Reita Death on the Visual Kei Scene and Music World Mourns

Reita, born on May 27, 1981, in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, was a pivotal figure in the visual kei music scene, best known as the dynamic bassist of The Gazette. His stage presence, characterized by a distinctive mask and spirited performances, left an indelible mark on the genre. Reita, whose real name was unknown to many of his fans, adopted his stage persona and became synonymous with the band’s success and the visual kei movement’s growth. The news of Reita death has deeply impacted the music community, casting a somber shadow over his legacy and the genre he influenced so profoundly.

The Gazette, formed in 2002, quickly rose to prominence within Japan’s rock scene, largely due to their unique blend of music, fashion, and an engaged fan base. Reita’s contributions were not confined to his performances; he was deeply involved in the band’s artistic decisions, helping to shape their sound and image which appealed to a global audience. His bass playing was not just a backdrop but a central feature of The Gazette’s music, influencing many aspiring musicians.

Beyond his musical career, Reita was also an entrepreneur. He founded Snaked Lows, a clothing and accessories brand, in 2008. This venture reflected his personal style and offered fans a piece of the visual kei aesthetic, blending music with fashion in a way that few other artists have managed. His designs were often seen as an extension of his artistic expression, featuring bold, intricate pieces that mirrored his onstage persona.

Reita’s impact on the visual kei scene and rock music in Japan is profound. Through his artistic endeavors, both as a musician and a designer, he left a legacy that continues to inspire and influence long after his untimely death in 2024. His dedication to his craft and his ability to seamlessly integrate music and fashion have cemented his status as a cultural icon.

Date of BirthMay 27, 1981
Place of BirthKanagawa Prefecture, Japan
BandThe Gazette
Entrepreneurial VentureSnaked Lows (clothing and accessories brand, 2008)
InfluenceVisual Kei music scene and rock music in Japan
LegacyProfound impact through music and fashion; a cultural icon

Early Life and Background

Reita was born on May 27, 1981, in the serene settings of Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. He grew up in a modest household, living with his mother, his older sister, and under the caring eyes of his beloved grandmother. These early years in a tightly-knit family environment shaped Reita’s personality, infusing him with values of loyalty and resilience that he would carry into his music career.

Reita’s journey into music was significantly influenced by his friendship with Uruha, who would later become the guitarist for The Gazette. The two met during their school days in Kanagawa, where they bonded over a shared passion for music and football. They spent countless hours at Uruha’s house, listening to CDs and playing covers of their favorite songs. This experience was pivotal for Reita, who, despite the financial constraints at home, was inspired to become a musician. He often recounted how these formative years were not just about having fun, but about dreaming big and finding his calling in music.

Date of BirthMay 27, 1981
Place of BirthKanagawa Prefecture, Japan
FamilyMother, older sister, grandmother
Early InfluenceTightly-knit family environment
Core ValuesLoyalty, resilience
Close FriendUruha (later guitarist for The Gazette)
Shared InterestsMusic, football
Early Musical ExperienceListening to CDs, playing covers at Uruha’s house
InspirationInspired to become a musician despite financial constraints

Musical Career

Reita’s musical career began in earnest during his high school years when he initially played guitar. Influenced heavily by bands like Luna Sea, he switched to electric guitar with dreams of starting a rock band. Before founding The Gazette, Reita and Uruha played in several short-lived bands. Their early musical experiments included bands like Karasu and Ma’die Kusse. Eventually, Reita adopted the stage name ‘Reita’ and in 2002, along with Uruha and other musicians, formed The Gazette. This band would go on to become a cornerstone of the second wave of visual kei bands, reshaping the genre with their innovative music and style.

As the bassist of The Gazette, Reita was more than just a musician; he was an integral part of the band’s identity. Positioned typically on the right side of the stage, Reita was known for his energetic performances and his unique ability to connect with the audience. He was deeply involved in the composition of many of The Gazette’s songs, contributing to tracks like “Malum” and “Karasu.” His musical style and stage presence played a crucial role in defining the band’s aesthetic and sound, making them a beloved group among fans worldwide.

