF ALL P*****

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.

18 Hideki Aoyama - JAM Project
19 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!

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.

20 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

He is a great solid velocity drummer!

Check out "Blue Train" by Asian Kung-fu Generation. Kiyoshi rocks. Amazing.

21 Munetaka Higuchi - LOUDNESS
22 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.

23 Amano 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.

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.

Amano...You are the best drummer in the 3 world.!

Amano...You are the best drummer in the 3 world.

24 Nao Kawakita - Maximum the Hormone

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.

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!

Shes not just the best japanese female drummer, she is the best female drummer, she makes drumming in every style look easy! and not to mention how good of a singer she is too!

She is great drummer in female.
I playing drum, but I'm not able to play while singing the song like she.
and she is really cute and cool!
I love she!

25 Junji Tokai - Kiryu

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

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