entertainment

NHK announces this year’s presenters for 'Kohaku Uta Gassen'

25 Comments

NHK has announced on its website that the presenters for the 67th “Kohaku Uta Gassen" (Red and White Song Contest) on New Year's Eve will be singer Masaki Aiba, 33, for the white (male) team and actress Kasumi Arimura, 23, for the red (female) team.

Aiba has been participating in the contest continuously for seven years as a member of the popular "boy" band Arashi. Although Arashi as a group had been presenters at "Kohaku" for five consecutive years from 2010, this is going to be the first time for Aiba to go solo as a presenter.

When informed of the decision, Aiba said: “I thought I was not in a position to be able to accept this offer. But I don’t think I will have another great chance like this in the future. I decided to accept it because I didn't want to regret not doing it later.”

Arimura, who will play the heroine in next year's NHK drama "Hiyokko," said: “I feel overwhelmed by this offer because this is a huge opportunity that I am not prepared for. But I will try hard. I hope we have a great time together.”

The theme for this year's contest, which will be broadcast on NHK TV and radio from 7:15 p.m. on Dec 31, is "Let's sing our dreams."

This year's program will mark the final performance of idol group SMAP who will disband after 28 years.

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25 Comments
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"This year’s program will mark the final performance of idol group SMAP who will disband after 28 years."

A cause for lots of celebration!

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Good God! Is that still going?

I'm soooooo glad we dumped our TV!

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Kasumi chan is hot!

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Here we go. Every foreigner in Japan is about to weigh in on how much they hate this show, rather than just doing the logical thing and ignoring it.

-13 ( +7 / -20 )

Something to warm up your viewing muscles, in the manner of SuperLib:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37k5fctec88

Haha that's awesome! I don't think I'll watch all 10 hours of it though.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Whoever won tickets for Kohaku this year and re-selling on Yahoo Auction will probably be able to take 2-3 family trips to Hawaii with the type of money they will get.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Here we go. Every foreigner in Japan is about to weigh in on how much they hate this show, rather than just doing the logical thing and ignoring it.

Strangerland, surely you must agree that anyone paying the NHK fee has an equal right to complain about the quality of programming? The next question is who better than a foreigner (with a more diverse range of television viewing experience from across the world) to show local people what they don't even know they are missing?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

surely you must agree that anyone paying the NHK fee has an equal right to complain about the quality of programming?

Sure, I would viciously argue that right. But I'll ridicule those who go on about it, considering the popularity of the show with Japanese viewers, rather than not just doing something else other than watching it. It is just as much my right to do that, as it is someone's right to complain about the quality of the programming.

The next question is who better than a foreigner (with a more diverse range of television viewing experience from across the world) to show local people what they don't even know they are missing?

I started to criticize this comment based on its air of cultural superiority, but then I stopped because you may have been saying it ironically, but in a dry tone such as that I didn't pick it up. Were you serious with this comment, or ironic?

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Mandatory viewing on NYE. Especially when coming home drunk and disorderly.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Right on cue another missed opportunity for NHK to update and modernize the New Year TV scheduling. If honesty prevailed, regardless of calibre and quality of the participants performance, or abilities to entertain, the shows format is stale and lacks originality.

John Cheese Monty Python nailed it....

"This is a late parrot. It's a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. If you hadn't nailed it to the perch, it would be pushing up the daisies. It's rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. This is an ex-parrot.”

Surely a total new approach, bring in new production and showcase new talent in-amongst the household names, more spontaneous, less forced, lighten up a tad.

The harsh reality is last year's NHK 'Kohaku Uta Gassen' flopped with lowest ratings in the 'song contests' history, averaging 37% of the rating.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Regarding the Kohaku of this year!

Too many groups who can't even sing solo appears in the Kohaku, that I lost my interest a long time ago!

yukichan

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"The next question is who better than a foreigner (with a more diverse range of television viewing experience from across the world) to show local people what they don't even know they are missing?"

Were you serious with this comment, or ironic?

I'm 100% serious. Just look at how many new television program formats invented in one country have become even bigger hits when they cross over into other markets. There are people who scour the globe watching gameshows from South America and the Middle East in order to copy the best and most entertaining new ideas. This cross-pollination happens everywhere, ...except Japan.

I started to criticize this comment based on its air of cultural superiority

By definition, a foreigner has experienced television in at least 2 cultures. Do you disagree that they can draw on the best ideas in each culture or combine them to suggest something even better? I suspect your own bias is seeing 'Westerner' or 'European' where I have only written 'foreigner'. Obviously, my comment applies equally to any Japanese person or anyone else who lives in another country.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It is a popular show, and I am sure there are some good performances. 'We Japanese' obviously enjoy it and more power to them.

I watched it once. Some talented singer/songwriter came on and performed an original song beautifully, accompanying himself on guitar. The audience clapped seven times politely. Then a bunch of dancers in Mickey Mouse costumes came on and mimed along to a piped-in Disney track. The audience lost their minds. I changed the channel and was never bothered by it again.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

My parents and more senior members of the family enjoy 'Kohaku Uta Gassen'. Like a form of worship. a peculiar compulsive fixation, the traditional method of welcoming in the New Year. At least they don't sing along to all of it. Which after vocal chords, soaked in numerous alcoholic beverages sounds like sonic road kill.

In 1963 over 80% of viewing audience over dosed on this seemingly never ending bombardment of song and dance.

