X Japan is a Japanese heavy metal band founded in 1982 by Toshimitsu "Toshi" Deyama and Yoshiki Hayashi. Originally named X (エックス), the group achieved its breakthrough success in 1989 with the release of their second album Blue Blood. They started out as a power/speed metal band and later gravitated towards a progressive sound, at all times retaining an emphasis on ballads. Many of their songs also incorporate classical-sounding piano passages.
Besides being one of the first Japanese acts to achieve mainstream success while on an independent label, the group is widely credited for pioneering the visual kei movement. They were formerly known for their excessively large hairstyles resembling fountains.
As of 2010, the band has sold over thirty million records and over two million home videos.
After sixteen years, four albums, and selling out the 50,000 seat Tokyo Dome 18 times, X Japan disbanded in 1997. The band did not perform or record for another 10 years. In 2007, the band re-united and performed live for the first time since their break-up. After performing concerts through-out Asia in 2007 through 2009, the band scheduled their first North American tour, set to begin September 25, 2010. They will also release their first studio album in more than 14 years in the autumn.