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Toshimitsu Deyama (better known as Toshi) 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, his religious sect 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, in what many fans now see as a Crowning Moment of Awesome, in having the strength to expose the cult before the media and face up to the lies he told while Brainwashed. 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 need to depend on friends and whatever he could scrounge for almost everything including food, his 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.
Through his longstanding friendship with Yoshiki, he gained the strength to leave the sect for good and divorce Kaori, who had allegedly been living with Masaya for the last 10 or 12 years. On advice from his doctor, he tried to shout at the filming rather than just lipsynch, and slowly gained his voice back and recovered from his illness.
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.
Provides Examples of:
- Apple of Discord: Kaori and Masaya.
- 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 regrets quite much.
- Brainwashed: Kaori and Toshi both until 2009, allegedly. Arguably, anyone in the Masaya organization.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Toshi 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.
- Careful with That Axe: Not often in studio albums and singles but more often live.
- 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.
- Financial Abuse: He was victimized by his ex-wife and their religious leader.
- Hey, Let's Put on a Show: The "solo sayonara" concert held on February 24, 2010.
- 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 80s rockstar like his BFF and his bandmates. Ironically? It WORKED. Tropes Are Not Bad, not even this one.
- Love Makes You Crazy: Sadly played very straight.
- Metal Scream: One of the best Metal Scream ers out there when his voice is top form and he's live...
- 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.
- 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 and 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.
- Violet UK: He's covered "Unnamed Song" and "I'll Be Your Love" so far.
- X Japan: He's the vocalist.