NHK unveils 'Kohaku Uta Gassen' lineup
Japan Today -- Nov 18
Japan’s national broadcaster NHK has unveiled this year’s lineup for its annual New Year’s Eve music show "Kohaku Uta Gassen" (Red and White Song Battle), featuring 10 new groups and singers.

Among the new additions this year are singers Midori Oka, Daichi Miura and Tortoise Matsumoto, rock acts Shishamo, Elephant Kashimashi, Wanima and Takehara Pistol, as well as the popular South Korean pop idol group Twice.

The program, which will be broadcast on Dec 31 from 7 p.m. for the 68th consecutive year, will feature a total of 46 groups, 23 from the “red” (women) team and 23 from the “white” (male) team. The two teams will be competing for the trophy with songs, costumes and overall performances.

For the red team, Japanese enka singer Sayuri Ishikawa has made the most appearances on "Kohaku" with 40, while for the white team, Hiroshi Itsuki will be making his 47th appearance.

This year’s list did not include stars such as Namie Amuro, a singer who has regularly appeared in the show, despite her recent announcement that she will be retiring from the showbiz industry in 2018.

Kazunari Ninomiya, a member of the boy band Arashi, will be doing a solo appearance as an MC for the white team for the first time in the history of the program, while the MC for the red team will be popular Japanese actress Kasumi Arimura for the second year in a row.

News source: Japan Today
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