Japan America Society of Colorado


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44th Annual Kohaku Utagassen

  • Tri-State Denver Buddhist Temple 1947 Lawrence St. Denver, CO 80202 (map)
Kohaku 2019.JPG

Come enjoy the 44th Annual Denver Red vs. White singing contest- Kohaku Uta Gassen, more commonly known simply as Kohaku. This is Denver’s live version of the annual NHK New Year’s Eve television special.

If you live in Japan or have access to NHK, this is a New Year’s classic. It started in 1953 and has been going ever since. The program divides the most popular music artists of the year into competing teams of red and white. The "red" team or akagumi (赤組, 紅組) is composed of all female artists (or groups with female vocals), while the "white" team or shirogumi (白組) is all male (or groups with male vocals). At the end of the show, judges and the audience vote to decide which group performed better. The honor of performing on Kōhaku is strictly by invitation, so only the most successful singing acts in the Japanese entertainment industry can perform. In addition to the actual music performances, the costumes, hair-styles, makeup, dancing, and lighting are important. Even today, a performance on Kōhaku is said to be a big highlight in a singer's career because of the show's wide reach.

If you can’t get tickets and make it to Japan for the NHK version, you can enjoy the live Denver version. Tickets are much more reasonable (FREE) and you can get there by car! This event is hosted by the Tri-State Denver Buddhist Temple and sponsored by the Japanese American Association of Colorado.

Earlier Event: January 15
Japan Turns Gray (and we will too)
Later Event: January 26
JASC Kaiwa Club- Yutaka's Soubetsukai