1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

A surprising lack of Japanese Bassists.

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Aldrnari, Sep 26, 2014.

  1. Aldrnari


    Jan 18, 2013
    I look around on here from time to time but I very rarely if ever see mention of Japanese bassists.
    I was wondering if any of you have listened to any Japanese bassists or have taken inspiration from them?

    I know in my case I ventured into Visual Kei because I enjoy insane aesthetic and the more out there things a lot of them are doing and one of the many things that keeps me coming back is the bass, the musicianship of some of the bands is incredible but specifically VK bassists made me realise how interesting metal bass lines could be as it seems except for rare cases and extreme metal bands western metal bass lines are getting quite stale and simple.

    People specifically like Masashi Miwa (and previously Jasmine You, RIP) of Versailles (and others such as Reita of the Gazette, Toshiya of Dir En Grey, Koichi from Mejibray and Tsunehito of D) are people I heavily look up to, they don't play anything too insane but they still play complex but fitting bass lines that don't detract from or just follow the guitars. In fact I feel I learned a lot of my bass playing and general idea of writing music from listening to Versailles and Jupiter.

    So do any of you listen to any Japanese (possibly metal/Visual Kei) bassists? Any guilty pleasures as it once was for me? Or any reason that you don't listen to them, maybe the whole VK look puts you off.
  2. kdemello1980


    Aug 2, 2014
    Not at all surprising really. The typical American probably can't even locate Japan on a map, doesn't 'get' the "when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor..." line in Animal house, and thinks a Nippon is what happens to women in the cold (though the more enlightened ones might recognize a camera brand).

    My point is, regardless of merit, Japanese culture does not penetrate beyond a very small contingent of Otaku in the US. The overlap between them, and bassists is likely vanishingly small. There is no market for anything culturally Japanese here (which is a shame really, because there is no shortage of extremely talented artists in all areas in Japan). That said, I'm not one of said Anime nerds, I just like Japanese food.
    bass nitro and Clef_de_fa like this.
  3. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Feb 28, 2014
    San Diego, CA
    I was more concerned by Croat bassists. Where did THEY all go?
  4. A.K.


    Jan 9, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    A Japanese guy was the bassist for the Faces in their last line-up before they broke up in the mid-70s. He played with another band, too. Can't remember his name.
  5. Clef_de_fa


    Dec 25, 2011
    I love Japan and I may well be a nerd about some anime, video games like Atlus make, I also take some Japanease class to speak, read and write it.

    I know that not so long ago Baby Metal came in the US and Canada and it seems to have work pretty well.

    I also like Maximum The Hormone (just Watch the first like 2 or 3 min the "get" it)
    SandCBass and Johnny Crab like this.
  6. That's the great Phil Chen, who also played on Jeff Beck's Blow By Blow. While he's of Japanese descent, his birth nationality is Jamaican.
    hover likes this.
  7. PMCR


    Sep 24, 2013
    There are plenty of solid Bass players in Japan but you have to listen to music beyond the visual Kei movement.

    Masao Wada - Gesu no Kiwami Otome(these guys all are solid players in this group)
    Kotajima-Detroit 7
    Miki Furukawa-Supercar, Llama
    Seiji Kameda -Tokyo Jihen(wears many hats producer, sound engineer, arranger almost like a japanese version of JPJ)
    Akiko Fukuoka- Chatmonchy
    Masashi Satou -Quruli
    Akko from GoGo!!7188
  8. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    Tatsu Mikami from Church of Misery has a great sound. I've always seen him using a Rickenbacker. And lots of wah.

  9. Vlasco


    Aug 23, 2006
    North Dakota
    I'm a big fan of Seiji Kameda. Not many people know about Tokyo Jihen, less so Kameda.
    PMCR likes this.
  10. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    With the surname Chen, I doubt he's Japanese. That's a Chinese name.
  11. Clark Dark

    Clark Dark

    Mar 3, 2005
    Back when Miroslav Vituos (sp) was with Weather Report a bassist named Teruo Nakamura was on the fusion scene but I haven't followed his career.

