fly to high

Kouhaku 2008 Artist Lineup

Kohaku’s artist lineup for this year has been released.

Newcomers on the red team (female) are Aoyama Thelma, Akimoto Junko (enka singer who I think made it big this year with her single “Ai no Mama De”), Ikimonogakari, GIRL NEXT DOOR, Perfume, and Fujioka Fujimaki and Ohashi Nozomi (the two men and the little girl who sang the theme to Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea).

Newcomers to the white team (male) are Kimaguren, Kiyama Yusaku, Jero, Shuchishin with Pabo, Tohoshinki(DBSK), Mr. Children, and Mizutani Yutaka (enka singer who made a comeback).

Overall, expected additions for the year. I’m not familiar with enka singers, but the female singers who made it big this year all made it onto the show (Perfume! Yes!). I’m surprised and pleased that Ikimonogakari are finally on. For the male artists though, I’m surprised it took this long for Mr. Children to make it on.

Full lineup is

RED TEAM: aiko, Aoyama Thelma, Akiyama Junko, Ayaka, Angela Aki, Ikimonogakari, Ishikawa Sayuri, Otsuka Ai, Kawanaka Mizuki, GIRL NEXT DOOR, Koda Kumi, Godai Natsuko, Kobayashi Sachiko, Sakamoto Fuyumi, SPEED, Tendo Yoshimi, Nakashima Mika, Nakamura Mitsuko, Hamasaki Ayumi, Perfume, Hitoto Yo, Hirahara Ayaka, Fuji Ayako, Fujioka Fujimaki and Ohashi Nozomi, Mizumori Kaori, and Wada Akiko.

WHITE TEAM: Akikawa Masafumi, Aqua Timez, Itsuki Hiroshi, EXILE, Kitajima Saburo, Kitayama Takeshi, Kimagurin, Kiyama Yusaku, Kobukuro, Shuuchishin with Pabo, SMAP, Tohoshinki (DBSK), TOKIO, Tokunaga Hideaki, Hikawa Kiyoshi, Hirai Ken, Fuse Akira, Porno Graffiti, Maekawa Kiyoshi, Mikawa Kenichi, Mr. Children, Mizutani Yutaka, Mori Shinichi, Moriyama Naotaro, and WaT.

Overall, same as you’d expect – the popular pop artists plus all those established enka singers (I had to google every one of them… pain). I’m glad that Perfume made it onto Kouhaku – hopefully, they’ll be here the year after too. Also, Tohoshinki has officially made it big in Japan. Absent from the list are any girl idols besides Perfume – not a year for AKB48 or H!P, I guess. Also absent despite their pretty big hype this year: Amuro Namie, Fukuhara Miho, and Shimizu Shota.

So will Kouhaku be your Japanese new year’s programming of choice?

(…unfortunately, no matter how nicely Perfume and Otsuka Ai will be strutting their stuff on stage, all the enka will render my early death. Yeah, not really a fan. I’ll be sticking to my good old standby: Johnny’s Countdown. :D)

5 Comments so far
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I’ll miss BoA very much !!!!!!!! Fukuhara Miho should get a chance … we’ll see Enya and The Boom as well doing some special performances ..

Comment by Ed

Are? Where’s BoA!?

Comment by oTAKu

actually, mr children had been invited almost every year since they became popular but had refused (not sure why)… this was a big deal for them to accept this year ^^

Comment by jamieson

To the author,

Frankly, it goes to show how much taste in music you have then. Enka is a classic, there is no killing the spirit of music like the traditions of Enka. Girls shaking their butts, wearing over-shiny costumes has no such use in music.

I support Mr. Children, Kobukuro, Ayaka, Moriyama Naotaro, Aoyama Thelma, etc. because they gained popularity by creating from their heart. (BoA is special because her history is amazing)

Supporting Johnny’s is nice, if you just like to ogle at their cuteness rather then their glass-breaking voices.

Though, Kouhaku is not one to cheer for because it’s quality of music choice lacks because of such artists that have no voice but look good…However, it is the shows only choice to have them because how else would they get ratings…

In conclusion, Kouhaku is a must see for my favorite artists, but a downer for any pop artist that does not create music from his/her soul. The flashy lights may attract you like a clueless fly, but it will not last forever so long as fads change. The heart of music is eternal when the soul bounds to their own lyrics and rhythm.

PS: Mr.Children prob didn’t show up due to scheduling for the quality of the show

PPS: BoA did not show up as she is working on her US Debut with the new release of Eat You Up.

Comment by Noda

I heard that NHK had been trying to get Mr. Children on Kouhaku for years. This must have been the first time they accepted and I noticed they were in a separate studio that probably met their technical requirements.

Comment by Canadian Japanese Music Fan

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