NHK announces lineup for 'Kohaku Uta Gassen' on New Year's Eve

NHK announces lineup for 'Kohaku Uta Gassen' on New Year's Eve


NHK on Wednesday announced the lineup for its popular New Year’s Eve program “Kohaku Uta Gassen” (Red and White Song Contest). The contest is being held for the 65th year.

Of the 51 acts, three will be making their debut for the Red (women’s) team—HKT48, May J and veteran Hiroko Yakushimaru. May J will sing the popular song “Let It Go” from the monster Disney hit “Frozen.”

Other notable acts for the Red team include model-singer Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, E-girls, AKB48, its sister groups SKE48 and NMB48, Seiko Matsuda and Perfume, along with veterans Sayuri Ishikawa, appearing for the 37th time, and Akiko Wada, in her 38th appearance.

One notable omission is pop diva Ayumi Hamasaki, absent from the lineup for the first time in 15 years. She told fans on Twitter that she preferred to focus on projects she wants to do, rather that on what she feels obligated to do.

Two acts will be making their debut for the White (men’s) team—V6 and Sekai on Owari. The White team also includes Arashi, SMAP, Exile, Hiromi Go, Sexy Zone, American Chris Hart, Golden Bomber, Tokio and Kiyoshi Hikawa, along with veterans Shinichi Mori, making his 47th appearance, Hiroshi Itsuki for the 44th time and Takeshi Hosokawa (38th time).

Actress Yuriko Yoshitaka, 26, and Arashi will host the gala.

Arashi will be hosting the gala show for the fifth consecutive year, while Yoshitaka takes over from Haruka Ayase for the women’s red team.

Yoshitaka continues the recent trend for NHK to choose a host from its popular drama TV series. She played the lead role in “Hanako to Anne,” the 90th Asadora series that aired Monday through Saturday mornings from March 31 until Sept 27 this year.

Though it has lost some of its luster in the past 10 years, “Kohaku Uta Gassen” is still considered the most prestigious TV music program to be invited to appear on.

See full lineup here.

Japan Today

  • 9


    Another reason I don't pay the NHK fee. I refuse to finance a public broadcaster that gives free promotion to Johnny's, the AKB franchise, the Exile franchise, and other purveyors of infantilized pop 'culture'.

  • 0

    Michael Hart

    Go Perfume!!!!

  • 1


    No BabyMetal ??? One of the most successful acts in the past 2 years, and not just in Japan.

    Say no to old hags and oyaji farts. We want BabyMetal !!!

  • 3


    Bring back DJ Ozma with アゲアゲ Every Night! That was a Kohaku Uta Gassen program to remember (2006).

  • -1


    Meh ill be watching Down Town! Although that is also getting more boring each year unfortunately

  • 0


    shinhiyata is right, BabyMetal, they rock!

  • 0


    I am never going to criticize Eurovision again. There are worse things.

  • 0


    Where is miwaaaaaaaaaaaa

  • 0


    Once again, not sad at all I'll be missing it. If at home I prefer the Gaki no tsukai waratte ha ikanai special anyway. All the same, best of luck to the performers.

  • 0


    Ahh Perfume... My morning workout/aerobics would be the complete without Perfume to wave my limbs and body parts about in a sort of demented wild traffic semaphores colliding into river dance, not as aesthetically pleaseing ho humm.

  • 3


    Thanks for the warning, JT.

  • 4

    Greg Irwin

    In Japan no one asks how the acts are decided and there is a mystery surrounding who gets on the show and why. Yet getting on the show is the key to the next year's money. Totally corrupt system.

  • 2


    I would suggest that people do as i did about 4 years ago and no longer have television in the house. After some of the family have recovered from the shock family life is much better. The longer you are away from the goggle box the more you realise how crap and shallow programmes such as this are. Have fun with your family and friends instead and have some exercise rather than slouching on the couch and vegging out.

  • 2


    More inane crap on Japanese television.


  • -5


    I wouldn't go as far as falseflagsteve and ban telly altogether, but seriously folks, you're complaining about what's on the box on New Year's Eve? You really have nothing better to do then than watch telly? And that stuff you're not interested in in the first place?

    Can't say I'm keen on Kohaku Uta Gassen either, but so what. For them that like it, fine. I don't have to watch it, there's plenty of other stuff to do (that I'd rather do) on the last night of the year that's way more fun than staring at the box (which isn't really a box these days, more an envelope? plank? tile? giant tablet?...funny how these expressions stick).

  • 4

    Michelle Bradley

    No Yoshimi Tendou this year? I always look forward to seeing her. Saiaiku: miwa is on the list.

    Actually, I to am kind of peeved that there are 4 ***48 groups in this year's Akagumi. I would have loved to see Babymetal/Sakura Gakuin.

    I am still missing Sachiko Kobayashi. (I know I am of the 10% minority...)

  • 2



    By all means, people should be able to enjoy it. However, some of use have no other choice but be exposed to it.

    NYE will see me, as is the case with many people, indoors with families that have the show on as their central entertainment (come conversation-distraction) fixture.

    My in-laws, whose house I will be in, have it on all evening. The show blasts from a corner of a large room. And this is a room that, by polite, social conventions, I cannot leave for fear of upsetting them.

    I am truly a captive audience.

  • -2


    I am beyond thrilled that HKT48 is making their debut! Those girls are hard working and beautiful and truly capture the idol spirit in everything they do! Also happy to see the rest of the AKB family there. I wish Nogizaka could've made the great show as well. And also, Perfume, KPP, and Miwa will be rocking it as well? I am going to be GLUED to the tv for this event! Now if only Baby Metal were playing, it would be the best all star line up EVER! Also, super thrilled to see, as usual, people commenting on this thread and complaining about the AKB family once again being represented in full form on this show. Just remember little boys and girls, AKB as a whole has contributed over a BILLION dollars to Japan's economy, moreso perhaps than ANY other group on BOTH teams have done in the past four years. Complain all you want, but they are here to stay, and I can only hope we will see more and more of them not just in Japan but all over the world. The girls are amazing, and even if you don't love idols, you have to respect their growth from 6 people watching them in a small theatre in Akihabara in 2006 to selling out national baseball stadiums on a regular basis. Not to mention all their charity work they do for people in Japan's tsunami affected regions. Please stop judging a book by its very beautiful cover and start realizing that AKB is a GOOD thing in the Japanese musical landscape.

  • 1


    Ms. Bradley - I too miss Sa-chan !

  • 0


    I can't believe Kohaku Uta Gassen still exits every year. This special TV program started a long time ago to really enjoy the last day of year because there were not much to do at home, but these days people have many things to do until end of year, so many people don't watch it more than they used to.

  • 0


    In Japan no one asks how the acts are decided and there is a mystery surrounding who gets on the show and why.

    Japanese entertainment industry in a nutshell. It's one giant cesspool of cronyism & corruption.

  • 0

    Pat Telzrow

    Every year people come here and bad mouth Kohaku and say this and that. I for one like it and hope it continues forever. For you snob's take a hike!

  • 1


    I am looking forward to watch this program with my family♪ Many Japanese people also same! especially this year Ana to Yuki no zyou and Yokai watch will appear on the stage. so many children will watch this year like my sister(^^) but aiko won't appear this year(<) I'm really sad...

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