I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

67th (2016) NHK Kohaku Utagassen (第67回NHK紅白歌合戦)

Signs that December is approaching:

1. I've started writing my Xmas cards.
2. My anime buddy has sent out feelers for the annual year-end get-together.
3. The Japanese media has announced the lineup for this year's Kohaku Utagassen.

Guess which sign I'll be focusing on tonight.😉

Yup, it's nearly that time of year when The Avengers of J-Pop and enka singers get together to have their so-called "battle" on the massive Shibuya NHK Hall stage on December 31st. I'm continuing on the tradition of putting up the lineup for the Red and White teams that I began last year for the 66th annual presentation. The above video is for the 34th edition of the special in 1983 (or at least the first several minutes).

The main NHK host will be newscaster Shinichi Takeda(武田真一)who usually takes care of the 7pm broadcast. It looks like the company is giving Yumiko Udo(有働由美子)time off after having her host the show for several years.

So without further ado, here are the teams for the 67th NHK Kohaku Utagassen brought to you by the good folks at Wikipedia:

Akagumi/Red Team
Captain: Kasumi Arimura

Ai (2)
Ayaka (8)
E-Girls (4)
Ikimonogakari (9)
Sayuri Ishikawa (39)
Yukino Ichikawa (debut)
Hikaru Utada (debut)
AKB48 (9)
Shinobu Otake (debut)
Keyakizaka 46 (debut)
Kaori Kozai (19)
Fuyumi Sakamoto (28)
Ringo Shiina (4)
Aya Shimazu (3)
Mariko Takahashi (4)
Yoshimi Tendo (21)
Kana Nishino (7)
Nogizaka 46 (2)
Puffy (debut)
Perfume (9)
Seiko Matsuda (20)
Kaori Mizumori (14)
Miwa (4)

Shirogumi/White Team
Captain: Masaki Aiba

Arashi (8)
Hiroshi Itsuki (46)
X Japan (7)
Kanjani 8 (5)
Kenta Kiritani (debut)
Kinki Kids (debut)
Hiromi Go (29)
Sandaime J Soul Brothers (5)
The Yellow Monkey (debut)
Sekai no Owari (3)
Sexy Zone (4)
Tokio (23)
AAA (7)
Kiyoshi Hikawa (17)
V6 (3)
Kohei Fukuda (3)
Masaharu Fukuyama (9)
Gen Hoshino (2)
Hiroshi Miyama (2)
Keisuke Yamauchi (2)
Yuzu (7)
Radwimps (debut)
Radio Fish (debut)

This year's theme is "Yume wo Utao"(夢を歌おう...Let's Sing The Dream). As for who I'm especially looking forward to...well, on the Red Team, there is enka singer Yukino Ichikawa(市川由紀乃), the Queen of 80s Aidoru Seiko Matsuda(松田聖子), and it'll be nice to see Puffy on the screen after a good long time. On the White Team, I am interested to see Gen Hoshino(星野源), maybe Hiromi Go(郷ひろみ)to see if he can still bust a move (or a hip), and Kohei Fukuda(福田こうへい)after a year's absence from the Kohaku stage. Although I realize that the Kohaku has been trending more towards J-Pop for the past several years, it's still a pity that I won't be able to see the stalwarts from the bygone age, Takashi Hosokawa(細川たかし)and Shinichi Mori(森進一)back on the show after announcing their retirement from the annual special.

It will all be starting up at 7:15 pm Japan Standard Time on December 31st so prepare for another marathon fest of music. Wouldn't mind some mikan on that night.


  1. "Hikaru Utada (debut)"

    Wow, I have to admit I am surprised she hasn't been on Kohaku yet. I've always been bored by the show in previous years but I would like to see what RADWIMPS does and I haven't seen Puffy live in a while so that would be fun too.

    1. Hi, Gen.

      Yeah, I think NHK has been trying to get her to come onto the program for years and they finally persuaded her.

      The first few years of my time with the Kohaku were exciting for me since it was all about the novelty of this spectacular. However, it's more like aural wallpaper although I have to say that last year's program was quite nice.

      RADWIMPS has been around for years but I think 2016 has been the big one for this band due to that theme song for "Kimi no Na wa".

  2. Thanks for putting up the Kohaku lineup for this year, J-Canuck.

    While I am glad Kohei Fukuda is back, and Yukino Ichikawa has FINALLY been invited, you could say I'm devastated to see that Takashi Hosokawa is not in there, and that the enka veterans for the white team has been whittled down to just Itsuki.

    Disappointment aside, I'll be looking forward to the other enka acts, and even some pop performances - happy to see Gen Hoshino and AAA. Hope they perform "Koi" and "NEW" respectively. RADWIMPS will be interesting to see as well.

    Man, the Kohaku is getting a bit difficult to digest for a fan of aged enka - makes me wonder what the fundamentalists have to say about this. Well, I'm gonna be optimistic about it and hope for more surprises of the pop kind to fill the void.

    1. Hi again, Noelle.

      And I'm very happy to have put it up as well. I did notice the decided dearth of male enka veterans and was somewhat saddened as it looks like an era is finally passing. However, I'm hoping that there will be an enka presence on the Kohaku for the immediate years to come at least.

      I'm also hoping that Gen Hoshino also performs "Koi" as well since I'll be interested to see the choreography that might be used in the music video.

      If I can be honest, I am glad that Akiko Wada will NOT be showing up this year since I think of all of the veterans on the Kohaku, she has been the one to appear annually just to sing the same one or two songs over and over again.

    2. Hi J-Canuck.

      I'm sure enka will still have some sort of presence on the Kohaku with the likes of Kiyoshi Hikawa and Kaori Mizumori. As for the remaining male enka veteran, I hope Itsuki will continue to appear at least until he reaches/beats Sabu-chan's record of 50 appearances.

      Personally I'm OK with Akko, but who I'm glad ain't in the lineup this time is Akihiro Miwa. I could never appreciate his get-up. However, I can't believe Radio Fish are there... Couldn't NHK have picked a better act?

    3. Hi there, Noelle.

      Yes, I think there will be the next generation to look forward to...Hikawa and Mizumori may be the new leaders.

      Ahhh...I sighed so much relief when I read that Miwa was not in the lineup. He may have his fans out there but whenever he did perform on the Kohaku, I personally thought he brought the pace of the show to a crashing halt. I didn't think my parents' faces could pucker to the extent they did until Miwa showed up.

      As for Radio Fish, I didn't know who you were talking about until I went to YouTube, and then I went "Ahhh...". It's the guys from Oriental Radio. Well...not exactly my taste either but if they replaced Miwa, then I'm not too sad. :)

    4. Ha ha, so you guys don't fancy (to put it nicely) Miwa too - glad we're not the only ones. While your parents puckered, Mom found him strange in a bad way. She calls him "Bed Sheet Guy" because in the 2014 Kohaku he wore some kind of outfit that looked like - well - a large white bed sheet. And she kept emphasizing the fact that the camera crew refused to zoom in on his face for pretty obvious reasons.

      I have never heard of Oriental Radio and I don't really like Radio Fish's hit "PERFECT HUMAN", but if that means not having Miwa on stage then I suppose I can make do.

    5. Oriental Radio is a comedy duo which has been around for years. They've become famous for their high-energy, high-speed style especially using their favourite expression "Biyuden" (武勇伝).


Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.