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Famous Guitar Players from Japan

Updated June 14, 2019 63.7k views57 items

List of famous guitar players from Japan, listed alphabetically with photos of the guitarists when available. Japan has produced some great guitar players over the years, including guitarists who specialize in rock, metal, jazz, folk, classical, acoustic and more. These are some of the best Japanese guitar players to ever live, so if you're a native of Japan and play guitar then this list should make you proud. If you're searching for a particular popular guitarist from Japan then you can use the "search" box to find who you're looking for.

The list you're viewing has a variety of guitarists, like Takuro and Miya, in it.

This list answers the questions, "Who are the greatest Japanese guitarists?" and "Which guitar players are from Japan?"

You can click on the names of these legendary guitarists of Japan in order to get more information about each one. If you're a guitar player or just love music you can use this list of talented Japanese guitar players to find some new artists or bands that you might really enjoy.
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  • NationalityJapan

    BirthplaceOsaka, Japan

    Akira Takasaki (高崎 晃, Takasaki Akira, born February 22, 1961, in Osaka, Japan) is a Japanese musician and songwriter. He is best known as the lead guitarist and sole constant member of the heavy...  more
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  • Age: 52

    NationalityUnited States of America, Japan

    BirthplaceChicago, Illinois, United States of America

    James Yoshinobu Iha (井葉吉伸, Iha Yoshinobu) (born March 26, 1968) is an American rock musician. He is best known as a guitarist and co-founder of the alternative rock band the Smashing Pumpkins. He was...  more
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  • Dec. at 53 (1955-2008)

    NationalityUnited States of America, Japan

    BirthplaceOsaka, Japan

    Hiram Law Bullock (September 11, 1955 – July 25, 2008) was an American jazz funk and jazz fusion guitarist....  more
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  • Age: 33

    NationalityJapan

    BirthplaceFukuoka, Japan

    Yui (born March 26, 1987), stylized as YUI or yui, is a Japanese singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and actress. Born and raised in Fukuoka prefecture, she played live at various locations in...  more
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    #4 of 186 The Best Japanese Music Artists#62 of 131 The Best Pop Folk Artists of All Time

  • Anna Domino (born 1955 as Anna Virginia Taylor) is an American indie rock artist based mainly in Europe who released several albums under that moniker, notably for Les Disques du Crepuscule and...  more
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  • Dec. at 34 (1964-1998)

    NationalityJapan

    BirthplaceYokosuka, Japan

    Hideto Matsumoto (Japanese: 松本 秀人, Hepburn: Matsumoto Hideto, December 13, 1964 – May 2, 1998), better known by his stage name hide, was a Japanese musician, singer-songwriter and record producer. He...  more
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  • Age: 46

    NationalityJapan

    BirthplaceEast Asia, Kansai region, Hyōgo Prefecture, Honshu, Asia

    Kaoru (薫, Kaoru, born February 17, 1974 in Hyōgo) is a Japanese musician, best known as the leader and one of the guitarists of the extreme metal band Dir En Grey. He has been with the group since...  more
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  • Age: 51

    NationalityJapan

    BirthplaceWakayama, Japan

    Hideto Takarai (寶井 秀人, Takarai Hideto, born January 29, 1969 in Wakayama, Japan), known exclusively by his stage name Hyde, is a Japanese musician, singer, songwriter, producer, and actor. He is best...  more
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  • Mana is a Polynesian concept of power, often in a supernatural context. Mana may also refer to: ...  more
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  • NationalityJapan

    BirthplaceKantō region, East Asia, Hadano, Honshu, Asia

    Kiyonobu Inoue (井上 清信, Inoue Kiyonobu, born on September 29, 1970 in Hadano, Kanagawa), better known exclusively by his stage name Inoran, is a Japanese musician, singer and songwriter. He is best...  more
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  • Age: 46

    NationalityJapan

    BirthplaceKumamoto, Japan

    Die (born December 20, 1974 in Mie) is a Japanese musician and guitarist. He is best known as one of the guitarists of extreme metal band Dir En Grey. He has been with the band since its inception in...  more
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  • NationalityJapan

