Check It Out

No.202 (12/23/11)

Japanese traditional New Year's Eve
Kouhaku Uta Gassen 紅白 歌合戦

By Nao H. Kauffman
Chief Editor

On New Year's Eve, watching a big event on television is a kind of ritual for many Japanese people. "Kouhaku Uta Gassen (Kouhaku)" is a commonly known annual music show brought by the Japanese public broadcasting company, NHK. The program is broadcasted on television, radio and internationally on some cables thanks to NHK's networks. Its history has started since 1959, and this year will be the 62th annual event. The show will start at 7:15pm and end at 11:45pm. "Kouhaku" literally means "Red and White Music Battle." In short, female artists and male artists are divided into the red and white teams to perform their songs and pursue the winning team at the end. The judges are the selected general audiences who visited Tokyo Takarazuka Theater and several Japanese celebrities who made a successful year. This year, you can view the show with some of cell phones or smart phones which provide one seg television service and let you sign up for being on the panel of judge. It is likely four and a half hour Super bowl's half time show. The program is consisted by an annual theme, which this year is "Ashita o Utaou! (Sing for the Future!)." After the Tohoku Region's Natural Disaster, many songs encourage all over the Japan and let us realize how important and blessed we live day by day and move forward toward future. Songs actually made us one. On December 31, 2011 (1231), One Two Three, Let's take a step 1!

1231! Let's begin tomorrow!
1231! Let's wish for tomorrow!
1231! Let's pray for tomorrow!
1231! Let's imagine for tomorrow!
With the power of songs, With our strength,

1231! Let's sing for the future!

In the meanwhile, families, friends and couples get together to spare the last prime time of a year. The songs and performers are well chosen by the NHK's committee depending on their popularity and record sales and adaptability to the annual theme or to the world. In addition to the performances, there are some games or other activities; what is more, the performers' costumes, hair styles, makeup are fun to watch. Performing at Kouhaku is a big highlight in a performer's music career. This year the program will have the K-pop idol groups for the first time such as Kara, Shoujojidai, and Tohoshinki. Then, the youngest children's unit by Mana Ashida and Fuku Suzuki (7), who had great successes in acting and became a kid star, and their drama song "MaruMaru MoriMori" went around nationwide. One veteran singer and forever pop idol, Seiko Matsuda, who had been on this stage sixteen times, will join with her daughter, a stage actor and singer, Sayaka Kanda for the first time. Looking back at the year, many Japanese stay home on the New Year's Eve to watch this show and solemnly welcome the New Year with pure sprits.

Sponsors Map

Insider Art & Design Co. Ltd.
email address

Copyright © 2008 All rights reserved.

inserted by FC2 system