Reita’s collaboration with the Japanese instrument brand ESP played a significant role in his career. This partnership allowed him to design and produce custom bass guitars that were tailored to his playing style and visual kei’s flamboyant aesthetic. His favorite models, the ESP RF-01 and ESP RF-02, became synonymous with Reita’s signature sound and were sought after by bass players who admired his technique and tone. The instruments were not just tools for performance but were also integral to his personal and artistic expression, blending craftsmanship with the aggressive, melodic style of The Gazette’s music.

Through these pivotal roles and experiences, Reita not only shaped his path but also left an indelible mark on the world of music, particularly in the visual kei scene. His early life’s challenges, combined with his profound musical partnerships and innovative contributions to his craft, underscore a legacy that continues to inspire and influence artists and fans alike.

Initial InstrumentGuitar, later switched to electric guitar
InfluencesLuna Sea
Early BandsKarasu, Ma’die Kusse
Key Band FoundedThe Gazette (2002)
Role in The GazetteBassist, composer, stage performer
Notable ContributionsSongs like “Malum” and “Karasu”
CollaborationESP (instrument brand)
Signature InstrumentsESP RF-01, ESP RF-02
LegacyInfluence in visual kei scene, inspirational figure

Entrepreneurial Ventures

Reita’s influence extended beyond the music stage into the realms of fashion with the launch of his own brand, Snaked Lows, in 2008. Partnering with Satoshi Yamashita of Deal Design, Reita aimed to create a line that resonated with the visual kei aesthetic yet stood out with its unique identity. Snaked Lows featured a range of clothing and silver accessories that reflected Reita’s personal style and the flamboyant flair of visual kei. The brand quickly gained popularity, appealing not only to fans of The Gazette but also to a broader audience that appreciated its bold and edgy designs. Through Snaked Lows, Reita demonstrated his ability to translate his artistic vision from music to fashion, creating pieces that were both innovative and stylish.

Reita’s ventures into fashion significantly impacted the visual kei scene and influenced broader fashion trends in Japan and internationally. His designs often incorporated elements from his stage costumes, such as metallic accents and intricate patterns, setting trends within the visual kei community. The boldness of Snaked Lows’ designs helped to maintain the visual kei spirit of non-conformity and self-expression, contributing to the genre’s ongoing evolution. Beyond the niche market, elements of Reita’s style began to appear in mainstream fashion, demonstrating his broader influence on the industry. His ability to blend the theatrical with the wearable allowed fans and fashion enthusiasts to express their individuality in everyday life.

Brand FoundedSnaked Lows (2008)
PartnerSatoshi Yamashita of Deal Design
Brand FocusClothing and silver accessories
Style InfluenceVisual kei aesthetic, Reita’s personal style
PopularityPopular among fans of The Gazette and broader audiences
Fashion ImpactInfluenced visual kei scene and broader fashion trends
Design ElementsMetallic accents, intricate patterns
Cultural ContributionContributed to non-conformity and self-expression in fashion
Mainstream InfluenceElements of style adopted in mainstream fashion

Personal Life and Interests

Aside from his musical career, Reita was passionate about boxing, a hobby that he pursued with as much intensity as his music. He found boxing not only a way to keep fit but also a method to relieve the stresses of life on the road and in the public eye. Regular visits to the gym were a crucial part of his routine, helping him maintain the stamina needed for his dynamic performances. Boxing provided a physical outlet for his energy and a mental break from his creative endeavors, highlighting a balance in his lifestyle that contributed to his overall well-being and performance as an artist.

One of Reita’s most distinctive features was his characteristic mask, which covered his nose and mouth. Initially crafted from simple white cloth, the mask evolved into a more sophisticated black leather piece that became iconic. This evolution mirrored the changes in Reita’s musical style and personal growth over the years. The mask started as a unique stage gimmick but grew into a significant part of his identity, symbolizing mystery and intrigue hallmarks of the visual kei genre. His spiky, blonde hair, which often covered one eye, added to his enigmatic presence, making him instantly recognizable to fans around the world. This unique style was not just for show; it was an integral part of how Reita communicated his artistic identity and connected with his audience, further demonstrating the deep interconnection between his musical and personal expressions.

