The big New Year's Eve television extravaganza to herald the New Year is NHK's Kohaku Uta Gassen.
Unlike the West, New Year's Eve in Japan is a fairly quiet night. Many Japanese families stay at home and watch Kohaku, which literally means "Red White."
In short, the program is a singing "battle" between 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.
In recent years, the men have been very strong.
The list of guests on the NHK program was recently announced.
Here is the 2011 lineup which is not so different from the 2010 version of the show.
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Saturday, December 31, 2011