The 68th NHK Kohaku Uta Gassen Bombs in the Ratings

On December 31, the 68th NHK Kohaku Uta Gassen aired. Despite efforts to increase the number of viewers, the show still flopped, with an average rating in the Kanto region of 37.6% (last year 37.65%).

In the Kanto region, the rating for the first half of the show was 35.8% (last year 35.1%), while the rating for the second half of the show was 39.4% (last year 40.2%). The second half rating is the third worst in the show’s history.

Kohaku’s ratings have certainly plummeted since its heyday last century.

But there is a bright spot in all of this: Namie Amuro’s performance garnered a rating of 48.4%, making her performance the most watched part of the show. The top 10 performances:

1. Namie Amuro: 48.4%

2. Yuzu: 46.4%

3. Kuwata Keisuke: 45.8%

4. Sayuri Ishikawa: 45.3%

5. Hikawa Kiyoshi: 43.3%

6. Arashi: 42.4%

7. Takahashi Mariko: 42.2%

8. Elephant Kashimashi: 41.3%

9. AKB48: 41.2%

10. X JAPAN: 40.4%

Source, source, source, source

  • Comments

    • The second source link, where the graph came from, is quite interesting. It’s too long to translate, but they did point out how the show hasn’t been doing well because things are so much more fragmented now. They also asked why DAOKO wasn’t there, given how big of a hit she had this year. They said that if TWICE was there, why wasn’t she, when she had more impact. They also called SHISHAMO, WANIMA, and Takehara Pistol semi-enka.

      • disqus_fnwCMQDX7u

        Yahoo has a very bizarre idea about what enka is.

        • maguro part deux

          Yeah, I don’t particularly care for any of those acts but there’s really no resemblance to enka that I can see.

          • disqus_fnwCMQDX7u

            yeah. All I can guess is they’re confusing enka with kayokyoku, though some of those musicians don’t really fall under that either.

      • the50-person

        WANIMA as semi-enka?! xD

        • ProllyWild

          I could understand what that means if they’re implying that WANIMA and shishamo represents a somewhat older style of late 90s/early 00 style rock despite being a young bands.

      • Diego

        I don’t get why DAOKO didn’t perform.. I’m not a huge fan of her song but it was the most popular song on digital charts along with Mai Kuraki. Maybe she was invited but she declined…

        About WANIMA and SHISAMO it’s obvious they aren’t conventional J-pop groups but calling them semi-enka is ridiculous.. For me, it’s definitely more semi-indie rock.

        • Bobson Dugnutt

          I’m guessing Yonezu Kenshi declined and NHK didn’t want DAOKO by herself.

      • Bobson Dugnutt

        Takehara Pistol felt very Showa

    • Reileen

      Zooming in, I think they should tune in on how to make people watch Part 2 in Kanto specifically, bec ratings rose everywhere except Kanto region (the basis of ratings records)

      Part 2
      Kanto (39.4%)🔻
      Kansai (39.6%) 🔺
      Nagoya (45.7%) 🔺
      Northern Kyushu (39.8%) 🔺
      Sapporo (41.6%) 🔺
      Hiroshima (41.7%) 🔺
      Shizuoka (48.7%) 🔺

      Part 1
      Kanto (35.1% → 35.8%)
      Northern Kyushu (30.1% → 30.8%)
      Sapporo (31.2% → 34.4%)
      Sendai (33.9% → 35.2%)
      Hiroshima (32.2% → 35.6%)
      Shizuoka (42.6% → 48.4%)
      11 districts average 35.9% → 36.8%

      • AoZora

        They should keep some surprises too… They already make public all the details of the event in advance.. They should choose interesting hosts.. Arimura is boring

        • Dotd

          I think Arimura did well this year. The only praises I read about Kouhaku this year were them having good hosts.

          • AoZora

            Arimura has improved but still is far from being the best…

      • Hu

        I hope arama will post this year performance ratings graph once available.

      • yamakita

        This seems to suggest only Kanto people count…

        I think Kanto people are used to glitz while people elsewhere are probably more nostalgic.

        • The Kanto region is the most populated region so it’s given priority.

    • Lol

      Of course Namie had the high rating she was the last performer most people tune in to know who will be the winner anyway

      • light

        She wasn’t the last performer, the last one was Yuzu

    • james

      1 way to improve the ratings is to have the artists not to repeat the same song over & over again every year.

      • airi
        • I saw this for the first time last night and laughed my head off cuz where is the lie.

          • airi


          • But Love So Sweet is actually a good and fun song. For KinKi, we have to suffer through they performing Garasu no Shounen 1 million times everywhere and everytime like its the only song that they ever had. :(

            • Dotd

              Garasu no Shounen is a great fun song. The only ones suffering are Kinkis who had to perform it billions of times. People know kinki has other hits. The first time they were invited to Kouhaku they sang Hana.

              • I’m a big fan and I’m just tired that they keep performing the same song over and over again whenever they have to perform in public TV when other non-fans are watching as well. Like the MS Super Live recently, they have to perform that song as well. I wish that once in a while, they will perform Anniversary/Ai no Katamari since it is actually their 20th Anniversary.

                You said it as well they have other hits and I wish they will sing those other hits more often.. Like when they sang Mou Kimi Igai Aisenai or Hakka Candy last year, you have no idea how happy I am. I wish we could have that more often. ^^

                • Lol

                  Kinki just fooling around when they sang it at NTV best hits kayosai in end of 2016 lol

            • I know! It is a good and fun song, one of my faves! But they have other good and fun songs that could be in a medley.

