(Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo). 20-year-old Ariana Miyamoto, a part-time worker and a daughter of a black American father and Japanese mother became the first ever bi-racial winner of Miss Universe Japan. She is from Sasebo City, home of Japan’s very important naval base in Kyushu Island, which is a few kilometers away from the atomic bombed city of Nagasaki. She will represent Japan in the 64th Annual Miss Universe pageant, to be held in a yet to be disclosed venue. Last year’s winner, who also represented Nagasaki, Keiko Tsuji, was unable to attend the coronation night due to an infectious form of influenza.
During the question and answer portion, the very poised and well-composed Miyamoto was asked about the most influential person in her life, and she quickly and wittingly answered pop diva Mariah Carey. She said that she was inspired by the life story of the sensational singer, who has hurdled several challenges and obstacles in her life, but still managed to become one of the best singers of modern time. Miyamoto has always been an instant favorite both domestically and internationally since the moment she was crowned Miss Universe Nagasaki.
In second place was another contestant from Kyushu Island, Rina Inoko who represented Oita, while the third and fourth places went to Miss Chiba, Hikaru Tsuchiya and Miss Aichi, Mao Kaneko, respectively. Miss Tokyo, Tamao Tada was fifth place.
44 accomplished young women representing all but three of Japan’s prefectures vied for the crown, which was highlighted by a moment of silence, in remembrance of the 3.11 tsunami in Tohoku and Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, both of which were recipients of Miss Universe Japan’s charity arm.
Meanwhile, Junpei Watanabe, Mister Akita, was declared Mister Japan 2015 and is expected to compete in an international male pageant.
/Stephen I. Diaz