Yoshiki Hayashi (who usually goes by his first name, Yoshiki, which is capitalized as YOSHIKI in his solo or band work) is the bandleader, drummer, pianist, occasional guitarist, and co-creator of the rock band X Japan. While a true statement, it's also an understatement - he has also been everything from a product designer and male model to an American music producer known for his work on Saw IV, Catacombs, and Repo! The Genetic Opera. He is also the founder of the first dedicated Visual Kei label, Extasy Records, and has been as such the Record Producer for a lot of Visual Kei bands other than his own, including Dir En Grey and Glay.Other projects he has been attached to or involved in in some way include Globe, V2, and classical solo performances, including one for the emperor of Japan (the Anniversary Concert). As of 2002 until the reunion of X Japan, he has been doing most work toward his solo project, Violet UK. (Yoshiki is the only current permanent member of Violet UK.) He has also produced work with Roger Taylor and George Martin among others. As of 2012, he has become the composer of note for the 69th and 70th Annual Golden Globes. He has also released two classical albums (Yoshiki Selection 1 and 2) with a third (Yoshiki Classical) released on US Itunes on August 27, 2013, with an international and physical CD release delayed but completed in October and November due to a controversy with cover art.Yoshiki is also a video blogger and an executive advisor with Ustream. He posts regularly on Twitter at @YoshikiOfficial, and does most interaction with other artists and celebrities and even fans there, and on Facebook. Though he's also on Tumblr, Instagram, LINE, and Google+. He has also opened a Weibo account for Chinese fans of X Japan, and seems very interested in encouraging peace between Japan and China, having performed multiple times in China and refusing to take a public stance on any contentious political issues.NOT related to Yoyo Plot Point, though if his film auteur aspirations ever became successful, who knows?Tropes relating to or included in Blood Red Dragon, the Comic Book featuring his Author Avatar (or Mary Sue if you want to be less charitable) are to be listed on that page. They are NOT to be listed on this page, which deals with the real artist.Yoshiki's charitable and awareness efforts have become more widely known over 2011: not only has he worked, through the Yoshiki Foundation, to raise funds and help with the Great East Japan Earthquake relief effort, he also has donated money, band memorabilia, and more for the Thailand floods relief effort, and seems to be very concerned for disaster victims especially in the countries which he has visited or to which X Japan has been on tour.As of 2013, he began a new solo project of playing "classical" instrumental music, primarily rearranges/remixes of his X Japan and Violet UK music written for classical as opposed to covering classical pieces by historically famous composers, having released one album (the aforementioned Yoshiki Classical/Yoshiki Melodies Classics) and performed at the Grammy Museum twice - once in August 2013 and another time - to celebrate the museum exhibit devoted to him and announce many of the dates of his planned 2014 solo classical tour - in February 2014. He then performed twice at SXSW in Austin, Texas in March 2014, creating a viral video of himself playing Art of Life against a Projected Man - himself.He completed a successful solo classical world tour, with concerts in California, Mexico, Russia, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, China, Thailand, Taiwan, and Japan, and has written yet another song for Violet UK, Hero, which is the theme for the anime film Saint Seiya: Legend of Sanctuary. His band X Japan has announced two shows in Yokohama for 2014, as well as a US show to be held at Madison Square Garden in New York City.(His name is, despite every time you may have heard it (mis)pronounced in mainstream media, properly pronounced closer to "Yosh'key" or "Yosh'ki." (those aren't even the exact pronunciations in Japanese, but for English speakers, they are the closest you can get to correct.) It is never, ever pronounced "Yosheekee," even if he often lets it go or even does it himself. Doing that will earn you the wrath of almost anyone who knows the proper pronounciation, or at least another Face Palm. "Yokashi" is only forgiven for Stan Lee, and "Yoshi" will make most people wonder why you're talking about the green dinosaur from Super Mario Bros..Provides Examples of:
A Bloody Mess / Kensington Gore: The "Fake Blood" story from his old myspace blog. Long story short, he walked out of a photoshoot where he was taking a Blood Bath and posing with real scratches and tons of fake blood and bandages and wounds, not knowing a minor car accident had happened nearby. An LAPD officer investigating the car accident saw him, and Hilarity Ensues.
Ace Custom: Yoshiki's studios (first the one he bought from Bob Rock and remade for his own use, then the new one he bought and was involved with almost every aspect of the creation/setup) are a Real Life version of this: while other musicians and other acts can, obviously, be recorded and produced there, the main utility is for Yoshiki's solo classical works / Violet UK, and X Japan right down to the acoustics and the space arrangement and similar.
