The 63rd annual Kohaku Uta Gassen year end program was won by the males of the white team.
After managing their first win in 7 years last year, the red team lost to the white team with a score of 318625 to 351942, a difference of 33,317.
“I felt impressed with all of the girls’ stages and was relieved thinking we would win. Our lost was mortifying. My heart is heavy with sadness. I wanted to continue our winning streaking this year,” red team host Maki Horikita stated.
Kohaku Uta Gassen has been dominated by the white team ever since the voting system for determining the program’s winner was switched in 2005 to including votes through cell phones.
Japan’s widely-watched year-end TV show will feature only Japanese acts this year, with popular South Korean performers left out of the line-up amid territorial frictions with Seoul.
Taxpayer-funded broadcaster NHK insisted politics had played no role in the selection of performers for the New Year’s Eve broadcast watched by up to 40 percent of the nation’s TV audience.
Korean girl groups KARA and Girls’ Generation and male group Tohoshinki (TVXQ) were among the headline acts last year on “Kohaku Uta Gassen” (The Red and White Song Contest).
The live TV show lasts more than four hours, and features established acts like AKB48, as well as grandees of J-pop like ageing boy band SMAP.
Read the rest of the story: K-pop acts dropped from Japan year-end music show.
On Wednesday, NHK announced the hosts of the 61st Kohaku Uta Gassen. The popular group Arashi will be in charge of the White Team, while actress and pianist Nao Matsushita (25) will be in charge of the Red Team. This is the first time for either of them to serve as a Kohaku host.
Arashi did their first performance at Kohaku just last year. Now, they have become the first group ever to host the show. The announcement was even more special as it was made on November 3, the 11th anniversary of Arashi’s CD debut. The group will be complemented by Matsushita, who skyrocketed in popularity this year thanks to NHK’s morning drama series "Gegege no Nyoubou."
This year’s Kohaku will start 15 minutes later than last year, at 7:30pm on December 31, though it will end at the usual time of 11:45pm.
Momoe Yamaguchi (山口 百恵, Yamaguchi Momoe, born January 17, 1959) is a former Japanese singer, actress, and idol whose career lasted from 1972 to 1980. In that time, she became one of the most notable singers in Japanese music, and an acclaimed actress. She withdrew from the entertainment business at the peak of her career to marry her frequent costar, fellow actor Tomokazu Miura (三浦友和, Miura Tomokazu). More than twenty years after her retirement, she still commands public interest with constant inquiries about her coming back. And about coming back? Well how about available?
The legendary Yamaguchi Momoe (50) is finally entering the world of digital downloads. It was announced yesterday that the 12 major digital distributors have reached an agreement to sell the 274 songs she released – 32 singles and 242 album tracks – together with videos of live performances. The files will be released over a period of four weeks from January 17, her 51st birthday.
To date, six greatest hits albums have been released to commemorate anniversaries of her 1973 debut or 1980 retirement. Last month, a DVD box set featuring her many appearances on the “Best Ten” music show entered the Oricon charts at No.2. In her heyday, she was one of three pop starlets referred to as the “Hana no Naka 3 Trio.” Songs by the other two, Mori Mitsuko (51) and Sakurada Junko (51), are already available online, and Yamaguchi is believed to be the last of the Showa Era legends to go fully digital. Ironically, during her 7-year career, she never had a No.1 album and only four No.1 singles on the Oricon charts. But in 1978 she was popular enough to become the first – and still the only – teenager to be given the “tori” (headliner) position in NHK’s annual “Kohaku Uta Gassen” concert.