When Japan won its first Miss International crown – and the lingering controversy that followed

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When Japan won its first Miss International crown – and the lingering controversy that followed

Miss International 2012 Ikumi Yoshimatsu of JapanUnlike Miss Universe (which crowned an American winner – Miriam Stevenson – only three years after it started) and Miss World (which rewarded a Miss UK representative – Rosemarie Frankland – with the title eleven years after the pageant’s inception), Miss International finally approved of a hometown victor – Ikumi Yoshimatsu – more than five decades after its very first edition last 1960. Japanese discipline and patience, you might add? Regardless, that one and only shining moment (so far) last 2012 was not without controversies.

Ikumi – who is an actress, stunt woman and book author – reigned as Miss International 2012 but never reached full circle in terms of crowning her successor a year after (Miss International 2008 Alejandra Andreu crowned our very own Bea Rose Santiago as Miss International 2013). In this article by the Tokyo Weekender back in 2013 where she spoke in a Press Conference in front of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan:

Ikumi Yoshimatsu during the Press Conference

What should’ve been the greatest year of her life turned into a nightmare for Ikumi Yoshimatsu. Soon after becoming Japan’s first recipient of the Miss International crown at the back end of 2012 she was allegedly being harassed and threatened by a powerful talent agency executive named Genichi Taniguchi—aka Motokazu Taniguchi—of Burning Productions. Her crime: The refusal to sign a contract with his company due to concerns over their links with the yakuza…

Ikumi stated that:

“It was on December 30 2012,” she tells Weekender over the phone. “He came in screaming, started chasing me and then finally grabbed my arm and tried to abduct me. After that he sent a private investigator to my house to look through my windows and take photos. He also tried to blackmail my family and threaten them.

For over a year now I’ve been afraid and that feeling has intensified since revealing his name in public. Nobody has done that before so of course I was really worried about it, but I realized what a huge problem this was in Japanese society and how many women live their lives in fear. I knew it was something I had to do. It was completely my own choice.”

Check out the entire article because it reads like a suspense-drama plot for Netflix release. Life can indeed be stranger than fiction.

Perhaps, it will take a decade or two before another Japanese would even make it to the top in Miss International. But that shouldn’t be cause for concern with the locals. They do have pride in seeing a Miss Japan win the crown. But I reckon that they would rather see more of an Akiko Kojima or Riyo Mori in Miss Universe or a very first Miss World maybe?

Have a reflective Good Friday, dear readers!

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3 comments on “When Japan won its first Miss International crown – and the lingering controversy that followed”

  1. Fabian Reyeson  said:My most favorite MIsses International are Lara Q and Melanie … then Bea and Kylie.
    Best speech goes to Lara Q
    I’d be clearly biased if I said one of our six MIs had the prettiest face . More outstanding beauties have won MI In the past . However , I enjoyed Kylie’s editing the most . 0 0 Rate ThisReply
  2. Flor Tulaon  said:Did I hear correctly (towards the end of the video)? They experienced a typhoon during their stay? Well, it is Okinawa, after all…. Where Lorenzo Ruiz and Pedro Calungsod were captured, no? Nonetheless, it is BEAUTIFUL place, with an oceanarium and an annual international orchid show which the Philippines participates in regularly, like the Sapporo Snow Festival further north which became showcase for our ice sculptors’ skills honed in cruise ships as OCW’s.The ushers are from the nearby American naval base, I assume. Mr. Tinio, please tell Mdme. SMA to hire George Reylor de Lumen, Gianpaolo Paparo, and Aaron Beau Davies (his GLAM/Empire/Mercator contract is already finished, right?) for the next edition of BBP. Btw, how’s CTS 2020?Blogger King, who was the Japan rep to MI 2017 who trained at KF, po? ADORO! She was teased for being “too bakla” (it probably did not work to her advantage that she was right next to Kevin Liliana in all segments, after all “J’ comes after “I”), but displayed CLASS by being the ONLY Runner-up to break ranks to approach the new queen and offer greetings. Her porcelain skin was STUNNING, complemented by her milky jade-green evening dress. 🙂Also, is Edymar Martinez the ONLY MI titlist to have also won Best in Swimwear/Perfect Body? I read a comment in a pageant page that she/he saw her at Dubai airport, that she looked like a saint… (nothing to do with figure, of course).Yakuza. Like the Mafiosi, you become inextricably tied to their network the moment you fall into debt and run to them for help. Miss a payment, and you pay dearly…. And on this day, we recall the STEEP price that was Christianity’s ransom. Now fully paid, liberty is fully restored. 0 0 Rate ThisReply

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Published by Kristel Del Valle

Manila based Young Tall Thin Filipina Asian Fashion Model with exceptional English language fluency Manila based Fashion Photo Shoots

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