X Japan (official typeset "X JAPAN") is a metal band lead by drummer Yoshiki, considered to be one of the main pioneers of the Japanese Visual Kei movement.
The group, originally named X, was founded by former Dynamite (1977-1978) and Noise (1978-1982) members Yoshiki and TOSHI (19) while attending high school in Tateyamashi in 1982.
In 1985 X moved to Tokyo looking for success and Yoshiki established his own label Extasy Records (2).
The band lineup settled in 1987 with PATA and hide (2) on guitar and Sawada Taiji on bass, and one year later X signed their first major deal with CBS/Sony.
Since the late 80's their fame grew so quickly that the band could perform for the first time at Tokyo Dome (the biggest live hall in Japan) in August 1991. However, during a TV appearance at Music Station on January 31st 1992 it was announced that Taiji had left the band due to musical and image differences. Shortly after that X were denied contract renewal by Sony.
X came back with a press conference was held at the Rockfeller Center in New York on August 24 1992 where it was announced that the band has signed a deal with Atlantic and that Heath (7) would join as the new bassist. Since the band had planned to expand activities overseas, X changed their name to X Japan (initially "X from Japan") to avoid confusion with the American band "X".
The band intended to release music overseas and release a new album, but the recording sessions were constantly pushed back due to Yoshiki's health problems caused by spinal disc herniation, the members being busy with solo projects and contract issues with Warner.
X Japan eventually resumed full activities in 1995 with the "Dahlia Tour", but many gigs were cancelled due to Yoshiki's health problems.
In April 1997 Toshi left the band citing differences regarding the band music and future plans. X Japan couldn't find a new vocalist and eventually announced disbandment in an article on the Yomiuri newspaper on September 22nd. Yoshiki also added that X Japan would eventually come back with a new vocalist in 2000. The last concert with Toshi took place at Tokyo Dome on December 31st 1997. Plans to resurrect the band were suspended after hide (2) passed away on May 2nd 1998.
Despite this, X Japan announced their comeback in June 2007 still with Toshi on vocals. The first gigs after the revival took place at Tokyo Dome on March 28th, 29th and 30th, 2008. Sugizo from Luna Sea played guitar as a guest, and eventually joined the band as an official member in May 2009.
Yoshiki - drums, piano, chorus (1982-1997, 2007-present)
TOSHI (19) - vocals (1982-1997, 2007-present)
Sugizo - guitar (2009-present)
PATA - guitar (1987-1997, 2007-present)
Heath (7) - bass (1992-1997, 2007-present)
hide (2) - guitar, chorus (1987-1997)
Sawada Taiji - bass, chorus (1985, 1986-1992)
Isao - guitar (1987)
Kerry - guitar (1986)
Inoue Satoru (Satoru) - guitar (1986)
Takai Hisashi (Shu) - guitar (1985, 1986)
Kazumitsu Mita (Zenon) - guitar (1985-1986)
Utaka Hikaru (Hikaru) - bass (1985-1986)
Koide Kenichi (Eddie) - guitar (1985)
Yoshida Yoshifumi (Hally) - guitar (1985)
Yuji Izumisawa (Terry) - guitar (1982-1985)
Tomoyuki Ogata (Tomo) - guitar (1984-1985)
Atsushi Tokuo (Atsushi) - bass (1985)