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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Kohaku Uta Gassen NHK TV Lineup

mikawa-kenichi紅白歌合戦

With just over a month remaining in 2009, Japanese eyes are beginning to turn towards the annual "Kohaku Uta Gassen" New Year's Eve television extravaganza.

Unlike the West, New Year's Eve in Japan is a fairly tame affair. Many stay home and watch Kohaku, which literally means "Red White."

In a nutshell, the program is a singing "battle." The great and famous from Japan's music world are divided into Red (female) and White (male) teams. A panel of almost as famous judges evaluates each act, and then just prior to the tolling of the temple bells to ring in the new year one team is declared the winner.

To generate excitement, the eagerly awaited list of guests on the NHK program was recently announced.

Here is this year's lineup:

Red Team

aiko
Junko Akimoto
Ayaka
Angela Aki
Ikimono Gakari
Sayuri Ishikawa
AKB48
Ai Otsuka
GIRL NEXT DOOR
Miyuki Kawanaka
Kaela Kimura
Kumi Koda
Natsuko Godai
Sachiko Kobayashi
Fuyumi Sakamoto
Yoshimi Tendo
DREAMS COME TRUE
Mika Nakashima
Mitsuko Nakamura
Ayumi Hamasaki
Perfume
Ayaka Hirahara
Nana Mizuki
Kaori Mizumori
Akiko Wada

White Team
Arashi
ALICE
Hiroshi Itsuki
EXILE
NYC boys
Saburo Kitajima
Takeshi Kitayama
Kobukuro
Jero
SMAP
TVXQ
TOKIO
Hideaki Tokunaga
Kiyoshi Hikawa
FUNKY MONKEY BABYS
Masaharu Fukuyama
Akira Fuse
flumpool
Takashi Hosokawa
Porno Graffiti
Kenichi Mikawa
Shinichi Mori
Yusuke Kamiji
Yuzu
Remioromen
The lineup is a mix of old and new, from Saburo Kitajima who will be making his 46th appearance on the program to first timer Arashi.

On the women's side two stalwarts will be leading the charge: Kyoto's Kumi Koda and veteran Akiko Wada.

Another highlight is the annual outfit worn by Kenichi Mikawa - pictured above - ever the campy performer.


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