Adults Are Useless: Combined with There Are No Therapists for his adolescence, in a zigzagged way that is almost heartbreaking to ponder if you read the part of his autobiography where he discusses this - he learned to play drums in his characteristic way (which later led to his neck and back injuries), began to hang out with bikers and punks and yankii which led in part to the development of Visual Kei - but at the same time, he had no way of resolving his pain over his father's suicide other than playing drums, fighting, drinking, risking his own life, becoming suicidal himself, and acting out for attention. It's also a bit of a Double Subversion of There Are No Therapists in that somehow, by dumb luck, he survived it all and became a great artist despite (and maybe even because, though even suggesting that is a veryFamily-Unfriendly Aesop) his lack of therapeutic adult guidance back to normality as a child.
All Drummers Are Animals: Though somewhat averted in that Yoshiki managed to create a combined image of fragility and beauty fused with brutality and power rather than being the "big dumb drummer" stereotype.
Played straight in the 2010 video for Jade, in which Yoshiki is morphed into a CGI werewolf. A little bit of Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot and mythology fail also applies there, as he seems to identify more with "vampire" than "werewolf" in most of his image...
American Dream: Of the first type (generally positive) but zigzagged in quite a few ways: first, most of the first part of the dream was accomplished entirely in Japan, and while he has the riches of the positive portrayal to a degree that would be exaggerated, it's also subverted and deconstructed in the costs to his physical health alone much less mental health, friendships, privacy, and other things.
Anger Born of Worry: From his autobiography, interviews, the lyrics of Without You and some other communications and stories, it can be pieced together that a Vicious Cycle of this kicked in between him and hide near the end of hide's life from 1996-1998. note He and hide were bothThe Alcoholic at the time, and hide was sinking deeper into bulimia and alcoholism at the very least. At times, Yoshiki would hold hide's hair away from his face while he vomited or offer reassurance or do whatever else he could for him, but when both were drunk the anger would boil over into physical fighting possibly to the level of mutual Domestic Abuse. The worry over what they were doing to each other and to themselves turned over into more anger, and so the cycle went on, until hide's death.
Angst: Yoshiki's life has been, in so many ways, angstier than any of his music. If you wish to find out how, go elsewhere.
Ass Kicking Pose: When he stands on his drums before jumping back behind them (or in more recent performances, holds his sticks in the X shape).
Ass Shove: There is a photoshoot photo from around the Jealousy era (early 1990s) that is of him standing under a waterfall, performing one of these on himself with his fingers.
Attention Whore: Back in the day. To somewhat less of an extent now, but his haters still accuse him of being so.
Attractive Bent-Gender: One of the very first Visual Kei artists to do this and absolutely succeed at it. Even now that he looks more masculine, the androgyny he still possesses makes him attractive to some (though not to very heteronormative people...)
Badass Normal: Averted early on: he was (and still is) arguably one of the most well-known drummers in metal music for his undeniably extreme drum performances; before the 1995 neck injury, he was one of the few drummers of his time who can hit tempos exceeding 800BPM without using heel-toe pedaling or any other extended drum techniques. Played straight since 1995 - he appears to have been Brought Down to Normal by his injuries and by his band shifting from Visual Shock to a more "wealthy rockstar" image, but he is still able to hit insane tempos characteristic of extreme metal subgenres, even though he's not necessarily an extreme metal musician to begin with, though he seems to be relying more on extended drum techniques similar to what modern Death Metal or Progressive Metal drummers use.
Handicapped Badass: A lot of people would quit music entirely after splitting discs in their spine in both their neck and back to the point that surgery was eventually required to attempt to fix the damage somewhat and developing severe tendonitis in both wrists. He still continues to be an active musician playing both drums and piano (the instruments that are likely hardest on his neck and back and arms) and doing both far better than quite a few younger, healthier people.
Bar Brawl: Was notorious for this in his younger days, to the point that restaurants, bars, clubs, and other drinking establishments in Tokyo occasionally posted signs banning him by name (if they didn't just ban all trappings of being Visual with "no blondes" or "no funny hair" or the like), and once managed to, along with Dynamite Tommy with whom he was fighting, demolish an entire bar. See Kung-Shui below.
Bi the Way: He openly poses with and dates women, and is open about romantic bisexuality (as in, being in love with another man in the past), and has written lyrics about gay sex as well as heterosexual sex, though it is not to be discussed whether/if he has actually had sex with someone of the same sex, as this is not something he has openly discussed in public.
