Music is music, is music, is music…. And then there are the Yoshida Brothers from Japan to rock your world.

Take two traditional Japanese instruments played in the courts of Emperors, immerse yourself in ancient tradition and stir in a large portion of Rock. The result is the amazing Yoshida Brothers playing the Shamisen. The duo debuted in 1999 in Japan, and their fusion of the rapid and percussive Tsugaru-jamisen style mixed with Western musical influences have since attracted an international audience.

They most recently collaborated with Monkey Majik, a Japanese pop band consisting of a pair of Canadian brothers and two other Japanese members. Their single “Change” will be released on 4/30.

More music videos of the Yoshida Brothers after the cut.

The Yoshida Brothers, Ryoichiro and Kenichi, seem to release the demon within the ancient instrument of the Tsugaru-Shamisen. They intricately weave driving rock overtones through the structure of traditional Japanese music. None more evident than in their single, Rising.

In the global tradition of World Music, it is hard to imagine anyone having greater impact than the Yoshida Brothers. Despite their penchant for experimentation, the Yoshida Brothers are deeply rooted in traditional Japanese folk music and this lends a distinctive central spine to their delicate rhythmic weaves. You may have noticed that “Kodo” (below) is Nintendo’s theme tune for their Wii game consoles!

If you want to see a live performance from these guys or more music videos, there are currently a few videos at YouTube that one may want to check out. Great stuff if you can get into it. However if you don’t like banjos, a bit of twangy music, it’s probably not for you.