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56th Annual NHK Kouhaku Uta Gessen (2005)


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?56?NHK?????

[NHK's Annual Red/White Song Competition]

Every year for the past 56 years, Japan has broadcast a national music competition entitled Kouhaku Uta Gessen (????? / "Red and White Song Battle"). For the first three years the program was transmitted via radio, but in 1954 Japan's first TV broadcast capabilities went online, marking the start of the Nippon Housou Kyoukai (NHK / ??????), the Japanese Broadcasting Corporation. Thus from the very advent of television broadcast in Japan Kouhaku Uta Gessen has been a favorite televised national event.

The program runs annually on New Year's Eve from 7:20pm to 11:45pm, during which time the nation's top musicians perform in what amount to a "boys against the girls" competition. Appointed judges and segments of the population are invited to vote for either team, and at the program's end, the tally is counted.

Below you will find photos and info on this year's competition. Due to the time zone difference between Chicago and Tokyo (we are 16 hours behind Tokyo), the live broadcast is recorded in Japan and then distributed on DVD through Japanese stores here in the States in time to be watched here on New Years Eve (!!). For those in the USA, if you can imagine "Dick Clark's New Years Eve" multiplied by 100, you'll get a notion of the importance of this annual event.


The competition is held in NHK Hall and is a live performance in front of both a massive live audience and national live TV. (And in this regard it is noteworthy to mention that these performances are not lip-synced.)

NHK Hall

Every year different Team Captains are chosen and being selected is considered quite an honor. This year the captain for the men's White (Haku) team is Minomonta and for the ladies' Red (Kouku) team, the captain is Nakama Yukie. Assisting on the White Team is Yamamoto Koji.

Team Captains

Red Team Captain: Nakama Yukie / ?????
(You may recognize her as Sadako in Ringu 0!!)

White Team Captain: Minomonta / ?????

White Team Assistant: Yamamoto Koji / ????

A panel of judges comprised of "prestigious" individuals is invited to sit in the front row and comment upon the performances. This serves primarily as a means of recognition for these people's outstanding performance during the year. Though there are ten judges, I am presenting only the more interesting ones.

The Judges

The entire panel of judges

Sumo champion Kotooshu Katsunori (?????), a caucasian, Bulgarian-born wrestler.

Astronaut Noguchi Soichi (????), a space engineer aboard NASA'a 2005 space shuttle flight.

Yamada Youji (????) film director of over 75 films, many of which are traditional classics.

The heart of this program is the musical performances by the year's top talent. This amounts to the appearance of old classics as well as some of the year's "top hits". The following is a list of performers in the order of their appearance (though sometimes red and white alternate as to who goes first). You'll notice that on some screenshots you can see karaoke-like lyrics. All song lyrics are broadcast like this.

For the sake of time and my sanity, I will not attempt to translate the artists' names nor their song titles. Sorry. :(


The Performers (Note: the format below is: "Artist Name ?song performed?")
RED TEAM WHITE TEAM

??????????

????? ?????

??????Delightful?

????????????

???????????

w-inds ???????

??????????????

?????????

????, DEF.DIVA?and ???????? ???????????????????LOVE??????

????????

BoA????????

?????One Night Carnival?

??????????

????????????

?????????????

??????????

??????Love?Day After Tomorrow?

???????????
(yes, this is really a guy!)

????????????????

???????????????

?????????

?????and ???????????????

???????????

??????????????

??????ENDLESS STORY?

TOKIO?????????!?

?????????????

CHEMISTRY??almost in love?
*** The following two songs commemmorate the 60th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.

?????????????

????? ??????

?????????? ???????????
(major scandal ensued after Koda suggested she would appear here "bra-less". GASP! Viewership during her performance spiked to its second highest level of the night.)

D-51??NO MORE CRY?

???????fairyland?

????????????

?????Pecori Night?
(This wide-jawed behemoth is not really a girl, but a "New Half". Uh huh.)

WaT????????

???? ??????

T.M.Revolution??WHITE BREATH?

???????????

?????????????????????
(Yes, that is a fat and pasty-white belly you see there. Don't ask.)

aiko??????

????????One more time, One more chance?

????????????

?????????????????

AI??Story?

????????????

????????????

???????? ????? 2005?

????? with Friends Of Love The Earth ?Smile again?

Def Tech??My Way?

DREAMS COME TRUE????????????????????

????????????????

??????My Revolution?

m-flo?and?Akiko Wada??HEY!?

??????????

?????????????

????????????????

SMAP ?Triangle?

Traditionally is has been the greatest honor to be the final performer for your team. In the past, this place was reserved for only classic, traditional singers. Due to gradually decreasing viewership over the years, NHK changed this year's format, and thus the popular rock band SMAP here takes this position. Viewership was up significantly this year over the past.

Also appearing here were the following often strange characters:

Also appearing in no particular order...

And then the voting begins...

And the winner is...

WHITE WINS!!!

Other miscellaneous scenes

3 Comments


Thank u for the lovely show that i've been waiting for all these years since i migrated to the States after 16 years! Back in S'pore, i was a loyal fan of the Red & WhiteSong Battle since young age. Although i 'm not a smart person in learning different languages but i truly loves Japanese songs especially those sentimental ones! Keep up the good works! I really appreciates it! Good Day!


i love you yukie nakama aishiteru from the phlippines your beautifull girl the best in the world


I came from Hongkong to the US since 1993. Since then I missed the RED & WHITE singing contest. I became a great fan of the contest since I was 20 and my dad was a super lover of Japanese songs he was 87 when he left 2 years ago and now I am mid 50. I love Japanese songs especially those old ones in 50-70. Japanese songs are just like XO of all times.

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