    BirthplaceChiba, Japan

    Keiji Haino (灰野 敬二 Haino Keiji; born May 3, 1952) is a Japanese musician and singer-songwriter whose work has included rock, free improvisation, noise music, percussion, psychedelic music, minimalism...  more
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  • Age: 41

    NationalityJapan

    BirthplaceEast Asia, Kansai region, Honshu, Shiga Prefecture, Asia

    Hizaki (stylized as HIZAKI) is a Japanese visual kei metal musician, songwriter and record producer. He is best known as guitarist for the symphonic power metal band Versailles. He is also a member...  more
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  • NationalityJapan

    BirthplaceToyonaka, Japan

    Takahiro "Tak" Matsumoto (松本 孝弘, Matsumoto Takahiro, born on March 27, 1961 in Toyonaka, Osaka) is a Grammy Award-winning Japanese guitarist, producer, arranger, composer, singer and songwriter. In...  more
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  • Age: 40

    NationalityJapan

    BirthplaceAshiya, Japan

    Syu (シュウ, Shū) is a Japanese musician, best known as leader and guitarist of the metal band Galneryus. He also performs guitar and lead vocals in Spinalcord (formerly known as Aushvitz) and was...  more
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  • Age: 53

    NationalityJapan

    BirthplaceYokosuka, Kantō region, East Asia, Honshu, Asia

    Ichiro Ito (伊藤 一朗, Itō Ichirō, born November 10, 1967) is a guitarist in the Japanese rock band Every Little Thing. Ito also works in composition and, sometimes, arrangement of some of Every Little...  more
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  • NationalityJapan

    BirthplaceEurasia, East Asia, Asia, Japan

    Hiroyuki Hayashi (ハヤシヒロユキ, Hayashi Hiroyuki, born 8 August 1978 in Tokyo, Japan) is the founder, guitarist, and lead singer of the Japanese new wave rock group, Polysics. He occasionally works as a...  more
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  • Ichirou Agata is the guitarist for the Japanese noise rock band Melt-Banana. Agata is known particularly for his furious stage antics, jumping and constantly moving around, and exceedingly unique...  more
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  • Age: 39

    NationalityJapan

    BirthplaceKonohana-ku, Osaka, Japan

    Takamasa Ishihara (石原 崇雅, Ishihara Takamasa, born September 14, 1981), better known by his stage name Miyavi (stylized as MIYAVI), is a Japanese guitarist, singer-songwriter, record producer and...  more
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    #79 of 89 The Best J-Pop Bands & Singers#32 of 42 The Best Asian Bands/Artists

  • NationalityJapan

    Takahiro Konagawa (小名川 高弘, Konagawa Takahiro, born November 30, 1979) is a Japanese guitarist, singer, and musical composer from Kashiwa, Chiba. He came out as a guitarist of Charcoal Filter in...  more
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  • Age: 48

    NationalityJapan

    BirthplaceNiigata Prefecture, Japan

    Közi is a Japanese musician, singer-songwriter and DJ. He is best known as guitarist for the visual kei rock band Malice Mizer. After the band went on indefinite hiatus in 2001, he formed the...  more
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  • NationalityJapan

    BirthplaceChigasaki, Japan

    Keisuke Kuwata (桑田 佳祐, Kuwata Keisuke, born February 26, 1956) is a Japanese multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and frontman for the Southern All Stars, as well of his own solo band, the...  more
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  • NationalityJapan

    BirthplaceOsaka Prefecture, East Asia, Honshu, Osaka, Asia

    Koichi Fukuda (born July 1, 1967 in Osaka, Japan) is a Japanese musician, best known as the lead guitarist, programmer, and keyboardist for the industrial metal band Static-X; he has been a member of...  more
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  • NationalityJapan

    BirthplaceEast Asia, Asia, Japan, Kanagawa Prefecture

    Ryo Owatari (大渡 亮, Ōwatari Ryō?) is a Japanese guitarist who was born April 4, 1971 in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. He was formerly a member of the amateur band pee-ka-boo, but he is mainly known for...  more
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  • Age: 49

    NationalityJapan

    BirthplaceHakodate, Japan

    Takurō Kubo (久保 琢郎, Kubo Takurō, born May 26, 1971 in Hakodate, Hokkaido), better known by his stage name TAKURO, is a Japanese musician and lyricist best known as one of the guitarists and leader of...  more
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