Japan’s national public broadcasting organization, NHK, announced the anticipated roster for this year’s 68th annual Kohaku Uta Gassen music program to be broadcast live on New Year’s Eve. There will be 10 first-timers among the 46 acts to appear in the prestigious year-end spectacle that started off as a radio program back in 1951.
The title of the show means “Red and White Song Battle,” and the participants are divided into two groups — White for male, Red for female — that compete against each other for votes from viewers and judges to determine the year’s winner.
The 10 new faces this year will be the enka singer Midori Oka, the three-piece rock band <a href=”/music/shishamo”>SHISHAMO</a>, the multinational girl group <a href=”/music/twice”>TWICE</a> and the five-member vocal group Little Glee Monster on team Red, with veteran rock band <a href=”/music/elephant-kashimashi”>Elephant Kashimashi</a>, melodic punk group <a href=”/music/wanima”>WANIMA</a>, singer <a href=”/music/daichi-miura”>Daichi Miura</a>, Pistol Takehara, <a href=”/music/ulfuls”>Ulfuls</a> frontman Tortoise Matsumoto and the boy band <a href=”/music/hey-say-jump”>Hey! Say! JUMP</a> on team White.
The theme of this year’s program is “Yume Wo Utao” (“Let’s Sing of Dreams”), which NHK has stated will be the continuing theme from 2016 leading up to the year before the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.
Veteran comedian Teruyoshi Uchimura will be hosting the show for the first time this year, and the co-hosts representing each side are actress Kasumi Arimura for Red and <a href=”/music/arashi”>Arashi</a> member Kazunari Ninomiya for White.