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Kōhaku Song Contest Reveals 2023 Lineup With No Former Johnny’s Artists for the 1st Time in 44 Years

NHK revealed the lineup for the 74th Kōhaku Uta Gassen (“Red and White Song Contest”), Japan’s most-watched music television program, on Monday. This year’s show goes for a different first, as no former Johnny’s (now Smile Up) artists will perform on the show. A first in 44 years since 1979.

NHK previously stated in September that it will “not make new requests to entertainers from … [the agency] to perform in its programs for the time being” in response to the Johnny Kitagawa sexual abuse scandal.

Last year, the agency’s talents KANJANI 8, KinKi Kids, King & Prince, SixTONES, Snow Man, and Naniwa Danshi performed on the program. Johnny’s talents first participated in Kōhaku Uta Gassen in 1965. Arashi first performed in 2009, along with three other groups. In 2012, five groups from the talent agency performed on the program, six in 2014, seven in 2015, and a steady number of five to six groups have performed every year since then.

Another first this year is Ado, the singing voice of Uta from , who will perform as herself. Last year’s program featured “Shinjidai” (“New Genesis”), the theme song of . Ado performed behind a 3D avatar of Uta, which is also the first time that an anime character appeared on the program.

Image via MAN WITH A MISSION’s X/Twitter Account

Japanese band MAN WITH A MISSION — who performed theme songs for anime series such as , , , and most recently — will also debut in this year’s program.

The yearly New Year’s Eve contest pits two teams of female singers (the red team) and male singers (the white team) against each other. This year’s program will take place on December 31 at 7: 20 p.m. JST.

The full lineup for the 74th Kōhaku Uta Gassen includes:

(Note: The number in parenthesis represents how many times the singer/group has appeared on the program, including this year.)


  • Aimyon (5)
  • Atarashii Gakkō! (debut)
  • Ado (debut)
  • ano (debut)
  • Sayuri Ishikawa (46)
  • Ran Ito (debut)
  • Fuyumi Sakamoto (35)
  • Sakurazaka46 (3)
  • Ringo Sheena (8)
  • JUJU (2)
  • Superfly (7)
  • Yoshimi Tendo (28)
  • NiziU (4)
  • Nogizaka46 (9)
  • Perfume (16)
  • MISIA (8)
  • Kaori Mizumori (21)
  • milet (4)
  • YOASOBI (3)
  • Ryoku Oushoku Shakai (2)


  • Elephant Kashimashi (2)
  • Yo Oizumi (debut)
  • Official HiGE DANdism (4)
  • Tatsuya Kitani (debut)
  • Hiromi Gō (36)
  • Masashi Sada (22)
  • JO1 (2)
  • Junretsu (6)
  • Masayuki Suzuki (6)
  • Strawberry Prince (debut)
  • Stray Kids (debut)
  • SEVENTEEN (debut)
  • 10-FEET (debut)
  • BE:FIRST (2)
  • Masaharu Fukuyama (16)
  • Fumiya Fujii (6)
  • Gen Hoshino (9)
  • MAN WITH A MISSION (debut)
  • Mrs. Green Apple (debut)
  • Hiroshi Miyama (9)
  • Keisuke Yamauchi (9)
  • YUZU (14)

In this year’s contest, actress Kanna Hashimoto (, live-action films), comedian Hiroiki Ariyoshi, actress Minami Hamabe (, live action films), and television announcer Kozo Takase are hosting the program. The theme this year is “Borderless: Koete Tsunagaru Ōmisoka” (Borderless: New Year’s Eve Connected Beyond Borders).

Sources: NHK, Oricon, Sports Hochi



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