Why the “Johnny’s” quota in Kohaku has increased to the point of overabundance. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Why the “Johnny’s” quota in Kohaku has increased to the point of overabundance.

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE
Press conference for ’18. This was the first year that “King & Prince” participated in the competition from Johnny’s. Five groups, including “Hey! Five groups including “Hey! Say! JUMP,” “Sexy Zone,” “Kanjani Eight,” and “Arashi” participated in the competition.

On September 20, TBS President Taku Sasaki held a regular press conference at the station in Akasaka, Tokyo, and reported that he had handed a written request to the Johnny’s office regarding the sex abuse of the late Johnny Kitagawa, the founder of the Johnny’s office. The station had taken action against Johnny’s because it was the first station to cover the issue in its news programs “Hodo Special” and “news23,” but what will be closely watched is the response of NHK, which is financed by viewer subscription fees and the national budget.

The major problem occurred in the year when the lead role in the flagship program, the Taiga drama “What to do about Ieyasu,” was played by Johnny’s’s signature celebrity, Matsumoto Jun (40) of Arashi fame. As expected, the Taiga has no choice but to continue airing the drama, but whispers are beginning to be heard at this time about the participation of Johnny’s talents in the “74th Kohaku Uta Gassen” to be held on New Year’s Eve.

It was reported on the 22nd that “the number of entries from Johnny’s will be reduced by half,” but if they are allowed to participate, there will be a flood of protest calls from viewers, and NHK executives do not want this to lead to a “non-payment” campaign for subscription fees. Under the current circumstances, there is a big possibility that Johnny’s will request to withdraw from the contest, and NHK may honestly be hoping for that.

Last year, six of the 21 white groups in the Kohaku, including “KinKi Kids,” celebrating the 25th anniversary of their CD debut, “Kanjani Eight,” a Kohaku regular, and “Naniwa Danshi,” who just debuted last November, were the “largest” group from the entertainment industry.

Johnny’s” was the first entry in 1965, and one other group in the same year. Since then, until 1981, at most two groups participated. In the 1980s, as the number of stars increased, including Masahiko Kondo (59), Toshihiko Tahara (62), “Shibukitai,” “Shonen-tai,” “Hikaru Genji,” “Otoko Togumi,” and “SMAP,” the number of groups became three. However, from the mid-1990s, the Japanese “Kohaku” slot was reserved for two groups, “SMAP” and “TOKIO”.

In those days, the slots were allocated on a record company basis, not by entertainment companies. The era when there were two sets of Johnny’s was the heyday of Avex. They sent retired Namie Amuro (46), Ayumi Hamasaki (44), Rui Koda (40), Ai Otsuka (41), “DA PUMP,” “SPEED,” and “Tohoshinki” to the Kohaku one after another. This led to “SMAP” and “TOKIO,” who belonged to the same record company and had no strong rivals, becoming regulars.

However, until ’08, Johnny’s had two In 2009, in addition to “SMAP” and “TOKIO,” “Arashi,” celebrating the 10th anniversary of their debut, and “NYC boys,” formed around Yuma Nakayama (29), a favorite of Mr. Johnny at the time and now an actor, made their first appearances. Arashi” suddenly ranked 6th in the ratings for each singer, and they were on the show continuously from then until 2008, when they went on hiatus.

After 2010, the number of slots for Johnny’s increased to 5 and 6, and the number of “Arashi” and “KAT-TUN”, “V6”, “Kanjani Eight”, “KAT-TUN”, “Hey! In 16 years, “SMAP” was dissolved and “JUMP” was dissolved. In 2004, “SMAP” disbanded, leaving one slot open, which further increased their chances of appearing in the Kohaku, and in the end, only four debutant groups, “NEWS,” “Johnny’s WEST,” “A.B.C-Z,” and “Travis Japan,” did not appear in the Kohaku.

After the first appearance of “Arashi,” the Kohaku has been shifting its programming to younger viewers year after year, and the Johnny’s slots have expanded accordingly. This aggravation led more and more enka singers and veteran singers who sang the same songs over and over again to move away from the Kohaku.

As the number of slots increased, the relationship between Johnny’s and NHK deepened, and from 2009 onward, the Kohaku hosted a Johnny’s talent such as Masahiro Nakai and “Arashi” every year until ’19. Okada Junichi (42), who starred in “Gunshi Kanbei” (’14), and Matsumoto this year were also cast as the leads in the Taiga Drama, and Inohara Yoshihiko (47) anchored the morning information program “Asaichi” for eight years starting in ’10. As this honeymoon continued, it became the norm for Johnny’s talents to be a major force in the Kohaku. Other agencies must be envious of this.

This year, however, the six groups from last year’s competition will be completely empty, and other artists will have a chance to compete. At this point, who are the candidates?

NHK has been placing high value on former SMAP members Goro Inagaki (49), Tsuyoshi Kusanagi (49), and Shingo Katori (46), all of whom are members of “New Map,” and Katori and K-pop group Seventeen, who collaborated on the theme song “Getting” for the January drama “Trap War” (Fuji TV), which stars Kusanagi, have already been considered. SEVENTEEN is said to have been unofficially selected as early as this year.

The LDH groups “EXILE” and “GENERATIONS,” which did not participate last year, “INI,” the younger brother of “JO1,” which participated for the first time last year, “XY” produced by YOSHIKI of “X JAPAN,” and “NCT,” “Stray Kids,” and “ENHYPEN” as K-pop groups are considered to be strong contenders. The K-pop groups “NCT,” “Stray Kids,” and “ENHYPEN” are considered to be the most likely candidates. It will be a more youth-oriented Kohaku than last year,” said a source from a record company.

It seems that the absence of Johnny’s will not leave a gaping hole in the Kohaku.

  • PHOTO Takao Kawakami

Photo Gallery1 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles