~A few sights and sounds from the 2010 Kouhaku Utagassen…

AKB48 @ the 2010 Kouhaku Utagassen

Happy New Year everyone っo(*´∀`)o!!!

Here every New Years day we’re treated a complete broadcast of Japan’s New Years eve musical celebration which pits the Red (women’s team) against the White (men’s team) in a cumulative singing showdown and much like years past, this year’s show also provided an abundance of great performances, surprises and visuals which were most memorable~.

First and foremost was seeing ARASHI host!!!! And at some points during the night (each time she appeared on screen) I did secretly long to see long~time Kouhaku host Nakama Yukie up on stage beside the boys hosting as there’s just something about her presence and class which brings so much to any event. This year Nakama Yukie would appear as a special guest judge role instead and like always she looked so so beautiful. The continuing trend of seeing much less enka also was notable this year as in a sign~of~the~times sort of way the move away from Japan’s unique folk styling opting for more pop and modern artists is perhaps in a bid to attract a growth in the youth audience. Still I would love seeing both enka performers of old and new in the grand mixture of the evening but perhaps those days of dominance or now ever equality are behind us now~.

Much like the Olympics the Kouhaku also loves having unique mascots and this year’s oversized stuffed~animal plushies were what appeared to be two giant gorillas and when at one point Riida had mysteriously vanished from the stage I began to fear that one of those mascots had eaten him :P!….luckily though Riida had just been in wardrobe change as he was getting prepared for his “Kaibutsu~kun” theme performance =). So many of the sets were so amazing and well designed too and in case you were wondering just what AKB48 was looking at to get such a reaction atop this post…….there’s just the one and only “Head” whom could pull off such a feat as she always promises to produce the night’s most elaborate of stage visuals, tonight she rode high above the audience upon an giant swan……crane? And while “Furusato” and “Arigatou” were two of the night’s most emotional some of my other favorites were by ARASHI (were both awesome as hosts and they absolutely ruled the stage with their medley of “Troublemaker and “Monster”), AKB48 (“Beginner/”Heavy Rotation”/”Ponytail to shu shu” medley rocked!! and they also made their presence felt all night appearing as dancers for other artists including Godai Natsuko which was really pretty + an anime tribute performance by Acchan, Yuko, Tomochin & Mizuki Nana and more!), aiko (if you’ve been reading here for awhile you already know how much I love and adore aiko so much♥!!), Fukuyama Masaharu (He appeared via satellite and for a cause even had his long locks cut live right on stage), Kobukuro (love how their voices harmonize together….beautiful!), Angela Aki (known mostly for her piano compositions she performed solo on acoustic guitar), Godai Natsuko (what’s even better than a great enka voice?….being accompanied on stage by Takamina, Kojiharu, Sae, Mayuyu, Yukirin, Mariko, Miichan and Kasai!!), AAA (♥♥♥!), L’arc~en~ciel (I had no idea that they were on this year and gosh*! Hyde love~love his voice so much!!), Ikimono Gakari (“Arigatou” I thought was one of the best songs of the night), Ishikawa Sayuri (♥♥♥!), Hikawa Kiyoshi (the enka boy~wonder I still think of him and on this night there was even a Middle~Eastern flavor in his song and performance), SMAP (awesome medley of “This is love” and “Triangle”….sweet~sweet~ballad♥ and Shingo~kun’s public service announcement for Japan’s going all digital moving away from analog permanently was quite cute!) and omg the drunken~master~like Kuwata Keisuke never ceases to surprise me as he was channeling Bob Dylan for his first song and thank goodness for those Japanese lyrics they show at the bottom of the screen otherwise there would be little way of knowing just what he was singing/saying at all…(^q^)!

The five hours flew by so quickly and even Couscous enjoyed~* the Kouhaku this year although she did at several times say something like….”..if you close your eyes this is really nice….” in reference to a few of the night’s male singers lol and I won’t say anything more as I’m guessing you already know what she was implying xD. A wonderful aspect of the Kouhaku is how you don’t just see your favorites♥ once for their main performance as they’ll appear sometimes repeatedly in back~up dancer roles for other artists and in special tributes too throughout the night. So below are just a few favorite♥ performances from the 2010 Kouhaku and I’ll begin with Angela Aki solo on guitar followed by AKB48’s awesome medley which ends with an amazing~* victory pose and be sure to watch for AKB also in Godai Natsuko’s performance and a few more performances too =)!!

