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
Jul 22
Several beaches ravaged by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan have been reopened for bathing for the first time in 8 years. (NHK)
Jul 22
In sumo, Mitakeumi beat Tochiozan on the 14th day of the Nagoya tournament on Saturday to win his first title with 13 wins and one loss, ahead of the final day. (NHK)
Jul 22
Imagine wrapping up a tough work week and jumping into a three-day weekend and find out the whole ATM system is down until the following Tuesday. (Japan Times)
Jul 22
Some of the major foreign supermarket chains that entered Japan around 2000 offering low prices made possible through bulk purchases have exited the country. (Japan Times)
Jul 21
Severe tropical storm Ampil is moving toward Japan's southwestern island of Okinawa, bringing strong winds and high waves. (NHK)
Jul 21
Japan's health ministry says the average life expectancies for men and women hit record highs in 2017. (NHK)
Jul 21
The proportion of women with children who said they were employed stood at a record high of 70.8 pct in 2017, exceeding 70 pct for the first time, a survey by the labor ministry showed Friday. (Jiji)
Jul 21
Severe heat continues across much of Japan. (NHK)
Jul 21
The life and times of Japan's first golfer: Amsterdam 1605 (thesamuraigolfer.com)
Jul 21
As people in Japan treated themselves to grilled eels on eel-eating day Friday, many were faced with a larger bill amid soaring prices for the endangered fish. (Japan Today)