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Awesome Traditional Japanese Cover of Michael Jackson’s ‘Smooth Criminal’

Above, enjoy a wonderful cover of the King of Pop‘s 1987 hit, “Smooth Criminal,” by three very talented traditional Japanese musicians.

We’ve seen Postmodern Jukebox cover many popular songs with a sensational amount of old-time sass and spunk, but this is something else entirely. Mixing two cultures and generations together, and clad in beautiful, flowing kimonos, these musicians take “Smooth Criminal” to the next level.

On the koto (Japanese harp) we have an duo of enchanting bass lines backing musician Yoshimi Tsujimoto’s riveting solo performance on the shakuhachi (bamboo flute). These complex instruments are predominately used for classical Japanese music, accompanied by traditional dance and song. The peaceful, zen atmosphere is practically built around these types of instruments. But arranging this traditional Japanese majesty with a hit song from the West can make for an exceptionally spirited experience. This feels like it could have been playing in the background of Samuari Champloo or Kill Bill minus the blood and gore.

We hope to catch more of these cross-cultural videos online! Perhaps “Thriller” on the didgeridoo or a throat-singing “Billie Jean” rendition?

Which popular Western song would you like to receive this type of twist? Let us know below!

HT: Yoshimi Tsujimoto

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