Angela Aki

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Ohno Satoshi

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Maeda Atsuko, Oshima Yuko, Itano Tomomi & Mizuki Nana

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Godai Natsuko w/ AKB48

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ARASHI (medley)

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ARASHI “Furusato”

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Ikimono Gakari

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Ishikawa Sayuri

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About MorningBerryz

Lover and free spirit who's interests in Japanese culture and the like are insatiable. I am of pure Japanese/Okinawan descent, love my cats, sleep and am a bit naughty at times :).
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30 Responses to ~A few sights and sounds from the 2010 Kouhaku Utagassen…

  1. mikeymikez says:

    Awesome once again MB! Have to view this again later 🙂 how cool to have a national music day!

    Btw, raining like crazy here now!


    • Wow I saw on the news that it was snowing too in southern California :O!….I hope you didn’t get caught in the awful traffic jam as I heard they closed the roads in some areas because of the snow fall.

      U~n the Kouhaku is wonderful and it’s tradition for New Years day here to watch every year….so many great artists and always a few surprises too! I hope the videos play okay….=)


      • Mike Avila says:

        Is the show available to buy?

        Weather is OK here now. It never actually snows here in San Diego. Mostly in the mountains if it snows at all in Southern California… 🙂


        • Sadly NHK doesn’t sell their Kouhaku programs as they could be made into a nice box set surely =). I ended up recording the entire program on five DVDs so not too much quality was lost although our local station’s broadcast was a bit fuzzy looking to begin with =/.


  2. maiZe says:

    Hey MB!

    It’s crazy to think that your Kohaku post from last year was what got me into Arashi. It’s been a while since I’ve commented or e-mailed you. I’ll be emailing you tomorrow most likely… Gotta catch up with you… AND I gots a box in the mail today! 😀 <333

    But anyway, I'm straying from the post (as I tend to do when I comment on your blog. XD but I think you're used to my ramblings by now and you haven't told me to GTFO yet, so.. ^_^). Thankies for the clips! (Though I really only watched Arashi. XD) I watched the AKB clip through Joh since he's a monster AKB fan. And I just have to say AKB army is an army. XD

    I still need to get a hold of Angela's performance. I haven't seen it yet. But anyway, bedtime for me. I'll bug you more through e-mail later. 😀


    • Wow I can’t believe it’s been a year already! Oh dear oh no it arrived so late =(!!!….I did miss the mailing deadline for international mail though so *(kicks self!!) but I hope you like them =). I was going for cute♥ but hopefully practical too I don’t know :P. I hope everything arrived safely as I always worry about damage whenever mailing anything….oh no I’m most delinquent both with blogging and e~mails I just haven’t had the time to be online as much these past weeks.

      E~h? what is ‘gtfo?’ I’m bad with acronyms and I haven’t seen that one before xD. If it’s something bad though I would never say such a thing!! A~h I was like wow they really brought everyone from all of the Teams really really awesome as it then became like a super~performance which you’d usually only see at their concerts away from their theater I think =).

      I added Angela Aki’s performance and the dialog clip before…..I think you’ll love it!

      Happy Happy New Year~*!!


      • maiZe says:

        You know, I came back here to see if you responded to my comment, and saw the Angela Aki clip… And I thought “Geez maiZe… Way to pay attention. It was here the whole freakin’ time!” But… it seems I’m not that out of it. XD LOL. Thanks for answering that question (which you didn’t even realize I had) for me. ^_^ I’ll watch that right before I go to bed. Thankies!!

        Also, GTFO = get the f*** out. And I know you’d never say that to me (or anyone really XD), and I don’t swear either… o_O But for some reason I really enjoy that acronym and I often use it ask jokes. 😀


        • Oh no I did just add it earlier today :P….was reading your and Mikey’s comments and thought why oh why did I not post her performance too xD?!

