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Music / Tomoaki Ishizuka

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Pata playing with X Japan at Madison Square Garden, 2014
Tomoaki Ishizuka (born November 4, 1965), best known by his stage name of "Pata" (either chosen by himself or bestowed upon him by other bandmates because of how he reminded them of the main character in Patalliro! ) is a Japanese rock guitarist best known for being the second guitarist of the band X Japan. Before his days with X Japan, he had his own band, "Judy" which he had asked Yoshiki to join, an offer which was turned down. Later, when one of X's guitarists took ill, Yoshiki asked Pata to join X Japan, he accepted, and the band's most recognizable lineup was in place.

Pata began a solo career in 1993, with the Pata's Bootleg concert and self-titled album "Pata." When X Japan lead guitarist hide began his solo career, Pata often played as one of his supporting guitarists as a member of Spread Beaver. He also played support for other bands and artists and toured with hide up until 1996.

After hide's death, he organized an alternative-rock band called Dope Headz with X Japan bassist Heath, and he continued to play with Heath in Dope Headz until the dissolution of the band. He also recorded with Miyavi on Miyavi's album Galyuu, as second guitar. He would go on to form his current band, Ra:IN (members Pata [g], Michiaki [b], Tetsu [d], D.I.E. [keyboards, programming, vocals]

Pata, along with Dynamite Tommy and Taiji Sawada and others, also appeared in the Japanese rock film "Attitude."


Currently, as of February 2016, he is recovering from alcohol-induced liver and gastrointestinal damage which led to portal thrombosis and damage to his large intestine, which has led to a hiatus for X Japan and doubts about the future...



  • Pata (November 4, 1993)
  • Raised on Rock (July 5, 1995)


  • Fly Away (September 21, 1994)
  • Shine on Me (January 21, 1995)


  • Patent Applied For (March 25, 1998)
  • PAF.#0002 (February 24, 1999)

Dope Headz

  • Primitive Impulse (June 6, 2001)
  • Planet of the Dope (July 24, 2002)


  • The Line (November 7, 2003)
  • Before the Siren (March 8, 2006)
  • Metal Box (April 9, 2008)

