Atsushi Sakurai

Atsushi Sakurai (櫻井 敦司, Sakurai Atsushi, born March 7, 1966) is a Japanese musician and singer-songwriter. He has been the vocalist of the rock band Buck-Tick since 1985, previously being their drummer from 1983. He released the solo album Ai no Wakusei in 2004 and was also a member of Schwein alongside Hisashi Imai (Buck-Tick), Sascha Konietzko (KMFDM) and Raymond Watts. In 2015, he formed a solo project called The Mortal.

Atsushi Sakurai
Birth name桜井 敦司
Born (1966-03-07) March 7, 1966 (age 56)
Fujioka, Gunma
OriginFujioka, Gunma, Japan
  • Musician
  • singer-songwriter
  • actor
  • Vocals
  • drums
  • saxophone
Years active1983–present
Member ofBuck-Tick
Formerly ofSchwein



Originally Atsushi was the drummer for Buck-Tick.[1] When the members graduated high school and moved to Tokyo, Atsushi was the only one left in Gunma. He then asked Toll Yagami if he could be the singer for his band SP, but was declined. Ironically, he ended up switching to vocalist of Buck-Tick, after the band fired Araki, and Toll became their drummer.[1]

His last name was originally written with the first kanji as "" ("sakura"), but when his mother died in 1990 he changed it to "", the older version. He also wrote "Long Distance Call" about his mother's death. He married Buck-Tick's stylist in 1991, but divorced a year later. They have one son, Akutagawa Prize-winning author Haruka Tono (遠野遥, Tōno Haruka).[2] He married again in June 2004.[3]

Throughout Buck-Tick's long career, he has written the most lyrics to their songs. He also performs on Der Zibet's Shishunki II and Kaikoteki Mirai - Nostalgic Future,[4] Issay's Flowers, PIG's Wrecked, Masami Tsuchiya's Mori no Hito ~Forest People~ and Chiaki Kuriyama's Circus.[5]

On December 9, 2018, Sakurai was visibly unwell during Buck Tick's concert at Zepp Divercity, but he insisted on finishing the performance. After the concert, he was diagnosed with gastrointestinal bleeding and subsequent shows had to be postponed for his treatment.[6]


In 2004, Atsushi released his first solo album Ai no Wakusei (愛の惑星, "Planet of Love"), which featured tracks composed by musicians such as Wayne Hussey (The Sisters of Mercy), J. G. Thirlwell (Foetus), Cube Juice, My Way My Love, Raymond Watts, Cloudchair (Jake of Guniw Tools), Masami Tsuchiya,[7] and the remake of a 1992 song where he collaborated with Clan of Xymox.

2004 also saw his acting debut, with the starring role in Ryuhei Kitamura's short film Longinus.[8] He released a book of his poetry and lyrics called Yasou (夜想, "Nocturne") in 2004.[7] In 2015, he announced the formation of his second solo project, a band called The Mortal.[9] The group consists of guitarist Jake Cloudchair, guitarist Yukio Murata (My Way My Love), bassist Ken Miyo (M-Age) and drummer Takahito Akiyama (Downy). The mini album Spirit was released on October 14 and they played a three date tour in November.[10] The full-length album I am Mortal was released on November 11, 2015.


  • "Sacrifice" (May 26, 2004), Oricon Singles Chart Peak Position: #25[11]
  • "Taiji/Smell" (胎児/SMELL, "Embryo/Smell") July 21, 2004 #22[11]
  • "Wakusei -Rebirth-" (惑星-Rebirth-, "Planet -Rebirth-") February 23, 2005 #62[11]
  • Ai no Wakusei (愛の惑星, "Planet of Love") June 23, 2004, Oricon Albums Chart Peak Position: #15[12]
  • Longinus (August 25, 2004, short film), Oricon DVDs Chart Peak Position: #16[13]
  • -Explosion- Ai no Wakusei Live 2004 (-EXPLOSION -愛の惑星Live2004, December 16, 2004) #47[13]
With The Mortal
  • Spirit (October 14, 2015) #11[14]
  • I am Mortal (November 11, 2015) #12[14]
With Buck-Tick


  • Yasou (夜想, "Nocturne") July 14, 2004
  • Sacrifice (July 20, 2004)


  1. ^ a b LOVE ME, Yasue Matsuura, Takao Nakagawa; Shinko Music Publishing Company, Ltd. 1989. ISBN 4-401-61275-2.
  2. ^ "BUCK-TICK櫻井敦司と芥川賞作家・遠野遥は実の親子、本日発売「文藝」で初対談が実現". Natalie (in Japanese). 2020-10-07. Retrieved 2020-10-07.
  3. ^ "櫻井からの大切なご報告" (in Japanese). 2004-07-20. Archived from the original on 2004-07-22.
  4. ^ "Sakurai Atsushi Participating in New Album by Der Zibet!". Retrieved 2011-09-17.
  5. ^ "BUCK-TICK and Theatre Brook Participating in Kuriyama Chiaki's New Album". Retrieved 2011-09-17.
  6. ^ "ボーカル櫻井敦司が消化管出血 当面療養「BUCK―TICK」4公演延期" (in Japanese). Sponichi. Retrieved 2022-06-28.
  7. ^ a b "Sakurai Atsushi JaME Profile". Retrieved 2011-09-10.
  8. ^ "Longinus". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2011-07-31.
  9. ^ "BUCK-TICK櫻井敦司が10年ぶりソロ始動 新バンド"THEMORTAL"結成".
  10. ^ "BUCK-TICK櫻井ソロプロジェクトTHE MORTAL、10月に音源リリース". Natalie. Retrieved 2015-08-31.
  11. ^ a b c 櫻井敦司のシングル売り上げランキング. (in Japanese). Retrieved 2012-05-20.
  12. ^ 櫻井敦司のアルバム売り上げランキング. (in Japanese). Retrieved 2012-05-20.
  13. ^ a b "櫻井敦司のDVD売り上げランキング". (in Japanese). Retrieved 2012-05-20.
  14. ^ a b THE MORTALのアルバム売り上げランキング. (in Japanese). Retrieved 2016-02-28.

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