Behind Kanna Hashimoto’s Inauguration… “3 Actresses” Candidated to Host “Kohaku”.
The host of this year’s NHK Kohaku Uta Gassen has been announced and is attracting a great deal of attention. 49-year-old Yo Oizumi and 35-year-old Maho Kuwako, one of NHK’s signature announcers, were chosen for the third consecutive year, while Kanna Hashimoto (23) was selected as the host for the red group.
NHK wants to broaden its audience to include viewers in their teens and twenties, who are increasingly turning away from television. Ms. Hashimoto is very popular and well known, especially among young people, and I think the NHK took that into consideration in selecting her.
On the other hand, there are some who are surprised at the selection. The reason is that the Kohaku program is often hosted by celebrities who have made significant contributions to NHK through their work in morning dramas and historical dramas. In fact, Mr. Oizumi, the host of the white team, plays the role of Minamoto no Yoritomo, a key character in the historical drama “Kamakuradono no 13-nin. Ms. Hashimoto, on the other hand, has only appeared in a handful of NHK programs, which has come as a surprise.
If all went well, Yuna Kuroshima (25), who starred in the morning drama “Chimu Doton,” would have been selected. However, due to the show’s poor performance, Kuroshima was eliminated from the list of candidates early on. Excluding Hashimoto, three actresses remained as candidates until the end.
Haruka Fukuhara, 24, from the current morning drama “Soar! and Eiko Koike (41) in “Kamakura-dono”, the two actresses whose names were also mentioned were Mone Kamishiraishi (24). In fact, it was NHK that filmed an exclusive close-up documentary of the stage play “Spirited Away,” in which Kamishiraishi and Hashimoto starred together. This was well received, including the distribution of the video, and the stage itself was also very well received. This was evaluated as her “contribution.
All three of the candidates have a good track record. What was the reason Hashimoto was given priority among them?
Basically, the Kohaku host is decided by September or early October. Soaring! will start on October 3, so it is difficult to measure his contribution at this point. And with the precedent set by “Chimu-Don,” I think it was difficult to appoint Ms. Fukuhara to play the lead role. As for Ms. Koike, the appointment of Mr. Oizumi, with whom she co-starred in “Kamakura-dono,” had a major impact. It would be daring to have more than one host from the same program,” said a senior executive of a show business firm.
In the end, the two choices were Kamihakuishi and Hashimoto. The deciding factor was the presence of Minami Hamabe (22), who will star in next year’s morning drama “Ranman.
Kamihiraishi and Hamabe belong to the same agency. Considering her position as the heroine of the morning drama, Ms. Hamabe is likely to be the host of next year’s Kohgumi, and NHK would like to avoid appointing the same agency for two consecutive years. In addition, Ms. Kamishiraishi also has a slot as a singer. For those reasons and others, we ultimately went with Ms. Hashimoto.”
NHK’s Media Bureau Chief Rie Hayashi commented on Hashimoto’s appointment, “She is cute, but I also have the impression that she has guts and courage. I expect her to bring a new style to the Kohaku Uta Gassen. We can’t wait to see what Hashimoto will do at the end of the year.
Photo： Jiji Press (1st photo)