Black Cards: Accidentally revealed that he has one of the American Express ones when he took out his wallet in the September 27 2013 Nico Nico appearance.
Bleached Underpants: His classical solo career seems to be taking this turn, as he wishes to be serious and appeal to a wide demographic, which frequent use of the Cluster F-Bomb, Intercourse with You songs, and Shock Rock tropes generally don't help, at least in the traditional view. Whether he will continue on with the process of remaking his image, or try to fuse classical to rock more as he's mentioned wanting to do (and therefore potentially bring in the rock demographic, while taking the risk of spurning more traditional classical fans), no one knows.
Blood Bath: Once took such a bath in fake blood (while fully clothed) during a photoshoot for Fool's Mate magazine and, in the past with X Japan, has written a song about the Trope MakerElizabeth Bathory entitled "Rose of Pain".
Child Prodigy: Was possibly one, if he's not being a Trolling Creator or a braggart when he mentions playing classical piano at four. How quickly he learned to play drums also hints at this - he started at ten and by his mid-teens, was already playing at semi-professional level, enough to win an award, and by twenty (the age of adulthood in Japan) already led his own band and had been playing at professional level for a few years.
Cool Car: He likes driving supercars such as Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Maseratis, and similar, and these expensive Cool Cars have made their way into videos for the band (the 2010 version of Rusty Nail), and quite a few of his photographs. He and X Japan also once sponsored a Le Mans race team in The Nineties.
Creepy Cool Crosses: Wears one of these fairly often as they are part of his jewelry line. There are several variants: the one with his name symbol on it, the one composed of daggers, the crucified doll one, the one that resembles an "X"...
Doesn't Like Guns: Yoshiki is notably one of the few Japanese rock musicians who has rarely, if ever, posed with even an obvious prop gun nor used firearms or firearm iconography in his personal imagery. He's posed with knives and other weapons and blood, but the absence of guns (especially since guns are the definition of a shocking image in Japan where they are forbidden by law to all but the police and yakuza) is definitely notable.
This trope seems to cross over into Real Life for him too, as there is one anecdote of him chasing a burglar from his home in LA - with a samurai sword.
Don't Try This at Home: Imitating Yoshiki's drumming style is probably one of the last things, if not, the very last thing you would want to do when learning drums - you'll probably end up in the very same condition as him and not survive unless you're extremely lucky, are under the supervision of a professional drum teacher, know the proper set of playing techniques, or playing at the same level as ShannonLucas, Derek Roddy or GeneHoglan. Basically the drum equivalent of teaching oneself vocals by singing along to Dir En Grey's Kyo or learning guitar by copying Herman Li.
Drama Queen: Has been one at quite a few points, and used to play up the overly dramatic diva image back in the early days of his career.
Dumb Blonde: Subverted, extremely so - he used to play the role at points, but he's very intelligent and talented.
Dumb and Drummer: Averted - especially in regard to the sheer complexity of his compositions whatever instrument they're for, being a virtuoso on two instruments and a capable player of several others, how much of a Long Runner X Japan was even before the 1997 breakup in part due to his business/management ability (10 years with only one member change is amazingly long-lasting in a genre where bands often break up in months due to running out of money)...
Empty Fridge Empty Life: Some people assume him to be lonely or otherwise troubled because of the pics of his house that show its monotone white/black/glass color scheme in places and yes, the time he opened his fridge in a video and it seemed mostly empty. Whether he is lonely or troubled or these are just preferences for obvious reasons (e.g. hoarding food isn't a good idea for someone away from home a lot, he just likes the color scheme) is up to the armchair psychologist commenting.
Epic Rocking: When he tries, it tends to hurt him very badly, but this is the person who brought Art of Life into being. And who, before his injuries got so severe, would perform it AND the rest of a set during shows.
12 minute drum solo at the Yokohama live August 15th.
Any given drum solo on the North American tour 2010.
Everybody Knew Already: That he and hide were best friends, yes, but also that he was in love with hide and hide likely was in love with him.
His birth year being 1965.
Fainting: He has fainted onstage and/or before/after shows due to anemia, emotional overload, exhaustion, or faking it onstage for the sake of drama, or some combination of all of the above.
Godiva Hair: Accomplished this in Nude, with extensions added to his already long hair, to make his hair reach his feet.
Grief Song: Tears, which was written for Yoshiki's father who committed suicide when Yoshiki was 10, and then rededicated to hide. Without You, which was written for hide. Also a very common theme in his Violet UK work.
