Sari Nakazawa, a 22-year-old dentistry student, who represented her native prefecture of Shiga was crowned Miss Universe Japan 2016. Standing 171 cm tall, Nakazawa who is also a part-time model, bested 45 other delegates from all over Japan in a dinner show held at the posh Chinzanso Hotel in downtown Tokyo. She succeeded the very controversial outgoing queen Ariana Miyamoto, and will represent Japan at the 2016 Miss Universe pageabt. The new queen has the pressure of maintaining the momentum set by Miyamoto, who was Top 10 at last year’s Miss Universe pageant held in Las Vegas.
Asked who was the most influential person in her life, “Audrey Hepburn is the most influential person in my life,” said Nakazawa during the final Q&A portion. “Not only was she beautiful on the outside, she had also shown her inner beauty by being involved in various charity activities. It is also for that reason why I joined Miss Universe Japan, which is to do charity works, and help the underprivileged,” she concluded. Interestingly, this is the same question which was asked to Keiko Tsuji, who won the title in 2014, and to Miyamoto last year.
Finishing as her runners-up were the delegates from Kumamoto (Sayaka Matsumoto), Fukushima (Mako Sato), and Kochi (Sayaka Nishimura). /Stephen I. Diaz
Clapper at pageant night!!