We’re watching the New Year’s Eve TV show called 紅白歌合戦 kouhaku uta gassen—the red and white song contest. This is the 66th annual contest. It’s a variety show featuring all kinds of music from this year’s J-pop hits to enka ballads to hard rock.
Many of the participants appear year after year; it’s Arashi’s 7th time to perform and some stalwarts have been on the show for 30 or even 40 years.
The show is structured as a competition between the akagumi “red” team (female performers) and the shirogumi “white” team (male), red and white taking turns to perform, with the result decided by popular vote. The staging and light shows are reminiscent of the Eurovision. I would have liked to see cross-dressing death-metal wrestler Ladybeard included, but inexplicably there is no sign of him in…
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