Heroic RROD: Playing drums, Yoshiki will always push his body to and beyond its limits. The results are artistically great but physically worrisome...
Heroic Willpower: Should be one of the pictures of this in the dictionary. If he wants to do something, he will. not. stop. until it's accomplished, no matter what the personal cost or health cost or whatever, unless outside forces intervene to the point that he's pretty much legally banned or absolutely physically incapable from doing it - and he'll even try to find a way around those sometimes.
Ill Boy: As a child he was ill from his mother's difficult labor and crippling asthma. Eventually he got better, but then he's had everything from "neurocirculatory asthenia" to mental illness to physical damage from his intense drumming to hyperthyroidism...
Kimono Is Traditional: The Yoshikimono fashion shows/kimonos, which he actually said he got into doing because it is his family's tradition - being kimono makers, and as the oldest son he wanted to give back to his obligation in a way.
Also known for wearing kimono (front-tied ones...) onstage, and for wearing a lot of other traditional costuming - though he usually goes for the female type of it out of androgyny. For example, at X Japan's world tour stop in Bangkok, Thailand, he wore a traditional Thai women's dress.
Kung-Shui: Once caused so much damage via Bar Brawl and so much damage while drunk otherwise that he was banned by name from several Tokyo bars, drinking establishments, hotels, and restaurants, the ban only being removed once he was rich enough to pay for any damages on the spot and famous enough that "having your bar destroyed by Yoshiki" was a good thing. Also well-known for smashing up the stage and grabbing random objects and throwing or running with them...
Lethal Chef: Yoshiki is not known for his cooking skills...
Love Hurts: Yoshiki became entirely overcome with grief after hide's death. One can argue that it is obsession or love, but he has written at least three known songs for hide (Without You and Jade for X and Unnamed Song for Violet UK), and occasionally posts about his feelings regarding hide and his love for him.
Male Frontal Nudity: Subverted Trope: Yoshiki has an infamous photo book entitled "Nude." However, due to the photo book being shot and primarily sold in Japan, which at the time (and currently) insists on at least token censorship for male genitalia, he has a sheet and lighting covering it in every pic where it could possibly be seen.
My Hair Came Out Green: Sometimes his hairstylist(s) have been less than skilled, resulting not in green hair but in near-orange on one occasion, in an attempt at one of hide's styles that had the wrong color of pins and looked vaguely unwashed in another, and in a few other styles that didn't exactly seem to turn out right.
Never Got to Say Goodbye: Not to his father nor to hide. Yoshiki has used these actual words in his memorial song "Tears."
Noodle Incident: Quite a few of them. There was his first DUI/reckless driving incident (to which he later referred in an interview - his lawyer was Robert Shapiro in 1996 or so), the Bull Run drive, his being Paris Hilton's BFF, the burglary of his car in Tokyo while he was in an "intense meeting" with Tetsuya Komuro at 2 am with over $20,000 USD stolen from his trunk, smashing all the glass in his house and passing out on a West Hollywood park bench (at least) over October 30-31 2008 on the news his tour had been canceled, the February 2011 Tokyo restaurant dispute with either Masaya or Hiroshi Matsumoto that led to an emergency police call...
Not Me This Time: In 2013, there was a news report of a man trashing a Beverly Hills nightclub complete with smashing 40 bottles of wine. Until the man's name was mentioned in the second paragraph of the story (or the actual surveillance video was played) both of which showed it not to have been him, it could have been quite easy to assume it was Yoshiki, especially for those familiar with the 2008 reaction to the canceled concerts.
Omniglot: He speaks several languages and uses Google Translate or friends for help with others, and has said language learning is his new hobby.
One Mario Limit: If you're a Japanese musician named Yoshiki, just try to not have people confuse you with the most famous one. Even people who were active before/contiguously with when this Yoshiki became famous (e.g. the guitarist of Guitar Wolf) often get confused (even if by Fan Dumb or outsiders going "what is Yoshiki doing playing with Guitar Wolf?").
One Steve Limit: The above has resulted in many modern artists who fall into Name's the Same whether as a result of fan parents or spectacular bad luck or simply its commonality as a name picking different Stage Names, altering the spelling or capitalization or pronunciation, adding their last names, or otherwise doing something to try to differentiate themselves, especially if they play the same instruments or are composers.
Otherkin: If his identification with vampire subculture isn't a joke.
