Artists who have surprisingly never performed at Kohaku Uta Gassen

It’s nearly a new year, that means Japan is abuzz with news regarding the annual year-end musical show Kohaku Uta Gassen. Online web portal goo created a list of popular artists who have never attended the show, and had their users vote on whose absence was the most surprising.

Performing at Kohaku is still seen as a very prestigious event for an artists career. At one point it was the most watched television show in Japan, at the shows peak it reached a massive rating of over 81%. Throughout the years ratings have slowly declined, but to this day it is still the most watched Japanese musical event of the year.

Check out the full top 30 ranking below the jump

1. B’z


B’z is the best selling Japanese musician of all time, so naturally their absence from the show would be quite puzzling to most people. The duo got their start in 1988, and their breakthrough came 2 years later in 1990 with the single Be There. Following the release of Be There, all of their studio albums and singles have easily topped the Oricon charts. The band’s concerts have been quite notorious for hosting many families, many parents bring their children to the concert resulting in a whole new generation of fans. This is another correlation to Kohaku, where it’s regularly watched with the entire family during Omisoka (New Year’s Eve). 

The band has never stated why they have never attended, though some speculate it’s the simple reasoning that both members of B’z like to take a vacation around that time. This year B’z will be performing on December 31st for their B’z LIVE-GYM 2017-2018 “LIVE DINOSAUR” tour,  and right after they will then take a week long break before resuming their tour schedule on January 7th.

B’z will be celebrating their 30th anniversary next year, giving hope to fans that perhaps they will finally make an appearance in 2018.

2. Spitz


Spitz is one of the most beloved and best selling rock bands in Japan. Still just as popular after releasing their first studio album in 1991, their continued absence from the show has definitely been noticeable over the years.

The band was formed 30 years ago in 1987, and this year went on a commemorative tour to celebrate this milestone. This had quite a few fans and critics hoping that they would make an appearance for their anniversary…but they won’t.

3.Yosui Inoue

Yosui Inoue is a famed musician, producer, lyricist, and composer. He made history in 1973 with the release of his album Kori No Sekai , where it became the first studio album to sell more than 1 million units only in Japan.

Inoue is quite a shy and reserved man, he is always seen wearing his signature black sunglasses. It’s rumored that the whole giant spectacle of Kohaku just isn’t Inoue’s thing, and would only make him feel a bit embarrassed.

4. Kazumasa Oda
5. Maki Ohguro
6. Chiharu Matsuyama
7. JUJU
8. Ketsumeishi & Motohiro Hata
10. Tatsuro Yamashita
11. Leo Ieiri & Kohmi Hirose
13. Mariya Takeuchi
14. KAT-TUN
15. Shonan no Kaze
16. Ko Shibasaki & NEWS
18. Yutaka Ozaki
19. back number & Onyanko Club
21. GReeeeN
22. CHAGE and ASKA
23. ONE OK ROCK
24. UVERworld
25. MONGOL800
26. BOOWY
27. Sambomaster
28. Maaya Sakamoto
29. ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATION
30. Erika Sawajiri / SCANDAL / Chatmonchy

(via goo)

  • Comments

    • AkaneHaga

      is flow been in KUG b4? or they not surprisingly?
      im asking

    • Taima-kun

      i really want to see GReeeeN on kouhaku

    • Dalooshe

      This is a crime (not)committed on national television for jmusic enthusiasts.

    • Shocked that Yamashita Tatsuro, Chage & Aska, Yutaka Ozaki and Kazumasa Oda never attended. Arent they A-list singers?

      And B’z most definitely didn’t attend by choice.

      • circe154

        Ozaki was well known for having a drug problem and wouldn’t have fit with Kohaku’s family friendly image.

    • maguro part deux

      Good concept, but I’m not sure the list needs to go all the way to 30. I mean, is anyone really surprised that Chatmonchy hasn’t been on Kohaku? I would have been a lot more surprised if they had been on.

      • james

        I’m surprised that Shishamo is on the show.

      • Guest

        At least it reveals the delusional fans.

    • In the past few years, JUJU not being on is a surprise seeing as how she had hit after hit and was on every other show.

      • Lisallie

        maybe she refused the deal?

    • I feel like it’ll be just a matter of time for Leo Ieiri.

    • hmm

      Rather than having rock bands be on Kohaku, I’d rather see a year end show with just rock bands from different genres: OOR, UVERworld, SID, Luna Sea, X Japan, L’Arc en Ciel, AKFG, Buck-Tick, Diru, visual kei bands, indie rock bands, alt rock bands, etc. I’d like to be introduced to new bands through a show like this. Honestly, I only watch Kohaku for Arashi recently.

    • r

      crying at KAT-TUN

    • light

      Maybe they were invited but refused?

    • kazumi

      KAT-TUN and NEWS never performed in kohaku? Really!!
      I’m so shock especially for KAT-TUN. I mean, KAT-TUN’s debut was so big, popular & they sold well too. 2006 was like KAT-TUN’s year. But they didn’t perform on kohaku even in 2006. Is there any special reason for that or maybe JE prefered KAT-TUN to perform in JCD?

      • KinKi also has been very popular since they debuted with a few of their singles sold more than 1 million copies. I guess it depends on J&A who they want to send on the show and who they dont want to. I mean, no one could understand why Sexy Zone and NYC are invited in the first place. They dont have any reason to appear on Kouhaku.

      • isanta

        Isn’t there a rule that you cannot perform on Kohaku if you’re not being successful for at least 3 years? That’s why 2006 was impossible in my opinion. And that’s why the guy’s from Attack on Titan opening song performace was so broadly spoken of, he was like the first exception to the rule.

      • angel223_

        Isn’t it Kat-tun appearing in JCD and their own countdown concerts,.

        Besides, for a traditional shows, it would be unlikely to them with a rebellious image since they had a pattern of whom to performs.

    • Still striving for relevancy..

      Kazumasa Oda <3 It would be nice if he can perform~

    • dieyb16

      i need GReeeeN.

    • ポラリス

      i’ll always be shocked at kohmi hirose. she was a household name and unofficial queen of winter.