Tanaka wins second prize in the Miss Universe Okinawa pageant

Tanaka wins second prize in the Miss Universe Okinawa pageant

At Feng Hall in the Yomitan Village Cultural Center, the three top contenders of the Miss Universe Okinawa pageant: Atsumi Tanaka (from the left), the winner of the regional pageant Seira Kawabata and in third place, Ayami Maekawa.

May 13, 2013 Sadao Tome, correspondent of Ryukyu Shimpo

Okinawa International University fourth-year student Atsumi Tanaka won second prize in the Miss Universe Okinawa pageant. Tanaka said, “Getting into the Miss Universe Pageant was both a challenge and an opportunity. It was the first step towards achieving my goal.”

For three weeks in April 2011, Tanaka and three other students served as interns at the Little Tokyo Service Center in Los Angeles. Tanaka was just a freshman then and was not really clear in her goals for the future. But after the internship, when she went back to Okinawa, she realized that something had changed in her way of thinking. Tanaka had become more positive than before and was able to express her thoughts better.

She learned from meeting second and third generation Japanese-American and American people. In particular, meeting Sueko Oshimoto, who runs Kimono Dressing Class in Hollywood, left a strong impression with her.

The opportunity to practice what she learned in the United States came up two years after her internship experience in Los Angeles when Tanaka applied to take part in the Miss Universe Okinawa pageant. Her friends and parents encouraged her to give it a go, but it was her own desire to participate that drove her to apply.
Tanaka regretted not being able to take part in the Beauty Camp for reasons to do with the way the regional pageant was run, but she said that winning the second prize in the Miss Universe Okinawa pageant is a turning point in her life.

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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