    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014
  12. Matt O

    Matt O

    Feb 19, 2013
    The Mitten
    Bass Wolf!!! I was very sad when he died - RIP

    bswag and AaronVonRock like this.
  13. Ok, but he is in fact Jamaican.
  14. Toptube

    Toptube Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2009
    I don't really like most V-Kei. But, Japanese rock is the reason I play bass.

    My two main influences are Akiko Noma from GO!GO!7188 (disbanded) and Tokie (Currently in two bands: "Unkie" and "The Lipsmax").

    Tokie is my main and most lasting influence. I listen to her Instrumental band Unkie all the time and often listen to her previous band Losalios, as well as the numerous projects she has written/produced/and sessioned for. I recently went so far as to utilize a Japanese auction site, to purchase Unkie's third album for way too much money. They only made 9,000 copies which all sold out in pre-order. No MP3/digital sales. Buying it used was worth it!
    I had to listen to this demo clip for two years, before I finally bought the CD in the auction:

    I made a thread here about Tokie and Unkie, but some of the content was eaten during Talkbass' recent forum upgrade. I've been meaning to fix the thread, but I still have not done it....soon ; )

    Akko is a huge influence to me and I still love gogo, but I find myself listening to them less and less actively, as the years go by. I used to listen to them constantly. However, Akko is a fanastic player, writer, and she is the reason I bought Lollar reproduction vintage thunderbird pickups.
    In my opinion, this is the single best bass line Akko ever wrote with GO!GO!7188:

    As I said, Akko and Tokie are my two main influences. But there are others I like a lot. The next two would be Seiji Kameda from Tokyo Jihen (disbanded) and Yayoi Tsushima, from TsuShiMaMiRe.

    Kameda is a really tasteful, refined player. Tokyo Jihen has a lot of great rock/pop songs. But this tasty song is my most favorite from them (The album this is from, "Daihakken", is also my most favorite Tokyo Jihen album. Kameda, as usual, is amazing on that album and it is just a great set of songs; from start to finish):

    Yayoi writes really good rock bass lines and nobody is better at tracking a bass in studio. Her bass is always very easy to hear on their albums.

    From their more abrasive stuff:

    to their rock fusion sensibilities
    copy and paste this, without the asterisks, it won't embed properly:


    As I mentioned, I don't listen to much Visual Kei. I do enjoy some Danger Gang every now and then. They are V-Kei.

    Kokeshi Doll might be considered by some to have a V-Kei sound, due to their darker, heavier vibe. But they don't do the visual aspect with all the costumes and whatnot. Good band, though:

    Just a few days ago, I discovered a band called THE★米騒動 - The Komesoudou (The Rice Panic)-----Unfortunately, they disbanded this year, at the same time they released their 3rd E.P.

    Their most recent single is very cool and reminds me of Kokeshi Doll:

    Their other songs aren't as heavy and vary in sound. Reminding me of many other bands.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2014
  15. I love this thanks for a new band to obsess over for a wile
  16. Mongolian Bass

    Mongolian Bass

    Dec 28, 2008
    As someone previously mentioned, I think Masao Wada from Gesu no Kiwami Otome is a pretty great player.

    When I first saw LITE at a Mike Watt & the Missing Men show, Jun Izawa really impressed me.

    And I also enjoy some of the funky riffs coming from Akinobu Aoki of Rega.
  17. Toshiki Oomomo plays great on the latest Marty Friedman album INFERNO.
  18. letsrumble


    May 23, 2010
    Oh, come on! There are so many things the U.S. has adopted from Japan, it's crazy. From martial arts, to cuisine, to porn (bukkake, anyone?). Taiko, origami, bonsai, kabuki, zen, and kimono are household words here.
    Lackey likes this.
  19. A.K.


    Jan 9, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    No, it's this guy:

  20. twocargar

    twocargar Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2008
    Manchester, NH
    Masayoshi Yamapoopiea from Loudness was a big influence for me. He played Taurus Pedals too. :D

    Gluvhand likes this.