This Japanese Jeweler Is Behind Some of ASAP Rocky’s Craziest Grills

From American flags to grills featuring real flowers, Tetsuya Akiyama of Grillz Jewelz is the man making plenty of these unique customs.

Via @grillzjewelz_is_right/IG

ASAP Rocky has always been about his grills. Ever since he stepped onto the scene in 2011, the mouth jewelry has been a signature piece of his look. If he’s flashing his smile, don’t be surprised to see some diamonds and gold. But did you know that Rocky was working with one of the only grill makers in Tokyo to get some of his most unique sets?

Tetsuya Akiyama has been operating Grillz Jewelz in Tokyo’s Okachimachi district for 17 years. Before starting his own business, he was creating women’s fine jewelry. But grills were not big in Japan at the time. If you wanted one, you had to travel overseas to a city like New York and visit one of the jewelers there. That wasn’t an option for him. When he wanted a grill of his own, he had to learn how to make it himself. He’s been operating Grillz Jewelz ever since and is still one of the few jewelers in Tokyo crafting the flashy mouth pieces. 

“When I started, hardly anyone in Japan knew about grills,” Akayama tells Complex via email. “I think it is only in the last six or seven years that grills have started to be recognized in Japan.”

In 2019, Akiyama began doing customs for ASAP Bari, which really helped put him on the map internationally. Akiyama says this skull grill he made for the designer in 2022 is one of his favorite pieces he’s ever created. Over the years, he's amassed even more high-profile clients from Steve Lacy to Ambush founder Yoon Ahn. But arguably no one is bigger than Rocky. To date, he has created 10 grills for him. Despite the strong working relationship, the two didn't meet in person until May 2023. Akiyama's latest creation for Rocky resembles the stars and stripes of the American flag, a motif that Rocky has been using frequently in the imagery for his upcoming album Don’t Be Dumb.

But is it the craziest? Check out the details on some of Akiyama’s other creations for Rocky and decide for yourself.

American Flag


Diamond Flames

Painted Flames

His World

Individual Gold Teeth

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