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Music: Toshimitsu Deyama
Toshi performing with X Japan in Yokohama, 2010

Toshimitsu Deyama (better known as Toshi or Tosh I) is the vocalist and co-creator of X Japan. In the 80s and early 90s, his incredible vocal abilities and his one-of-a-kind hairstyle designed by then-bassist Taiji made him one of the most distinctly recognizable metal vocalists out of Japan. He, along with Yoshiki and hide are the most well-known members of X Japan.

In 1997, Toshi decided to leave X Japan, which led to the dissolution of the band and let's just leave it at that, and devote himself to "healing music" with his then-wife Kaori Moritani ("Wanku") and their religious leader Masaya. This did not end well.

His career outside of X had consisted of various collaborations/solo performances up until 1997. From his joining the Masaya sect in 1997 to his departure from it in December 2009, his solo career was solely healing music with Home of Heart, and "eco-rock" with the Masaya project T-Earth (members Toshi [v], Riku [d], Ryo [g], Kain [b].) from 2008 to 2009. It disbanded for a reason you can probably guess by this point.

Over 2006-2007, Toshi decided that he was going to help Yoshiki reunite X Japan, performing with the reunited band for the first time in 2007. He continued to perform with X Japan, while beginning the eco-rock band called "T-Earth" under Masaya's auspices, as well as releasing nearly a single a month, doing duets with other Home of Heart members and Kaori, lashing out at the sect's opponents, and working himself into a breakdown. Fans were decidedly split about his career choices and their opinions of T-Earth and the other Masaya work.

He was hospitalized, suffering from "intercostal neuralgia" and mutism as side effects from psychiatric injury and injury to his larynx and chest muscles from physical overwork. He physically couldn't sing, all activities were put on hold until he arrived in LA for the filming of X Japan's PV Jade, where he was only supposed to move his lips from not being able to sing...

Then came the Drama Bomb and The Reveal. Originally in the form of a small, seemingly out of nowhere news report about Toshi and Kaori seeking a divorce, which was originally dismissed as rumor....until Toshi made a blog post on his Mixi (which was the only site under his control at the time) and then had a press conference, claiming that he had been misled and virtually Made a Slave by the sect, along with others. You can see video of the press conference uploaded here for first part, rest is in related videos.

For the last 12 years, according to Toshi, he was allegedly being forced into more work and more projects by Masaya, as the leader of Home of Heart allegedly took all of the proceeds from both his work with X Japan and the a-single-a-month pace of Toshi's solo/duet/T-Earth career. This led to his alleged need to depend on friends and whatever he could scrounge for almost everything including food, his allegedly being a target of surveillance in a tiny Tokyo apartment while Kaori and Masaya lived in a mansion, and his eventual mental and physical breakdown.

At the beginning of 2010, he began to sing again as his body and mind began to recover from his bad experiences, and performed doing one solo concert and with X Japan.

As of 2011, he completed bankruptcy, restarted his solo career free of Masaya as solo projects and as Toshi featuring Yoshiki, his voice is once again at top form, and he seems to be well on his way to one of the best, most inspiring comebacks in the Visual Kei scene. Ironically, his may be the least tragic of stories related to X Japan - while he still has some ongoing problems, he seems to be doing well...and he is one of only three surviving members of the 1987-1992 band, along with Yoshiki and Pata.

As of 2014, he is collaborating with other Visual Kei artists again in his solo career (among them Shinya of Dir En Grey and the guitarist from Merry), and he has released a book entitled "Back Alive From 12 Years Of Brainwashed Hell," about his experience in the Masaya sect and leaving it.


