NHK's annual "Kohaku Uta Gassen" music bonanza thrives on spectacle. The 2019 edition didn't fail to deliver on this front, featuring endearing moments such as J-pop singer-songwriter Misia getting dozens of other artists to wave LGBTQ pride flags on national TV.
The biggest buzz, however, came from something a tad more unusual. Enka singer Hibari Misora graced the "Kohaku" stage for the first time in decades to perform a new song. Well, technically, it wasn't Misora herself — she died in 1989. Rather, it was a life-like hologram performing this fresh tune thanks to Yamaha's Vocaloid: AI, a piece of technology that can replicate voices.
This wasn't the holographic singer's first appearance, however, having debuted on an NHK special about this digital resurrection in September. It made enough of a stir then to earn a special slot on "Kohaku."