Alien Ant Farm, this is not.

Professional shakuhachi (a traditional bamboo flute) player Yoshimi Tsujimoto and two supporting koto players put an unusual, but totally sweet twist on the pop classic with this East-meets-West cover.

While there may be no moonwalking or white gloves, the elegant sounds and kimono give "Smooth Criminal" a fresh take and perhaps put it in a beautiful light that it should be considered in more often. First take a look at the amazing video, and then some closeups of the classic instruments below.


The koto in action.


And the shakuhachi, along with the intense instrumental at the end.


Michael Jackson's music is beloved worldwide, and is remarkably popular in Japan. While immensely popular, hearing what someone might just dismiss as a successful pop song played with these traditional instruments and ambiance gives it a somewhat otherworldly presentation, really emphasizing how timeless the song is. It sounds like it would fit right in with old Japan!

By - grape Japan editorial staff.