In Miss Universe 2006, the Japanese Kurara Chibana was a great favorite until the last second by experts and journalists. However, Miss Puerto Rico, Zuleyka Rivera, was crowned Miss Universe. There were protests in many different countries (Venezuela, Mexico, Canada, Sweden, and Peru). John Steward said, “Kurara Chibana was beautiful in a very real and natural way. More importantly, she was a multidimensional beauty balanced by intelligence and depth.” Carolina López said: “Miss Japan was mugged. Japan was amazing! I’m not Japanese, but I understand that the translator did not do a good job.”
Miss Japan 2006 failed to win Miss Universe. It was a very unhappy day for Kurara Chibana. She didn’t like to remember him. However, her compatriot won Miss Universe in 2007.
Miss Japan, Riyo Mori, was chosen as Miss Universe at the 56th Annual Help Pageant in Mexico City, the capital of Mexico. She was crowned Miss Universe 2007 by Miss Universe 2006 Zuleyka Rivera from Puerto Rico. Under the leadership of Inés Ligron, a Frenchwoman, Miss Japan Riyo Mori was the second person from Japan to win Miss Universe. In 1959, Akiko Kojima, a model from Tokyo, was crowned Miss Universe.
Miss Universe 2007 was born on December 24, 1986 in Shizuoka, Japan. Like Janelle “Penny” Commissiong (Miss Trinidad and Tobago and Miss Universe 1977), she lived in North America. She studied ballet in Canada. She speaks three foreign languages and her main interests are traveling, meeting new people and experiencing different cultures. However, she is passionate about dancing, Ms. Mori is a professional dancer. Like Paloma Herrera, Zhandra Rodriguez and Maria Tallchief, she loves to dance. Miss Japan and Miss Universe 2007 once said: “Definitely dancing! I have been dancing since I was 4 years old. I still have my first pair of ballet shoes that I keep as a memento of my many years and passion for dancing…”
Her dream is to open a dance school in Tokyo. “My mother runs a successful dance school outside of Tokyo and we plan to expand my family’s love of the performing arts by opening an international dance school in Tokyo, the capital of Japan and a crossroads for many cultures…”, Riyo Mori told the judges. “Opening my own school will allow me to live and teach my passion for dance while being an independent businesswoman,” she added Miss Japan 2007.
Like Miss Universe 2007, she will participate in a photo session with Fadil Barisha, one of the best photographers in the world. In addition, Ms. Mori will travel to Indonesia, India, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Russia, the Dominican Republic and the People’s Republic of China and will be in the United States to attend Miss USA Teen 2007. In addition, Miss Universe 2007 will meet with various politicians, human rights leaders and activists to discuss the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
STORY: JAPAN IN THE MISS UNIVERSE CONTEST
1953: Long Beach, Calif. Miss Japan, Kinuko Ito, was the 2nd runner-up…
1955: Long Beach, Calif. Miss Japan, Keiko Takahashi, was the 4th runner-up…
1957: Long Beach, Calif. Japan’s Kyoko Otani qualified for the semifinals.
1958: Long Beach, Calif. Miss Japan, Tomoko Moritaki, qualified for the semifinals.
1959: Long Beach, Calif. Miss Japan Akiko Kojima was crowned Miss Universe.
1960: Miami Beach, Florida, Miss Japan, Yayoi Foruno, qualifies for the semifinals.
1963: Miami Beach, Florida. Japan’s Noriko Ando qualified for the semifinals.
1969: Miami Beach, Florida. Miss Japan, Kikuyo Osuda, was the 4th runner-up
1970: Miami Beach, Forida. Miss Japan, Jun Shimada, was the 3rd runner-up…
1971: Miami Beach, Florida. Miss Japan Shigeo Taketoni qualified for the semifinals.
1972: Puerto Rico. Miss Japan, Hami Maeda, qualified for the semifinals-
1973: Greece. Miss Japan, Miyoko Sometani, qualified for the semifinals.
1975: El Salvador. Miss Japan, Sachiko Nakayama, was a semifinalist.
1988: Taiwan. Japan’s Mizuko Sakaguchi was third
2003: Panama. Miss Japan was one of the favorites. Japan’s Miyako Miyazaki was the third runner-up.
2006: Los Angeles, California. Miss Japan, Kurara Chibana, was the 1st runner-up, she was the favorite until the last second.
2007: Japan’s Riyo Mori was the second Japanese woman to win the Miss Universe title.