Kyoji Yamamoto

Kyoji Yamamoto (山本 恭司, Yamamoto Kyōji, born March 23, 1956 in Matsue, Shimane, Japan) is a Japanese musician, singer-songwriter and record producer who is the leader of the hard rock/heavy metal bands Bow Wow (known as Vow Wow for a period of time) and Wild Flag. He is known for his skillful guitar playing, with former bandmate Neil Murray calling him one of the top Japanese guitarists,[1] and was one of the first hard rock guitarist to use the tapping technique.[2]

Kyoji Yamamoto
Birth nameKyoji Yamamoto
Born (1956-03-23) March 23, 1956 (age 63)
Matsue, Shimane, Japan
GenresHard rock, heavy metal
Occupation(s)Musician, record producer, songwriter
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
Years active1972–present
Associated actsBow Wow, Wild Flag, Phenomena, Mari Hamada, Munetaka Higuchi


After entering Yamaha Music School, Kyoji formed Bow Wow in 1975 and they released their debut album a year later .[3] The following year they opened for Aerosmith and Kiss. In 1984, with the addition of two new members, the group renamed themselves Vow Wow and moved to England in 1987 before disbanding in 1990.[3] Kyoji reformed Bow Wow with all new members in 1995, however original members Mitsuhiro Saito and Toshihiro Niimi rejoined him in 1998 to become a trio.[4]

Kyoji began a solo career in 1980, and has appeared as a special guest performer for numerous musicians. In 1986 he was asked by producer Wilfried F. Rimensberger to participate in the supergroup Phenomena, playing on their second album.[5]

Kyoji was to perform his first solo show in the United States on September 24, 2011, with Karl Wilcox from Diamond Head supporting him on drums.[6] However, the show was cancelled.

Kyoji has been married for over 26 years and has a son, Maoki, who is also a musician.[2][3]

Solo DiscographyEdit


  • Horizon (1980)
  • Guitar Man (1982)
  • Electric Cinema (1982)
  • Mind Arc (1998)
  • Requiem (1999)
  • Time (2005)
  • "Time"〜悠久の時を越えて〜 (2006)
  • The Life Album (2010)
  • Voyager: The Essential Kyoji Yamamoto (2010, US release)
  • Philosophy (2014)


  • Healing Collection 〜The Best Of Kyoji Yamamoto〜 (2008, CD & DVD)


  • "Time"〜悠久の時を越えて〜 (2006)
  • 山本恭司ソロ・コンサート 〜July 21, 2007〜」 (2008)
  • Free Style Jam (2015)

Other workEdit

  • Silver Stars – Ginsei Dan (1979)
  • Heavy Metal Army – Heavy Metal Army (1981)
  • Yuki Nakajima – The Prophecies (1982)
  • Munetaka HiguchiDestruction ~破壊凱旋録~ (1983)
  • Lumina Hayase – 甘い暴力〜 Violence Cat (1983)
  • Takanori Jinnai – All Through the Night (1984)
  • Mari HamadaMisty Lady (1984)

Video gamesEdit


  1. ^ "Remembering The Original Japanese Rock Invasion". Metal Hammer. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Kyoji Yamamoto Interview". October 16, 2010. Archived from the original on January 6, 2012. Retrieved January 9, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c "Kyoji Yamamoto leaves all inhibitions behind". The Japan Times. April 18, 2009. Retrieved September 15, 2011.
  4. ^ "BOWWOW Frontman Kyoji Yamamoto – "Lars Of METALLICA Tried To Promote Us By Playing Early BowWow Songs On The Radio Many Times"". December 10, 2010. Retrieved January 9, 2012.
  5. ^ Phenomena recording credits and related Bio
  6. ^ "BOWWOW Frontman Kyoji Yamamoto Returns To US After 33 Years, Announces First Ever North American Solo Shows Featuring DIAMOND HEAD Drummer Karl Wilcox". July 14, 2011. Retrieved January 9, 2012.

External linksEdit