Sad to say where country comparisons go, the BBC shameful offering was 670 hours of repeats over 2015 Christmas and New Year .

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Two years ago my seminar student did research about the use of English words in Japanese songs. For data she went through the titles of all the songs on Kohaku Utagassen since 1952 (when it was on radio just the first time.

Over 1500 songs, the first with some English in 1958 but the peak period seems to have been between about 1968 and 1978. Those were the heady days of very high ratings for this show.

In 1963 over 80% of viewing audience over dosed on this seemingly never ending bombardment of song and dance.

Things have changed, though the 35% or so which the program gets recently is still not a small percentage.

My ex-student said she would not be watching.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

We never watched in in my family when I was young, maybe because we had developed our own new year traditions living overseas. I honestly don't know if my parents like it or not. My husband's parents used to watch it but not any more. They don't like the current pop acts. If it is just me and my husband at new year we don't watch it either (he doesn't care either way, and he knows I hate pop music).

It certainly isn't as popular as it was a long time ago, but there are still a lot of people in my office who say they will watch it with their parents. The family bonding part is more important than the content of the show, I think.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I think they'll pull in pretty strong ratings this year, with the whole last performance of SMAP thing (well, last until the almost inevitable reunion show in ten years or so).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm 100% serious. Just look at how many new television program formats invented in one country have become even bigger hits when they cross over into other markets. There are people who scour the globe watching gameshows from South America and the Middle East in order to copy the best and most entertaining new ideas. This cross-pollination happens everywhere, ...except Japan.

Please, TV around the world does not seem to be that much better than here either....I give you Kim Kardashian and "reality" TV. Gimme a break, I for one am totally glad that crap hasnt migrated here too.

Also, the people who complain about kohaku have the option of changing the channel. It's childish to complain about something you cant change.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Agree JMW, absolutely stunning in a girl-next-door sort of way. Only end of year tv show i like in Japan is the one where kids run errands by themselves. Never seen it anywhere else which is weird as i think it's a great concept that would/could work in the west.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hi inkochi, it was disingenuous of me considering in 1963, Kohaku Uta Gassen, did not have to contend with the wealth of media platforms in 2016. And as you rightly point out 37% should not be sniffed at. All the same time stands still for no one, a change is a good as a rest and Kohaku Uta Gassen is no exception......

So what should be expected at the 67th NHK Kohaku Uta Gassen?......

Ronald, from aramajapan goes into a fun lucky dip, stroke rampantly speculative, his only words, into who or what will ultimately cut a rug, in Arashi and Smap manterrupting on the female/male attraction scale, at the 67th NHK Kohaku Uta Gassen, although there is a level of confusion present here.

Ronald has managed to weave in some interesting conundrums.......

Namely Hikaru Utada........... and for an acutely different reason Sandaime J Soul Brothers......

http://aramajapan.com/news/tvmovie/musicaward-show/what-should-be-expected-at-the-67th-nhk-kohaku-uta-gassen/65560/

To dispense with Sandaime J Soul Brothers, toot sweet.....

LDH Revealed to Use Bribery to Win Japan Record Awards....This should, with the evidence presented be a deal breaker, leave you all to make up your own minds....

http://aramajapan.com/featured/ldh-revealed-to-use-bribery-to-win-japan-record-awards/66144/

My interest has been aroused by Ronalds inclusion of Hikaru Utada in the Possible Red Team Debuts category.......I recall a very rare and illuminating JQ interview with Hikaru Utada with participation from Dad– by Justin Tedaldi (2009). Broaching the subject of 'Kohaku Uta Gassen'....... Hikaru waxes lyrical .......scroll down

Justin ..Right. (sic) But at the same time, [annual Japanese New Year’s Eve program] Kohaku Uta Gassen is pretty much dedicated to music, and you’ve never done it

Hikaru Yeah.

Justin Is there any one reason why you wouldn’t want to, or is it something you might do in the future at some point?

Hikaru It’s…I do choose my jobs very carefully and consciously. And Kohaku, it just doesn’t… [Long pause] I don’t feel like I belong there

Justin Why?

Hikaru I don’t know, I just feel so alien from that culture. It’s a different culture all of its own. It’s like a heritage-a Japanese heritage, and I have had no part of it in my own life, and I just don’t relate to it. [Pause] Bottom line, I just don’t want to be in it, I would hate to see myself in it; I just don’t think I could take it

Justin The big dresses and all that, it’s not for you.

Hikaru The chaos and the partying all night…........

Say no more....The Full interview from 2009 is full on and never really has been repeated for depth and substance....

http://jetwit.com/wordpress/2009/06/08/jq-interview-with-hikaru-utada-by-justin-tedaldi/

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Here we go. Every foreigner in Japan is about to weigh in on how much they hate this show, rather than just doing the logical thing and ignoring it.

kinda like how you just did the exact same thing with the previous post.....

Oh dear....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Watching TV on New Years Eve is the last thing anyone should be doing.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Watching TV on New Years Eve is the last thing anyone should be doing.

Why?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"NHK announces this year’s presenters for 'Kohaku Uta Gassen'" Whew, now I can get some sleep

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In common with live entertainment events anywhere on this planet, it's a Who's Who of the movers and shakers, and very much an exercise in reinforcing the hierarchy.

But Kohaku is surely unparalleled in the levels of obsequy, self-denial and absolute acceptance of an order that the artists daren't dream to upset.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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