Provides Examples Of

  • The Alcoholic: Admitted as such in interviews where he's referred to drinking a to go bowl (e.g. the size of a full ramen cup) of 45 proof whiskey for breakfast as if such an admission were nothing. His wife also divorced him for cause - the cause being alcoholism.
    • His 2016 illness was a direct result of this - liver and gastrointestinal damage as a result of alcoholism. As of March 2016, though, he has been sober for two months.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Unusually averted for many years, despite his being The Alcoholic. Aside from the abusive/bad behavior that led to the divorce and one car crash that may not have even been his fault (because no one knows for sure, to this day, whether it was he or hide driving hide's car), especially after The '90s, he is generally known to be a fairly mellow drunk and not known for getting into trouble, destroying stuff, or stupidly dangerous behavior as a result of drinking... until 2016, when severe, life-threatening health problems arose from his use of alcohol, derailing the band's plans for the year.
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  • Almighty Janitor: Rhythm guitar isn't generally a very noticed or respected position in Visual Kei, but he's more skilled and capable than many lead guitarists (and arguably even more so than the current lead guitarist for X Japan), and when he does take lead or do major parts in the songs, it's some of the band's best work.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Gender inverted, in that he's obviously male and one of the most obviously masculine members of the bands he's in, but ever since he toned down his look in the first place to dark hair, then abandoned visual style entirely for the most part, this seems to be the role he plays - cool, calm almost to the point of being asleep onstage, serious.
  • Anger Born of Worry: He often expressed frustration and yet worry over both hide and Taiji, his best friends out of his X Japan days, and sadly, his worry turned out to be spot on for both.
  • Animal Reaction Shot: There are at least two pics involving his cats that are these: in one, he is picking up a cat that seems more than a bit unhappy about being picked up and held, and in another, he's crouching down on the beach petting a cat that seems a bit nonplussed at the idea.
  • Art Evolution: When he first started with X Japan, he was known for an equally shocking image to the rest of the members and for playing traditional Heavy Metal on an electric guitar. Quickly enough, though, he became highly focused on technical guitar skill, and playing heavily blues and classical guitar on an acoustic as well. Over the years, he became a very highly skilled technical guitarist on both electric and acoustic guitar and known for his normal, relatively toned-down appearance.
  • Attention Whore: Averted, to an extreme degree, which ironically makes him stand out in a band heavily composed of them, and gain respect and fandom for being the least attention-seeking bandman in X Japan.
  • Badass Beard: He grew a beard and mustache over 2011.
  • Breakup Breakout: Ever heard of Judy? .... all right then, heard of X Japan?
    • His solo career is probably the most successful out of any of the X bandmates aside from hide, having toured Europe extensively as well as being relatively cult followed in America for the albums he did with James Christian.
  • Bomb Throwing Anarchist: In the early days of X, Yoshiki described him as one.
  • Brought Down to Normal: In regard to looks, he did it entirely by himself when he became Post-Visual in appearance around late in The '90s.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Pata is actually of black African ancestry as well.
  • Carpet of Virility
  • Companion Cube: Just try to find a a tour pic where his beloved guitar isn't within three feet of him.
  • Cool Old Guy: Agewise, no, since he is younger than hide by a year and younger than Toshi (the current oldest member of the band) by a month, but appearancewise, he is probably the only X member to have completely stripped himself of any Visual Kei makeup or costuming, thus making him appear older than the other members.
  • CrazyCatMan: See below. He really likes cats, usually having at least two, and they've made appearances in his photoshoots and videos and the like.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Pata loves cats.
  • Delinquent Hair: Sported a mohawk in the Blue Blood days, and until 1992 had cherry red hair.
  • Drunken Master: Pata has gone on stage drunk, drinks during shows, and none of it seems to have any effect on his incredible skill.
  • Easily Forgiven: Like everyone else in X Japan in that his personal bad behavior (including being a hardcore alcoholic who may or may not have been guilty of Domestic Abuse leading up to the divorce) has been often overlooked. A slightly more understandable case, though, in that he owned up to what he did by not contesting the divorce and not remarrying to get into a similar situation, and that despite his continued alcoholism he's generally stayed out of major trouble after The '90s.
  • Elective Mute: Very close to this, except that he uses Hiding Behind the Language Barrier rather than not speaking at all.
  • Epic Rocking: The final combined solo/guitar duet of Art of Life. His solo opens for Standing Sex and Stab Me In The Back, when he was on lead for those songs rather than hide. In The New '10s, his guitar battle with Sugizo (which he is often stated to have "won" despite playing only a simple pentatonic scale), his playing rhythm to Taiji's bass in X at Yokohama 2010, and his appearances at the Club Sensation jam sessions.
  • Eyepatch of Power: There's at least one photoshoot of him with an eye patch over one eye.
  • Fanservice: With X Japan until the middle of The '90s, he would occasionally engage in fanservice with Taiji or hide (and at least once was the target of some from Toshi). In his days in Spread Beaver, he would occasionally kiss hide onstage. Over time, though, he became far less known for fanservice and doesn't aim for it either in appearance or in actions as of the reunion and onward.
  • Functional Addict: To the point of Drunken Master as shown above. He was a hardcore alcoholic especially from 1998 onward, but rarely if ever, especially past the mid-nineties, does he even make a noticeable mistake or even seem overly intoxicated onstage.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: At least in old days; nowadays, not so much.
  • I Call It "Vera": Pata's favorite guitar (the '59 finish Les Paul) is named Jomuko...and it's been voted vice-president of Ra:IN.
  • Intercourse with You: "All The Way," which is, unsurprisingly, about groupies.
  • Off the Wagon: While he had been known for heavy drinking most of his adult life, his drinking took a seriously dangerous and scary turn after hide's and Taiji's deaths. After 2011, it was beginning to affect his performances and raise concerns among fans, finally resulting in a life-threatening episode of portal thrombosis and severe diverticulitis from the damage alcohol was doing to his liver and intestinal tract.
  • Rock-Star Song: From Pata's solo career and his first album, "Story Of A Young Man." It's his autobiographical song.
  • Rummage Sale Reject: His style as of 2007 or so onward.
  • Shrinking Violet: He's easily the most shy member of X Japan onstage.
  • The Stoic: Probably his most obvious personality feature: he is, even drunk, quiet and reserved openly.
  • Survivor Guilt: For hide and now Taiji. Sadly enough, the two people in the scene Pata was closest to in life are now both dead...
  • Surprisingly Good English: Despite rumors to the contrary caused by Hiding Behind the Language Barrier, Pata speaks and understands English fluently, and when he speaks it his accent is very light.
  • The Quiet One: Usually the least noticed of the band, but can sometimes be heard on backing vocals, particularly on Stab Me In The Back and Vanishing Love.
  • Those Two Guys: Pata is one, Heath the other. Yoshiki, hide, Toshi, and occasionally Taiji are the band members most people think of first.
  • Yaoi Fanboy: From both his love for Patalliro! and some of his official art, it's pretty obvious he likes yaoi. He also used to bring a large amount of X Japan fanservice back in the day, usually choosing either hide or Taiji for it.
  • Younger Than They Look: Pata is only 50 years old.


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