From “Shake it off” to “Smooth Criminal”, these Japanese cover songs will definitely have you tapping your toes! 

As you might have guessed, we love music here at RocketNew24. Of course, everyone loves music — one of the best things about being human is getting to make and listen to music. And as much as we love a wide variety of music and musicians, but we have a special place in our hearts for music performed on traditional Japanese instruments like the shakuhachi, koto, and shamisen.

But as much as we enjoy folk tunes, sometimes it’s even more fun to take a contemporary piece and give it a unique spin with some traditional instruments. So, to help you get through the rest of the week and make it to the weekend, we thought we’d share some of our favorite covers performed on Japanese instruments!

1. “Smoke on the Water”

This video is actually quite old, so we’re guessing there’s a good chance you might have seen it before — but even if you have, it’s still worth giving it another listen! Of course, there is more than just Japanese instruments being played here, but “Edo Firefighters” (“Smoke on the Water”) is simply too catchy not to include.

2. “We Will Rock You”

The same group also produced this amazing rendition of “We Will Rock You.” Again, they’re obviously not exclusively using Japanese instruments, but we think those instruments really give the song a fresh and unique feel.

3. “Shake It Off”

Whether or not you actually like Taylor Swift’s music, we have a feeling you’ll enjoy this rendition of “Shake It Off” performed on koto and shakuhachi by the same people who produced a cover of Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” a few years ago.

▼ You won’t want to miss the dancing that starts around 2:22!

4. “Smooth Criminal”

We’ve seen “Smooth Criminal” covered before with the shakuhachi and koto, but this version is a bit more of a straightforward rock thanks to the Seshami Street Boys’s tsugaru-jamisen performance.

5. “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis”

Of course, we couldn’t get through this list without at least one anime song! Here’s “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis,” the Evangelion theme song, performed on biwa, shakuhachi, koto, taiko, and shamisen. The video also features a Okura-kyogen-style dancer with what appears to be an Eva mask.

6. “Minority”

We’ve been watching Camui Hiroharu perform “shamirock” on his YouTube channel for a number of years, so this might be the perfect time to introduce the young performer. He’s certainly got the energy of a young Green Day on the Warped Tour!

We hope you enjoyed the list and found some new music to get your foot tapping. Be sure to let us know which cover was your favorite in the comments section!

Reference/featured image: YouTube/CAMUI HIROHARU, YouTube/Yasumi Miyazawa, YouTube/The Seshami Street Boys セ三味ストリート, YouTube/shaku8kozan