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The 67th NHK Kouhaku Utagassen

Every year on December 31st, many Japanese people will sit under the kotatsu after dinner waiting in anticipation for the annual Red-White Song Battle to begin. Yeah, it is that time of the year once again. The NHK Kouhaku Utagassen is considered a major event that lasts four and a half hours. Singapore used to broadcast the show on its free-to-air channel for some years, yet the 'tradition' hasn't been quite absorbed like how it is embraced in native Japan. You see, over here we had the Kouhaku Utagassen as a delayed telecast. We watched the show on some other occasion that reflected nothing remote of the festive mood whatsoever, but it was still a little enjoyable once we looked past the horrifying fact that the free-to-air edition was brutally scissored to fit in a two-hour slot. Since then, unless you are a subscriber of NHK or some channel that actually airs the show, Kouhaku Utagassen has remained a past memory.

A quick look at this year's line-up reveals a few unbelievable yet pleasant surprises. First, there is Utada Hikaru of First Love fame (sorry I am a sucker for a little nostalgia) who will appear for the first time in her music career of nearly two decades. I have no idea how the system works behind the show, but Utada is such a profilic and popular singer-songwriter that it sort of baffles. Nonetheless, it is wonderful knowing that she is going to be there!

In the men's department, Kinki Kids who also have nearly 20 years of music credits since their debut with Garasu no Shounen, will appear for the first time on Kouhaku Utagassen. Again, it is baffling as their seniors and juniors have long performed countless times combined. I have one of their singles that I had bought out of sheer curiosity back then, because that was actually my first time stumbling upon a mini CD anywhere. Of course, there was also another determining factor. In those days, there was a weekly J-POP show that played music videos or something, and Kinki Kids might have had been featured. I just thought that they looked awfully familiar! 

Anyway, I don't have to watch Kouhaku Utagassen to be able to feel much for something that I have always loved. Perhaps too many years of not watching the show did numb a part of my mind, and what had been a deprivation is now a piece of reminiscence. Besides, my idol has long 'graduated' from the yearly event. For those who are able to catch the show, please enjoy on my behalf as well! :)

Eccentrically Yours.

Written by J.Fluffysheep ♪

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