Examining the performance of Japan at Miss World will reveal that the country 's achievements follow the same pattern with its achievements at Miss Universe. Japan rocked Miss World at 1950s and as the 1980s dawned, it was left into oblivion. The biggest difference however is that Japan never won the Miss World crown.
Japan opened its Miss World campaign with a bang. Oriental beauty Midoriki Tokura (below, second from right) clinched the 3rd runner-up place. The oriental beauty with a leggy figure appeared exotic right next to the other Western beauties. The pageant was won by Petra Schurmann of Germany.
The very next year, Japan was again at the top five. This time, Muneko Yorifuji (below, extreme left) finished as 4th runner-up. Muneko was the lone East Asian beauty in the semis. Marita Lindahl of Finland won the crown.
In 1960, Japan made it to the semifinals once again. Eiko Sakimurai (above) which together with Miss Korea Lee Young-hee, are the only East Asians to make it to the Top 15, opened the three year straight placement for Japan. The very next year, Chie Nurakami (below) was also in the Top 15. Chie seen below with Miss China and Miss Korea during the costume presentation. Miss China went on to become the first runner-up. (Photo from Pageantopolis.com)
Teruko Ikeda (above) is the third Japanese beauty to penetrate the Top 5. She finished as fourth runner-up in a contest that was won by Catharina Johanna Lodders of the Netherlands.
After two years of missing the cut, Yuko Oguchi made it to the Top 16. At that time, Japan is slowly declining in the world of beauty pageants. After Yuko, it took eight years before Japan made the cut again. In 1974, Chikako Shima (below, center) was hailed as the 6th runner-up. (Photo from elanecdotario.com)
Naomi Kishi (above) is the last Japanese to make it to semis of Miss World during Japan's golden era at the pageant. It took almost three decades before another Japanese will make the cut the Miss World. Naomi is the last Japanese beauty to be named as Continental Queen of Asia.
With American blood running in her veins, Eruza Sasaki (above) ended Japan's Miss World drought in 2009 edition of the pageant held in Johannesburg, South Africa. Eruza's athleticism proved invaluable in her Miss World quest. She won the sports fast track contest thereby giving her a slot at the semis.
In 2011, Midori Tanaka (above) was named as one of the Top 30 semifinalists. She was one of the Top 20 at the Top Model award. Are the latest placements of Japan an indication that the country is slowly but surely making some progress at Miss World? That remains to be seen of course. In January 17, Miss International official Facebook page announced that ICA appointed Nozomi Igarashi as Japan's representative to Miss World 2012 contest which will be held in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China. Nozomi (below) is 24 years old and stands 5'9.5". Do you think Japan will make it to semis or even win the Miss World 2012 crown?