Provides Examples of:
  • Apple of Discord: Kaori and Masaya, when they convinced him to leave his career as a visual rock musician for their religion.
  • Angst
  • Ambiguously Bi / Ambiguously Gay: A hotly debated topic. He definitely participates in male/male fanservice and was one of the people who did it before it became a popular stage trick in Visual Kei (two examples from the 1990 Rose and Blood tour footage alone included his dry-humping Pata from behind during Stab Me In The Back and his embrace with Taiji during X), and his affinity for Samurai aesthetic. On the other hand he was married for 11 years - with 10 of those lived away from his wife while she lived with their cult leader. There's been rumors of him being seen with women/getting married again - there's also been rumors of him being seen with other men. No one really knows, and both sides have enough ammunition to keep the debate going until/if he directly comes out. That said, this is a huge influence on his work - which is why the trope is listed here - in that much of his onstage performance and a large amount of his lyrics, especially in the early days of X Japan and after his departure from the Masaya sect, seem to reference attraction to men.
  • Awful Wedded Life: 10 years as a Long Distance Relationship with a wife who was living with her religious leader.
  • Audience Participation Song: Toshi is a vocalist who definitely likes to engage the audience. He (and therefore X Japan) are rather well known for Audience Participation Songs.
  • Bad Samaritan: Kaori and Masaya both. Toshi himself became one for others while acting on behalf of Home of Heart, something he says he regrets quite much.
  • Blessed with Suck: See Can't Hold His Liquor below. Being unable to drink much before falling asleep actually likely stopped him from succumbing to the almost universal alcoholism and alcohol abuse in X Japan, possibly saving his life or at the very least keeping him from developing an addiction to alcohol and its additional struggle.
  • Brainwashed: Kaori and Toshi both until 2009, allegedly. Arguably, anyone in the Masaya organization.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Toshi, again according to himself, on his blogs until 2009. He would regularly lash out at the perceived enemies and opponents of Home Of Heart, as the organization allegedly enslaved him.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Selective mutism as a result of likely PTSD and subsequent to physical injury to his vocal cords and chest for the last few months of 2009, only gaining his voice back in January 2010.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Toshi mentioned in a 2013 interview that he likes beer but falls asleep after two. This actually was good for him in at least one way - see Blessed with Suck above.
  • Careful With That Axe: Not often in studio albums and singles but more often live.
  • Cherry Blossoms: He has a 2013 solo album and title track for that album called "Cherry Blossom."
  • Cluster F-Bomb: The 9/25/10 Wiltern show patter breaks.
  • Converting for Love: A good example why this is not always the best of ideas. Especially if the conversion is a condition of the "love."
  • Cover Version: Toshi covered more than a few songs in his early career up until around 1995, and has began to do covers again, including one of Billy Joel.
  • Crisis of Faith: Late 2009, when he was unable to deny any longer that Home of Heart had ruined him and literally posed a hazard to his life. He handled it by leaving and slowly beginning to rebuild his life without the sect, which he appears to have done to some success.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: One of his most common stage poses. The page pic is a variant, and he does a far more traditional one in 1993 Art of Life.
  • Double Entendre: From his 2011 song "Hoshizora no Neptune," which is a love song for the all-important context: "I foresaw in a dream engraved beyond the hours of Uranus..."
  • Dysfunctional Family: Closer to dysfunctional couple since no kids were thankfully involved, but a marriage that consisted of one year of living together - if that - before Kaori left to live with Masaya and yet kept the Long Distance Relationship with Toshi for the next 10 years, a relationship that consisted of making sure he was making music and money, taking said music and money, and working as Masaya's representative, making him stay in the religion out of first convincing him of its truth, then, as the years went on past 2006, extortion and blackmail and threats.
  • Easily Forgiven: His years raising money for a dangerous religious cult and his likely being involved in some way with emotional or even physical child abuse during that era are often written off. The most given rationale for this is that he was, himself, just as much of a victim as everyone else in the sect.
  • Financial Abuse: He was victimized by his ex-wife and their religious leader.
  • Fluffy Fashion Feathers: One prominent part of his The New Tens Visual style along with...
  • Funny Character, Boring Actor: Is this, to some extent, in the good sense of boring - relative stability and being a down to earth person aware of himself and not being a raging alcoholic/drug addict or Attention Whore.
  • Happy Marriage Charade: He mentioned this in his press conference and elsewhere. According to him, his marriage to Kaori had become this shortly after 1998 until late 2009, when he filed for divorce.
  • Hey Lets Put On A Show: The "solo sayonara" concert held on February 24, 2010.
  • Incompatible Orientation: If he is gay or prefers men, his marriage to Kaori was this along with all the other dysfunctionality of it.
  • Incredibly Long Note: One of the masters of this in Visual Kei, and can still accomplish it on the level of much younger singers despite being in his late 40s.
  • In-Joke: ASS IN THE DARK!!!! (His pronunciation of "Earth In The Dark," one of the songs Masaya wrote for him.)
