X Japan (?????????, Ekkusu Japan?) is a Japanese heavy metal band from Chiba, formed in 1982 by Toshi and Yoshiki. Originally named X (????, Ekkusu?), the group achieved their breakthrough success in 1989 with the release of their second album Blue Blood. They started out mainly as a power/speed metal band, but later gravitated towards a progressive sound with an emphasis on ballads.