Percussive Therapy: Yoshiki has stated in interviews that he took up music (and Heavy Metal and drumming specifically) to deal with his emotions after his father's death and as a way to express emotional pain and suffering.
Pop-Star Composer: How he first became known in the US outside of existing X Japan fans - he's signed on to several film music and soundtrack projects.
Projected Man: Created one of these of himself for the 2014 South By Southwest Flaunt Magazine party performance - playing Art of Life in a piano "duel" against it - which became a viral video and likely got him more publicity than anything else in the world at large.
Raging Stiffie: The mokkori pics. Around ten official photos (some being selfies) that tend to circulate on fandom communities.
Sanity Slippage: Arguably, from 1998 until 2002 or so, and then only slowly coming back. The loss of his band, the then-loss of his friend Toshi to Masaya's cult, then hide's death hit in almost unrelenting order, leaving him suicidal and an absolute emotional wreck until he could slowly begin to recover. Listed because it is reflected in his music and in public communications.
Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Mostly averted - while he is rich (see just a few of the above entries) he doesn't seem to tend to use being rich to cause problems or as a get out of trouble free card, except possibly played straight in avoiding being jailed from his drinking and driving incident - although even that is arguably understandable with the reputation of theLA jailsystem, where the best legal and medical advice generally offered is to stay out of the system by all means possible.
Secret Identity: Has had a few. "Gary Yoshiki," and "Hitomi Shiratori" (overlapping with an inversion of Moustache de Plume) are two of the ones he's used in the past.
Shower Scene: A photoshoot exists where he's taking a shower fully clothed.
Silk Hiding Steel: He's cute, funny, and the rare combination of benign Attention Whore and Shrinking Violet. He's also a virtuoso musician on piano and drums, capable of playing several other instruments capably, a savvy businessperson who's kept his efforts in the visual kei scene occasionally dormant but alive as opposed to going down in flames and has a lot of business interests outside of music...
Sitting Sexy on a Piano: There is a picture from at least one concert of Yoshiki lying back on his piano with his legs spread.
Sorry Occifer: His own recounting of his 1995 DUI arrest in LA hints at this: he referred to talking to the officer while drinking from a bottle of wine. Needless to say, he was arrested. (Though, he later was officially only convicted of reckless driving...)
Spammer: With the Team Yoshiki Social Toaster campaign, he managed to turn many of his fans into rabid spammers, as well as spamming for it himself.
Sunglasses at Night: He wears sunglasses almost all the time, to the point that seeing his eyes is considered rare.
Surprisingly Good English: His English is usually mostly understandable and coherent, unless he is very drunk, very tired, or very angry.
Survivor Guilt: his grief for hide. He blames himself for much of the circumstances surrounding hide's death, though he could not have done anything for most of them, and the things he could have done something about, he likely had little or no knowledge of at the time.
To a somewhat lesser public degree, over Taiji. This upsets some Taiji fans, though it's more likely simply due to his being far closer to hide emotionally and on a personal level than he was to Taiji.
More recently, Hiroshi Matsumoto, hide's brother/the owner of the hide estate. Lawsuits have been involved.
Three Minutes of Writhing: White Poem for X Japan in both the PV and the live is one example, but he tends to do this either on his drum kit, on the stage, or in the audience at any given live show. And for more than three minutes, too...
Trash the Set: He was and is one of the more notorious Visual Kei musicians for doing this.
Vague Age: Kept his real age a secret as "X" for a long time, to the degree of his staff/him once arguing over its listing at The Other Wiki. Finally officially revealed his age around 2011, by stating that he was born in the same year as Toshi, who had already revealed his birth year as 1965, and repeated this at the Grammy Museum show.
Whammy Bid: Some fraudulent ones, made by people trolling a charity auction of one of his pianos for the earthquake and tsunami relief effort. These have happened repeatedly in his auctions, to the point that anyone watching charity auctions suspects trolling whenever the price goes too high - and if you bid in one, and the price seems to be jumping, especially between a couple of bidders, it's usually a good idea to step back and wait for the trolls to get kicked out and the bids to be reset.
Workout Fanservice: There's a pic he posted with him working out, with possibly real scratches still on his chest from a photoshoot.
Worst Aid: His staff/roadies carrying him offstage after he collapses from an actual medical condition has been this - with no support for his neck or back. It's most likely made his injuries worse to be carried offstage this way, especially when it was done in 1995.
You Can Barely Stand: Yoshiki has a habit of playing until he injures himself, playing through injuries, and continuing to play despite severe exhaustion.