Reita’s entrepreneurial spirit, personal interests, and unique style played significant roles in shaping his career and legacy. His foray into fashion with Snaked Lows and his distinctive personal style influenced not only the visual kei scene but also the broader fashion industry, promoting a culture of bold self-expression. Meanwhile, his engagement with hobbies like boxing illustrated his multifaceted personality, emphasizing that his life outside music was just as vibrant and compelling as his public persona. Through his diverse pursuits, Reita left a lasting impact that continues to inspire both musicians and fans alike.

Benefits of HobbyPhysical fitness, stress relief
Signature AccessoryMask covering nose and mouth
Mask EvolutionFrom white cloth to black leather
Symbolism of MaskMystery and intrigue, hallmarks of visual kei
HairstyleSpiky, blonde, often covering one eye
Impact on FashionInfluenced visual kei and broader fashion industry
Personal StyleIntegral to artistic identity and audience connection
LegacyInspiration to musicians and fans, culture of bold self-expression

Legacy and Death

On April 15, 2024, the music world was shaken by the announcement of Reita’s untimely death. The Gazette confirmed the news on their official website, marking a somber day for fans and colleagues alike. Reita passed away at the age of 42, leaving behind a legacy that had significantly shaped the visual kei and rock music scenes. The details of his death were kept private, respecting the wishes of his family and close associates. His funeral was a private affair, attended only by close relatives and band members, reflecting his family’s desire for privacy during their time of grief.

The impact of Reita’s passing was felt worldwide, with tributes pouring in from all corners of the globe. Notable artists, fellow musicians, and fans expressed their sorrow and shared memories of Reita’s influence and kindness. Among the tributes, the production team of the anime “Black Butler,” for which The Gazette composed the opening song “Shiver,” expressed their deep sadness and gratitude for his artistic contributions. Fans organized vigils and shared messages on social media, demonstrating the profound connection Reita had established with his audience. These tributes underscored his role not just as a musician but as an inspirational figure in the music industry.

Date of DeathApril 15, 2024
Age at Death42
AnnouncementConfirmed by The Gazette on their official website
PrivacyDetails of death kept private, private funeral
Attendees of FuneralClose relatives and band members
TributesWorldwide tributes from artists, musicians, and fans
Notable TributeProduction team of “Black Butler” anime
LegacyInfluential figure in visual kei and rock music scenes

Reita’s influence on the visual kei genre and the broader music culture cannot be overstated. As a founding member of The Gazette, he helped propel the band to international fame, bringing the visual kei aesthetic to a global audience. His innovative bass playing and charismatic stage presence made him a key figure in the genre, inspiring countless musicians and fans with his dedication and artistic vision. Reita’s entrepreneurial ventures in fashion also left a mark on the industry, merging music with fashion in ways that broadened the appeal of visual kei. His contributions helped solidify visual kei’s place in the world of music and culture, ensuring its continuation and evolution even after his passing.

Band members and notable figures in the music industry have shared their personal reflections on Reita’s legacy, noting his kindness, professionalism, and immense talent. His bandmates recall his unwavering commitment to The Gazette and his vision for the band’s future, often expressing hope that his spirit would continue to guide them. Music industry professionals, who had the chance to work with Reita, admired his ability to blend musical innovation with commercial success, making The Gazette a beloved name in rock music. These reflections paint a picture of a man who was not only an exceptional musician but also a cherished friend and collaborator.

Reita’s legacy as an artist and a cultural icon continues to resonate within the music industry and among fans. His life and work exemplify how passion and creativity can transcend personal and cultural boundaries, inspiring others to pursue their dreams with the same fervor and heart that he did. Reita’s memory lives on in the music he made, the lives he touched, and the culture he helped shape, securing his place as a lasting figure in the annals of music history.