Rock Music in Japan

rock music japanese

Rock music remains alive and kicking in Japan, producing subgenres that reflect its independence from Western influences. Bands such as X Japan have found great success by mixing Western glam rock aesthetics into an innovative mix of musical styles.

Visual kei is another widely popular genre of J-rock music, distinguished by bands with striking appearance and often androgynous styles.

The Gazette

If you’re in search of a band willing to take risks, look no further than The Gazette. As Japanese Visual Kei alternative metal band with an eye for cinematic design and moderate stylistic experimentation – including jazz-rock influences -, The Gazette are one of the biggest bands on today’s Visual Kei scene both inside and outside Japan.

The Gazette formed in early 2002 and since then have released seven full-length albums that all placed within the top ten on Oricon charts. Furthermore, two hall tours have taken place and their music has received much recognition overseas.

Though their style may not be particularly revolutionary or experimental, their sound is unique and they have garnered immense acclaim amongst Japan’s rock scene. Additionally, their live shows are known for being explosive experiences that draw thousands of followers each time out.

Although most of their members had experience playing in other bands, they initially struggled to form one cohesive unit. After eventually signing with Dynamite Tommy’s Free Will Records sublabel PS Company and releasing several albums (their debut Disorder reached number five on the indie Oricon chart), they started performing regularly.

By 2005, they were playing to sold-out crowds across the nation and their third album Stacked Rubbish had propelled them into becoming “PS Company’s best-selling Visual Kei band.”

FILTH IN THE BEAUTY is their latest release and pays a heartfelt ode to the earthquake that struck Japan in 2011. Written by Ruki and featuring an erika flower which represents both charity and humanity.

Ruki, for instance, is an artistic type who enjoys fashion, tattoo art and jewelry design as well as dying his hair. Though shy in terms of being in the spotlight, he has an inviting side and always willing to assist others if need be. Additionally, his drumming abilities are second-to-none while his charismatic charm makes him an audience favourite.


Odottebakarinokuni has quickly emerged as a force to be reckoned with in rock music, thanks to their unmistakably unique sound that marries traditional rock influences with contemporary indie sensibilities. Their engaging performances feature powerful vocals and emotive lyrics that address life’s hardships and triumphs for listeners worldwide; creating an unforgettable live experience every time! Their songs stand as testaments to love and friendship alike – live shows by Odottebakarinokuni are especially emotive experiences!

Fuji Rock festival is an immensely popular event in Japan, often drawing big-name artists like Muse and Them Crooked Vultures to perform. Additionally, there was also an intriguing collaboration between Radiohead front man Thom Yorke and Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, as well as various side projects at this year’s fest.

If you prefer an upbeat and danceable sound, there are numerous exceptional J-Pop bands to consider. One such is CHAI who utilizes electronica and dance to craft an indelible style; their music draws influence from US and British pop while still managing to keep its uniquely Japanese edge.

Nokemono, formed in 1978 and known for their wild and sensual sound, have amassed an enormous fan base across Japan since their inception. Nokemono have played at major music festivals like Tokyo Dome as well as released various albums including From the Black World as their debut release.

Blood Stain Child, the Japanese band known for their eclectic sound that draws from members’ love of European music, has quickly become one of the most beloved bands both domestically and abroad. Their debut release Silence of the Northern Hell was an instant classic and led to more releases featuring energetic heavy guitar riffs with memorable melodies; their songs can often be found used as opening sequences in popular anime like Fire Force!


Lazy is one of the longest-standing Japanese rock bands, founded in 1973 by high school students Hironobu Kageyama, Hiroyki Tanaka and Akira Takasaki. Though their producers wanted them to be pop bands instead of hard rock groups, Lazy developed their signature hard rock sound which fused metal and melodic riffs into hard rock songs such as Their hit albums This Is Lazy, Dream a Dream and Rock Diamond made them internationally acclaimed and made them one of the first bands ever to use a double vocal layer that created songs which gave their music an intense yet joyful sound that made their hit albums This Is Lazy, Dream a Dream and Rock Diamond made famous worldwide.

The Pillows, Loudness and One Ok Rock are popular Japanese rock bands. The former boasts a large following in Japan for its visual kei style while One Ok Rock provides more laid-back sound. All three bands have managed to draw international audiences as well which contributes to their success.

Crowley, another Japanese band renowned for their groundbreaking rock and metal music for over three decades, have established themselves as pioneers of their genre for over 30 years. Their dynamic live performances draw large crowds to Japan.

In Japan’s 1960s rock music was immensely popular and inspired many young musicians to form their own bands influenced by Western rock musicians like the Beatles and Bob Dylan; these groups became known as Group Sounds; some, like Tigers, Golden Cups, and Ox even combined Western rock with early forms of Japanese pop music such as kayokyoku (an early form of popular music).

Galneryus and the Tempters are among the many bands who have distinguished themselves in the rock genre, and can also be considered rock icons from Japan. Although initially formed as visual kei groups, over time X Japan have transitioned more towards alternative rock music – ideal choices for anyone interested in listening to classic Japanese rock music!

Japanese rock is distinguished by the artists’ willingness to experiment, leading them to create distinctive styles in their songs. One such band, MUCC, blends bass guitar, drums, and deep vocals into its music to produce its signature sound; its songs have an effortless quality which is rare among modern rock acts.

The Tigers

The Tigers dominated the Group Sounds scene during the late 60’s, drawing influence from Western rock musicians such as The Beatles and Bob Dylan as well as Appalachian folk music, psychedelic rock, mod, and other sources such as Appalachia folk music and mod. Influenced by these diverse sources such as Appalachian folk music, psychedelic rock, mod and mod, The Tigers became cultural phenomena. One of the first bands that truly appealed to teenage girls they still remain an influence today in teen idol groups!

This band consisted of five members who all wanted to emulate the Beatles as closely as possible. All five chose stage names that mirrored their new band name and three stuck with old nicknames from Kyoto: Kishibe Osami kept his old one of Sally; Hitomi Minori kept hers of Pi; while Morimoto Taro, known for being reserved and artistic, chose his original nickname of Toppo for himself and himself.

At the recording studio, they focused on producing quality music instead of trying to project an image as young idols. They even hired professional studio musicians for guitar and drum parts. TV appearances were limited so as not to look like too many aspiring Beatles imitators kids attempting to copy too closely the Beatles sound.

By the end of 1968, The Tigers had reached their pinnacle of performance. On March 22, 1969 they released “Mei Shiki Ai No Zheng,” or Beautiful Symbol of Love as their final single with Toppo and it was clear this would be his last time as part of The Tigers. Toppo had grown weary of having to dress in white hippie suits and knightly robes while doing photoshoots and making fools out of themselves in front of TV cameras for money’s sake – finally it was clear; on March 22, 1969 “Mei Shiki Ai No Zheng,” or Beautiful Symbol of Love was released as Toppo’s last contribution as part of The Tigers.

Once they witnessed this development, the remaining four members decided it was time to stop this madness. Instead of looking to replace him through Watanabe Misa for someone specifically interested in entertainment business membership, they made an emergency call out to Shiro and asked him to return quickly to Tokyo; Shiro agreed.