Thank you for participating in our Kohaku poll and sharing your comments regarding the show. The results were overwhelmingly and resoundingly in favor of us continuing to air the Red and White Song Contest.

It was especially heartening to read your comments. Many of you wrote about Kohaku being a long-standing New Year’s tradition in your homes. Others reminisced of watching the show with your grandparents and parents when you were children. Many shared that Kohaku keeps you connected to your Japanese culture. And even those of you who prefer enka had positive, thoughtful comments about how Japan is changing, and Kohaku needs to change with the times.

So thank you again for letting us know how you feel. Your feedback is valued and appreciated.

Happy New Year!

Phyllis Kihara


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18 Responses to Kohaku (Red and White Song Contest) Poll

  1. James says:

    I feel that Kohaku has now evolved into a show strictly for the much younger generation of Japanese. Gone are the older enka singers and replaced by teeney boppers. As a 2nd generation Nisei, I now don’t bother to tune into the yearly show. Sad, since the original Red/White shows were classic symbols of Japanese history and hopes which shouldn’t be forgotten.

    • Phyllis Kihara says:

      Many of KIKU’s viewers share your opinion about Kohaku. Yet others like to see the up and coming acts. NHK has to find a way to appeal to both. Thank you for your comments.

  2. Flora Watanabe says:

    Please provide information on when Iryu will be featured again. I love this show and do not want to miss any of it. Thank you for the selection of this show as it is very entertaining and informative.

    Happy New Year

    • Phyllis Kihara says:

      These dates are still tentative, but Iryu 3 is projected to begin Sunday, 3/28. A replay of Iryu 2 is projected to begin Monday, 5/31. And Iryu 4 is projected to begin Sunday, 9/26.

  3. Kyle Tajima says:

    Did KIKU air the 2020 Kohaku?! I kept searching for it for a week and could not find it…I was so disappointed. Watching Kohaku on NY’s day has been a tradition for decades in my family. Will KIKU be rebroadcasting the program this week??

    • AC says:

      Called the station today—confirmed KIKU-TV did not air this recent Kohaku. Reason I was given was “NHK last minute-ness” as to whether they WOULD air it themselves. By the time instructions got down to affiliates or associate stations, was a bit too late to air.

      • Phyllis Kihara says:

        That’s sort of an abbreviated version of the reason.

        We need to make decisions about programming several months in advance. At the time we needed to make a decision about Kohaku, NHK had just announced there would be no live audience. They could not give us any more details about the show, such as the length, the format, how the judging would take place, who the performers would be and how the performances would be “staged”. Kohaku is an extremely expensive show for us to license and, like many other businesses in Hawaii, KIKU has felt the effects of lower revenues. In the absence of more information from NHK about Kohaku, it was just too big a risk for us to take this year. We hope to bring it back next year.

  4. Darla says:

    I expected an orchestration of the Taiga Drama theme song at the 69th Kohaku. Did I miss it? Was Segodon featured in any way?

    Thank you.

  5. Stan says:

    It is sad that even people in Japan is swaying away from
    enka, it is said that Enka wa nippon jin no kokoro. When
    I listen to it it sure makes me feel good as a Japanese,
    third generation. Some people still sing it and listen to it
    on You Tube. I ask people from Japan if they like Enka
    and mostly all of them say no. Unbelievable.

  6. Margaret E Okimoto says:

    I would like to know if it is possible to air the old red and white song festivals from the past which includes Misora Hibari

    • Maiko says:

      Unfortunately we can’t get license to air the old ones. Basically license allows us to air the latest one only once.

  7. B Johnsen says:

    Sorry I missed the poll, but I’m glad to hear you’ll keep running Kohaku. I like seeing a variety of Japanese music, including enka, but I like j-pop, too, so I’m happy with how it’s evolved.

  8. Pam says:

    I didn’t have time to write before because we had company, but we love Kohaku!! Please keep having it. We don’t need subtitles. It’s enough to have the lyrics subtitled so we sometimes sing along.

  9. Mike shimono says:

    Why doesn’t the red and white song contest have English sub titles?

    • Phyllis Kihara says:

      There is not enough time. The show airs the day after we receive it from Japan and there is not enough turn-around time to translate and subtitle nearly five hours of programming. With our dramas and travel/food shows, we generally have at least two weeks to translate and subtitle a single hour of programming.

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