    • light

      It wasn’t a bad show but it missed something. I didn’t mind the Life skits but I didn’t care about the asadora stuff, i’d rather see some fun collaborations between groups/singers. Last year was too much with the Godzilla stuff, this year a bit subdued.

      The hosts did a good job and while i liked Uchimura, as a fan i would have liked to see more of Nino mc. Arimura too got better from last year.

      • yamakita

        But the only way to watch a 4-hour show without getting bored is with a DVR and watch it after the fact. That’s what I did so I thought it was pretty decent.

        I think the collaboration idea sounds great! They make the productions as big as possible at this point. They need to change things up.

      • Diego

        Yes, collaborations would be awesome. In fact, FNS is my favorite year-end show because it’s a combination of recent hits and collaborations with different popular artists performing classic old songs.

      • Risa

        Yeah, but the asadoras have high ratings and are popular, so NHK tries to cash in on that.

        • light

          If it’s something really popular like Amachan i can understand, otherwise it can be boring. Maybe they can incorporate something related to the drama in the show itself instead of a vtr.

          • Risa

            No argument from me at all. I thought the Amachan segments were even too much.

        • Dotd

          They went overboard with it though. The asadora segment was a bore compared to previous years. They are alienating Kouhaku audience whose not into asadora. No wonder a lot of people tuned out

          • Bobson Dugnutt

            There were 3 parts! They definitely went overboard. It should have just been one segment. Every time I saw the “to be continued” in the corner, I groaned inside.

      • Do we really need another show with collaborations?

        • light

          I mean more like the half time show but with artists. For example, i don’t care about enka but they are always so showy that i still watch them, so maybe a big perf with a bunch of singers can be more fun than the asadora skits.

    • There are more shows to watch too though, right? I watched some of the CDTV one and it was fun.

      • Risa

        Is CDTV now before midnight? In the past it started after midnight. I think the only real “competition” was the Kodoku no Gurume special, lol.

        • Anthony Kelly

          Kohaku’s eternal rival is Gaki no Tsukai.

          • sparky

            Gaki has definitely eaten into some of Kohaku’s viewer base and established its own brand. Of Kohaku’s direct competitors, it’s the only program to have double digits in ratings for two straight years now and been the no.1 non-Kohaku program for 8 straight years.

          • Risa

            Lol, yes, of course. I was joking because when I was back home in Japan over winter break, there was so much news was about the KnG special. It was to the extreme.

        • Ah, yeah. That’s right. I’m an idiot.

          • Risa

            You are not! You’re always so sweet and interesting.

            • #^_^# Aww, I don’t know what to say~ Thank you~

      • BottomOut

        Tuned in to this, too. I was hoping Daichi Miura and BoA would sing their duet since they were introduced together. 😒 A little sad it didn’t happen but DM nailed his performances.

    • maguro part deux

      Flopped seems overly harsh…people have so many more options than they did before. I’m not sure there’s actually a way to get the ratings back to where they were 20 years ago just by making adjustments to the show itself.

      • light

        No way they can get those kind of ratings back, they’ll probably just try to not let it fall under 35% for the next years.
        I feel they tried to gain more young public last year but it came out a bit messy. I think they should just focus on the performances and keep the rest to a minimum to not make it too disjointed.

    • lovehello

      I haven’t watched Kohaku in years. It’s too boring now. This is all I can think of when I picture the old producers at Kohaku trying to convince younger generations that they’re cool

    • Step Rivera

      💗“Namie Amuro’s performance garnered a rating of 48.4%, making her performance the most watched part of the show.”💗 As a huge fan of Namie Amuro, I am so happy to hear her performance was the most watched performance of the entire show. It was elegant and sentimental.☺️💕 It was her last performance on Kohaku and I know that many people tuned in to watch her one last time on Kohaku before she retires.😊 I know I did and I cried, especially towards the end when she got emotional as well. 😊Living Legend and Queen of J-Pop.💕

    • Nels Nellis

      Any where in the world 40% of share is actualy quite HUGE lets face it
      Back in the 60s how many channels they were LOL

      • Anthony Kelly

        That’s true.

        Though in Ireland we have this dumb show in the run up to Christmas where the host gets kids to introduce toys they played with. That’s pretty much it. There’s some celebrity guests but no one I like. But I watch it every year and apparently pretty much everyone does so it has 80% viewership and rising.

        • Bobson Dugnutt


    • AoiMe

      People need something to be interested in imo. Like when Mao co anchored, the buzz was insane. Or when Haruka did hers (people anticipate her fun mc ing)

    • Duh

      could you please post the ratings for each performers beside the top 10?

    • aqua88

      Does anyone has the individual performance breakdown beyond the top 10 above?

      • Duh

        I only remember the top 3 for Red team
        1. Akb48 41%
        2. TWICE 37.4% (OR 37.6 I forgot)
        3. PERFUME 37%
        The rest are Keyaki and Nogizaka 35% and E-girls either 32% or 31%

        J soul brothers 36% (I thought they will be higher)

        • sully

          Red Team top

          Sayuri Ishikawa: 45.3%
          Takahashi Mariko: 42.2%
          AKB48: 41.2%
          Superfly 40.2%

    • Zetobelt

      I didn’t saw it. Too busy enjoing Momoiro Uta Gassen!

    • Asha

      Check the list for the rest. I can’t be bothered to translate it all. Have a go at it if you are fluent enough.