Reita, late bassist of the GazettE

Loss of an Icon: In Memoriam of REITA

REITA, rest in music, rest in peace! With a heavy heart, we learned and shared the news about your passing. You will always be remembered for all you gave to your band, fans, family, and friends. In all of us, you will stay alive, and your impact will never fade! We lost a great bassist with you. You’ve been a role model and a style icon.
Reita, late bassist of the GazettE
Reita, late bassist of the GazettE

You inspired many young musicians to pick up the bass and realize their dreams. You inspired many of your fans to make their way as well. “For me,” our writer PInku recalls, “you were a constant companion on my path to myself. I have been actively following the GazettE for over 15 years now. Ever since I got into Visual-kei, they have been essential to my CD collections and later Spotify playlists.

The morning the news of your death came out, my cell phone exploded. I would have thought it was just a bad joke if it hadn’t been for so many of my friends sending me this one sentence without finding any more words: ‘REITA is dead.’ Shock, trembling. Then tears. REITA is dead.”

We wished it was a bad joke, but it’s the hard truth.

Deep felt Remembrance
“Isn’t it strange to mourn the passing of somebody we didn’t actually know?” our editor Phillip wonders. “REITA is very present, even though we never knew him in person, much less on a personal level. But we got glimpses of him as a person over the years, not just of his appearances on stage.”
Glimpses like REITA’s love for his pet bird Keiji, as PInku, always interested in the pets of her favorite artists, shares: “While processing the news, I stared at plush pets, a bird and dog I named Keiji and Koron, after Ruki’s dog, out of fan love. After his dog Koron died, Ruki now also lost a bandmate and friend. I still can’t believe it as I’m writing these words in tears.”
That’s the thing with our favorite artists. As they inspire us so much, we cherish them for their music and the way they impact our lives. They become part of our lives. And when it comes to REITA, we also speak about an icon with cultural significance for the scene.
Reita, late bassist of the GazettE
Reita, late bassist of the GazettE
Cherished as an Icon
REITA was, in many ways, an icon of our era,” our editor Vincent points out. “Everyone knew the heavy bass in the GazettE’s songs. And everyone knew the iconic fashion style of REITA. That’s his impact on the lives of millions of young Visual-kei fans in the mid-2000s.”
Phillip also remembers: “Back in 2008, when I just entered the German Visual-kei scene, I saw many people wearing a band over their nose just like REITA did. the GazettE always enormously influenced the V-kei scene, both inside and outside Japan. But the most iconic look of this quintet was REITA with the band across his nose. It was somehow strange and yet stylish but definitely unconventional. At every Japan-related convention and other events, I saw people cosplaying REITA. It became as common, like wearing little bells, clasp pins, or teased hair.”

PInku adds: “Later, we laughed about it fondly when the noseband became a mask, and we wondered: ‘Will he ever perform fully wrapped up?’ Affectionate teasing of an artist that my friends and I adored.”

Revered for his Music
But it’s not only the look and aesthetics. The music of the GazettE influences so many people out there. It brings back so many memories, as Phillip shares: “I can remember my friends had the feeling of not being alone with their pain while vibing to DIM. I remember my friend’s tears of joy whenever the GazettE announced one of their international tours. And I remember falling into a hell-deep rabbit hole while researching information on the album DOGMA for EN.CORE ROCKS.”
Vincent praises REITA’s musical qualities: “One of the most influential songs of my life is Chizuru [千鶴] by the GazettE. Not because of Ruki’s vocals or the overall heavy tone of the song but because of the lonesome, haunting bass that cuts through the massive weight of the song. And it was also this bass that made me understand the meaning of the song and the lyrics. And that taught me what a great instrument a bass can be if you actually use it.”
“Looking back,” Vincent continues, “I’d even say that Chizuru made me truly appreciate the bass work of bands such as DIR EN GREYTesseracT, or MONO. Furthermore, the GazettE’s album DIM has a similar impact on me as other albums I admire the most. While The Invisible Wall is a masterpiece of an album opening, it’s the iconic bass intro of A Moth Under The Skin I’m looking forward to the most when listening to the album. It marks, at least for me, the true beginning of one of the best albums I’ve ever heard in my entire life.”
His Legacy remains
REITA is no longer here,” PInku ponders. “This world will be a different one now. But we must never forget that REITA’s legacy remains. His music, laughter, and tears all remain with us in one way or another. He may no longer be in this world, but his music always will be.”
“Knowing that REITA is gone surely leaves me saddened,” Vincent continues in the same sentiment. “But at the same time, I’m thankful and happy that I could make all these memories because of him. I wouldn’t be where I am without albums like DIM or songs like Chizuru or Calm Envy.”
“With REITA’s passing, a wellspring of our fan culture has dried up,” Phillip concludes. “He had a huge influence on the Visual-kei subculture. He was and still is an icon for many of his fans. Of course, very few of us knew the person behind the icon, but we can still feel the sadness of losing someone with so much influence and inspiration.”

On the GazettE’s website, the members have left heartwarming messages for REITA and their fans. With Phillip’s beautiful words, we would like to add, “Please remember that besides the artists who inspire you, it is you who keep this culture alive. It has always been an interdependence. They are the wellspring, and you’re the sea.

Take the influence that REITAHeath, or Atsushi Sakurai had on you, to name the most recent losses, and carry it outwards. With you, neither the GazettEX JAPANBUCK-TICK, nor any other wonderful band will ever die.”

In Passing of REITA
HERESY Inc., the management of renowned Visual-kei band the GazettE, announced that the beloved bassist REITA passed away on 15th of April, 2024, at the age of 42. Born on 27 of May 27, 1981, REITA was one of the founding members of the band together with Ruki and Uruha. Only a day before his passing, REITA shared a last tweet on his X account, saying: “the GazettEは永遠であってほしいと願う” (I hope the GazettE will last forever).
HERESY Inc. on the passing of the GazettE’s bassist REITA (in Japanese)
HERESY Inc. on the passing of the GazettE’s bassist REITA (in Japanese)
No official cause of death has been given in the notice, which also said that a memorial service will be held with only close relatives. Furthermore, it reads: “We would like to express our deepest gratitude to all fans who have supported and loved him and all partners who supported and took care of REITA in his career as the GazettE bassist.”
HERESY Inc. on the passing of the GazettE’s bassist REITA (in English)
HERESY Inc. on the passing of the GazettE’s bassist REITA (in English)
Disclaimer: Although it’s my name under this post, all the heart poured into these lines is entirely of my team.—Wanda
Picture of Wanda Proft

Wanda Proft

The visionary and head of EN.CORE ROCKS. A devoted, multi-talented creative, music addict, enthusiastic traveler calling Tōkyō her second home, and explorer of contemporary as well as traditional culture of Japan. [Illustration: Lisa Röntsch]