NHK 'Kohaku Uta Gassen'
Dec. 29, 2009 - Enka singer, Junko Akimoto, poses for photographers during the first day of rehearsals for 'Kohaku Uta Gassen,' or also more commonly known as 'Kohaku.' Produced by the Japanese public broadcaster, NHK, this annual music show airs on New Year's Eve and ends shortly before midnight, where everyone on air pauses to say "Happy New Year." The 'Red and White Song Battle' separates the most popular music artists during each given year into teams of red and white: the red team consists of all female artists and the white team is all male artists. For an artist to perform on Kohaku, it is a great honor as only the most successful enka singers and J-Pop artist are strictly invited to perform by invitation only. Today, for a J-Pop artist or enka singer to perform on Kohaku, is most notably recognized to be a big highlight in a singer's career due to the show's large reach of audience during New Year's Eve.