          A~~h maiZe has potty~fingers :O….I’d say mouth but you only typed it lol I’m just kidding (*≧▽≦)!I know the stocking is only seasonal but I thought it was so cute♥ but mostly the headphones I hope you can use and I hope that they sound good…..I thought the panda design was unique and adorable….maybe odd I don’t know :P. no mostly cute♥! Good~night o(*´∀`)o゛~。


          • maiZe says:

            Odd? Never. The panda design is awesome!! And nicely timed seeing as the pandas just graduated MM. 😀 Whenever I use them, I’ll be thinking of you and Jun/Lin. ^_^ And I think I’ll be using them often ’cause they sound awesome! (And they’re just sooooooooo cute!!!)

            As for Angela’s performance – I love that song. It’s so easy to play on guitar, which I love ’cause I can just load up the lyrics and belt it out as I sit with my guitar. However, I do enjoy watching her play piano more than I enjoy watching her play guitar. The angle at which she held the guitar was awkward for me to watch… And I really don’t like it when people strum on the fretboard. XD But that’s okay. Still an awesome performance 😀 Thankies!!


            • Mike Avila says:

              I have the real Pandas close by at the San Diego Zoo! ^^

              I happen to have Black Glasses and We’re all Alone on my iPhone right now! I love that she has perfect English too. My little 1/2 Japanese niecelets love that even her Japanese songs tend to have some English in them…

              I had dream that a new H!P group was formed of Japanese from all over the world like America and Australia that mostly perform in Japanese, but throw in enough English to keep it interesting for non fluent Speakerx! Maybe one of MBs relations lol 🙂


            • a~h! that’s so stupid of me not even thinking of that (*≧∀≦)☆★ ↓!!。。pandas…..Junjun and Linlin I was supposed to say that’s why I picked them out :P. And the timing….gosh* I am that numb xD.

              I do agree too that Angela Aki is better on piano and it really suits and matches her overall style with her compositions. lol I had to rewatch to see what you meant as I didn’t realize she was doing that….it creates such a different sound.


      • maiZe says:

        Oh also… What was the dialogue clip about before the performance, if you don’t mind giving me a rough translation? I haven’t been studying recently. My Japanese sucks. XD


        • Mike Avila says:

          Baca Mikey has no Japanese! 😦 Thanks to MB I can still know a few things and experience great jmusic!

          I kept telling how important she is to a lot of people. Maybe MBsan believes a bit now? 🙂

          I should mention Kokia too. I truly love her music!


  3. mikeymikez says:

    I love Angela Aki! I have just about everything from her from YesAsia. Thanks to MB!


    • maiZe says:

      @mikeymikez: LOL. I got into Angela Aki because of MB too. 🙂


    • Hi Mikey…..just added her clip a bit earlier today and I really should have posted it originally xD. She’s such an amazing musician and songwriter and she’s on the acoustic guitar this year for the Kouhaku =). “Kiss me good~bye” still one of my most favorites ^ ^♥


      • Mike Avila says:

        I think of just that song when ever I see her!!

        Having fun in 2011 so far??


        • A~h it’s been a bit hectic so far with much less time to blog or be online but life is happy~* and I hope yours is too!


        • Oh Mikey I forgot to say earlier that your AKB48 Playboy is on the way to you~♥…sorry so late for Christmas =/. Please let me know that it has arrived safely and please don’t mind the return address as one of my nieces thought it a good idea to peel it off and stick it to my butt and then she tried to write it back by using a really thick marker so it’s sort of non legible but it was the only envelop I had with me so……ugh (*>ω<)!!、。。why are children so mischievous?? I was never this bad lol xD.


          • Mike Avila says:

            lol! Thanks so funny! Stuck to your butt! 😛
            Put her in the new H!P group with non-Japan Japanese! ^^

            Not a problem with after Christmas! I know you did your best and I will really love it, especially because it is from MBsan!

            Everything is better with a story “behind” it! 😉


  4. Takeru says:

    AKB48 is so hot haha they keep raping my wallet damn! ( ゚ Д゚)


    • W~ah! that’s one way to put it…so true that AKB48 temps us more and more and there’s like an endless array of releases always coming out =)! I’m looking forward to Tomochin’s solo single release~* ^ ^。


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