  • Knight in Shining Armor: the 2011 charity concerts tour to raise money for earthquake and tsunami victims.
    • Also horrifically inverted earlier on: he thought he was this as he fell deeper into Home of Heart and as his devotion to the sect destroyed his family relationships and friendships as well as the band.
  • Large Ham: The result of an everyday normal young man trying to be a larger than life The Eighties rockstar like his BFF and his bandmates. Ironically? It WORKED. Tropes Are Not Bad, not even this one.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: For Yoshiki.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Sadly played very straight, if he actually loved Kaori, or subverted if he was threatened with outing as gay and blackmailed into the marriage.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: In his early days and the early days of the band, his role was "cartoon monster" + aggressive dominant leather daddy + Kiss-style demon, to yell at the audience and get them worked up (sometimes even by directly insulting them), while singing dark lyrics about sex, murder, drugs, and whatever else Yoshiki could put into a song to make it shocking and angsty enough. Offstage, he was and is actually relatively quiet, even more truly shy than Yoshiki (as seen in the interviews where Yoshiki does all the talking or most of it, and what with Yoshiki being the Face of the Band post 2008, and with a comparison of how many posts he makes to his Face Book -and his avoiding other social media entirely - as compared to Yoshiki's far more prolific posting and network presence) and seemingly an all around Nice Guy.
  • Metal Scream: One of the best Metal Screamers out there when his voice is top form and he's live...
  • Melismatic Vocals: He can do this...and combine it with the Metal Scream, which creates the Last Note Nightmare on Jade for X Japan.
  • Painted-On Pants: Usually leather ones, as well.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: He's likely one of the shortest active vocalists in the world aside from Dir En Grey's Kyo, barely above 5"5 outside of platform boots and without the assistance of the Hitler Cam and similar tricks. He is also one of the best power vocalists currently in Hard Rock / Heavy Metal.
  • Precision F-Strike: The lyrics to "Desperate Angel," his X Japan song co-written with Taiji.
  • Ode To Sobriety: One that rode the borderline between the first and second types in "Say I Love You" from 2011. It was written for an anti-methamphetamine campaign by the Metropolitan Tokyo Police, which would put it firmly as a type two of that trope - except two of his late bandmates had been rumored to have abused the drug at points, which would make it closer to a sad type one.
  • Old Shame: His entire solo catalog from 1997 until 2010, due to its having been created at Masaya's behest for recruitment and fundraising purposes for the sect. So much so that he has begged fans not to pay money for any of those works because it goes to the people who hurt him and are actively trying to hurt others.
    • When he joined the sect, he insisted his X Japan work was this.
  • Religion Rant Song: Airport, which is the third kind, albeit symbolically, about his feelings regarding leaving Home of Heart and beginning anew in his mid-forties.
  • Rule of Drama: A great example why all rockstars who don't want to end up in worse trouble than their Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll counterparts, instead seeking life's answers via religion, need to practice safe sects.
  • Samurai: The theme of his last "solo" concert and farewell to his solo career (before he restarted it with the money no longer going to Masaya), and one of his songs for it.
  • Sunglasses at Night
  • Surprisingly Good English
  • Too Much Information: Also undoubtedly the 09/25/10 Wiltern show MC to some (although not to others), either as a result of his performing a "Blind Idiot" Translation on his own remarks or his coming out of the closet onstage.
  • Trigger: Yoshiki's dark and depressing lyrics were this for him, enough to worsen his depression and sense of social disconnection, which made him easy pickings for Home of Heart when Kaori promised it would heal his mind and make him a better person.
  • Uranus Is Showing: "Hoshizora No Neptune"/"Neptune of the Starlit Sky," a Silly Love Song with the following:
    I send to you from my heart as a diamond's glare
    The everlasting glow of the planet is the Neptune of the star lit sky
    I foresaw in a dream engraved beyond the hours of Uranus
    my one and only prayer held within my heart
  • Violet UK: He's covered "Unnamed Song" and "I'll Be Your Love" so far.
  • Visual Kei: One of the Trope Makers in The Eighties and The Nineties. He entirely dropped the style and the scene, denouncing it as evil, around 1996 when he became more involved with Masaya's sect. As of 2008, he adopted the style again for performances, but more in a more "wealthy Western rockstar" look than a return to Visual Shock.
  • Vocal Range Exceeded: Not often (because he has one of the widest ranges for active vocalists), but sometimes does happen to him. One of the saddest examples was 1997 Last Live for X Japan, where he was often crying too much to sing properly, and a more recent example was when he was slightly off-form at X Japan's A-Nation performance of Born To Be Free.
    • Also occasionally happens 2008 and onward when he tries for the Metal Scream and hasn't prepared himself properly (due to falling out of practice for so many years and due to being a smoker) - the result sounds like a chicken or parrot screeching, as opposed to what he's going for.
  • X Japan: He's the vocalist.

Yoshiki HayashiMetalHideto Matsumoto
Hideto MatsumotoMusicians/Visual KeiTomoaki Ishizuka

alternative title(s): Toshimitsu Deyama
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