New years at our house means two things: Food and Japanese TV.
My wife is from Japan, so when it comes to big holidays we do some American-style and some Japanese-style. New years is about as big as it gets in Japan, so we do it her way.
It is usually an evening that starts about 8PM and is conducted in the living room so that we can watch TV. It is kindof like a “Dick Clark” affair called “KouHaku Uta Gassen” which means “Red and White Song Battle”. It has the most prominent (selected) singers and actors from Japanese stage and screen, divided by gender into competing teams. Alternating between men and women, they sing and perform traditional and often campy tunes. It is really easy to by cynical about this because it is very dated. This show started in the 1950’s as Japan tried to recover from WWII. It is patterned after American stage shows in may ways, and is ‘frozen in time’ in a sense.
Easy to be cynical, but I refuse to do it. I love this show.
Combine 4 hours of stage shenanigins with a huge spread of Japanese food and close friends and you have a once-a-year good time.
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