Psychedelic rock was invented in the 1960s by American and British
counterculture figures. Arriving in Japan, psychedelic rock took on a
different flavor. Previously known for the drug intake of its performers
leaving an impact on the hazy, drugged-out music, J-Rock performers tended
to be drug-free, or even adamantly anti-drug (for example, Kosugi Takehisa,
Haino Keiji, Nanjo Asahito).
Psychedelic rock first appeared in Japan in the mid to late 1960s. A few
Group Sounds bands imitated their Anglo heros, including The Golden Cups,
The Tempters, The Mops, The Dynamites and Jacks, whose "Karappo No
Sekai" and "Marianne" were two of the first psychedelic
recordings from the country.
In the 1970s, singer-songwriters like Kazuki Tomokawa and Kan Mikami
became popular. As in the US and UK, Japanese rock spawned a folk-rock
scene, there led by Magical Power Mako. At the same time, radical progressive
rock was evolving, with distinctly Japanese bands like After Dinner and
YB02, Kenso and KoenjiHyakkei.
From the late 1980s popular rock bands such as X Japan helped define the
Visual Kei aesthetic in Japanese rock and pop music. "Visual kei"
is often focused upon in the West as a uniquely Japanese part of the Rock
music scene. Strictly speaking, however, "Visual kei" is not
defined by its sound (which may or may not be "rock" music) but by
the appearance of the bands.
A fringe movement from the late 1980s in Japanese alternative rock took
the form of noise rock, a sound popularised by bands such as Boredoms.
Notable J-Rock Bands;
Asian Kung-Fu Generation
The Blue Hearts
The Brilliant Green
Dir en grey
Do As Infinity
The Golden Cups
Janne Da Arc
Thee Michelle Gun Elephant
The Yellow Monkey