Miss Universe Japan

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Miss Universe Japan
Formation 1998
Type Beauty Pageant
Headquarters Tokyo
Miss Universe
Official language
Website Miss Universe Japan official website
Not to be confused with Miss Nippon.

Miss Universe Japan (Japanese: ミス・ユニバース・ジャパン) was created in 1998 in response to Japan's then-recent lack of finalists at the Miss Universe pageant. It is a branch from the former Miss Japan pageant.


When the Miss Universe Japan pageant was founded in 1998, it was ran by French national director Ines Ligron. Until 2007, the organisation managed to produce one winner, two top 5 runners-up and one top 15 semifinalist at the Miss Universe pageant. Ligron was catapulted to the international spotlight when Riyo Mori won the second Miss Universe crown for Japan in 2007. In 2009, Ligron left the organisation which resulted in a different team now leading the organisation.

Miss Universe Japan 2003[edit]

Miyako Miyazaki is a fashion model who won the Miss Universe Japan title in 2003 who eventually placed 4th runner-up at the Miss Universe 2003 pageant held in Panama City, Panama. After relinquishing the national title, she was involved in the training of Kurara Chibana and Riyo Mori before their participations at the Miss Universe pageant.

Miss Universe Japan 2006[edit]

Kurara Chibana participated in Miss Universe 2006 and was placed 1st runner-up in the pageant. After returning to Japan, Chibana modeled for Maybelline New York, Tokyo Beauty Center, Ask.jp, and Asience.

Miss Universe Japan 2007[edit]

Riyo Mori won the Miss Universe crown for Japan in 2007

Riyo Mori, a ballet dancer from Shizuoka won the title of Miss Universe Japan and later went on to claim the Miss Universe crown in Mexico City, Mexico. She is the first Japanese Miss Universe in 48 years. During the crowning, the Mikimoto crown slipped and nearly fell to the floor. Mori was able to hold on to the diamonds-and-pearls studded crown which is valued at over US$250,000.[1]

After Rei Hamada, the 1st runner-up of Miss Universe Japan 2007, turned down the opportunity to take over the vacant national title, the 2nd runner-up Akiko Chubachi stepped in and completed the remaining reign.

At the 2007 Miss Universe Japan pageant, the remaining delegates who advanced to the top 5 were Maiko Kitagawa and Reiko Iida, while the rest of the participating candidates were Ako Koizumi, Anna Sado, Kiko Matsuyama, Meri Wakui, Yuko Ishizaka and Yu Kizaki.

Miss Universe Japan 2008[edit]

Hiroko Mima, a 21-year-old physical education student from Tokushima in Western Japan, was crowned Miss Universe Japan 2008. She prevailed over nine other finalists and a total of 4,000 entrants for the competition. Staged at the Tokyo International Forum, the final competition featured a "Fashion Island" performance. The nine other contestants that competed against Hiroko Mima were: Kana Anan, Sayo Yamaguchi, Yukari Honna, Moe Aoki, Yuri Horita, Rui Watanabe, Yoshimi Sato, Chie Hirai, and Azusa Nishigaki.

Originally from Awa, Mima excels in the Awa Odori dance. She also competes on the track and field team, achieving a high jump of 1.65 metres which is almost equavalent to her height of 1.73 m. Mima holds up actress Audrey Hepburn as her ideal of cuteness combined with womanly elegance.

Mima represented Japan at the Miss Universe pageant in Nha Trang, Vietnam on July 13, placing in the top 15 and contributed to a third consecutive placement for Japan.

Miss Universe Japan 2009[edit]

The Miss Universe Japan 2009 pageant took place on May 11, 2009. 21 contestants competed for the title to become Hiroko Mima's successor.

The winner of the pageant was Emiri Miyasaka of Tokyo who later competed at the Miss Universe 2010 pageant held in Nassau, Bahamas. She was unplaced on the final night.

Miss Universe Japan 2010[edit]

The 2010 Miss Universe Japan pageant took place on March 9, 2010. 11 contestants competed for the title. The winner competed in Miss Universe 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 23, 2010.

Maiko Itai of Ōita did not qualify for a semifinalist position.

Miss Universe Japan 2011[edit]

Maria Kamiyama was crowned Miss Universe Japan 2011 and competed in Miss Universe 2011 in São Paulo, Brazil on September 12, 2012, where she was unplaced.

Miss Universe Japan 2012[edit]

Ayako Hara was crowned Miss Universe Japan 2012 and competed in Miss Universe 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 19, 2012.[2] She was not named as one of the 16 semifinalists.


Color key
  •      Declared as Winner
  •      Ended as runner-up
  •      Ended as one of the finalists or semifinalists

The winner of Miss Universe Japan (MUJ) represents her country at Miss Universe. On occasion, when the winner does not qualify (due to age) for either contest, a runner-up is sent.

Year Miss Japan Represented Placement Special awards
United States 2014 Keiko Tsuji Nagasaki Unplaced
Russia 2013 Yukimi Matsuo Mie Unplaced Best National Costume (4th Runner-up)
United States 2012 Ayako Hara Sendai Unplaced
Brazil 2011 Maria Kamiyama Tokyo Unplaced Best National Costume (5th Runner-up)
United States 2010 Maiko Itai Ōita Unplaced
The Bahamas 2009 Emiri Miyasaka Tokyo Unplaced
Vietnam 2008 Hiroko Mima Tokushima Top 15
Mexico 2007 Akiko Chubachi Tokyo Did not compete
Riyo Mori Shizuoka Miss Universe 2007
United States 2006 Kurara Chibana Okinawa 1st Runner-up Best National Costume
Thailand 2005 Yukari Kuzuya Ichinomiya Unplaced
Ecuador 2004 Eri Machimoto Hiroshima Unplaced
Panama 2003 Miyako Miyazaki Kumamoto 4th Runner-up
Puerto Rico 2002 Mina Chiba Tokyo Unplaced
Puerto Rico 2001 Misao Arauchi Tokyo Unplaced
Cyprus 2000 Mayu Endo Tokyo Unplaced
Trinidad and Tobago 1999 Satomi Ogawa Saitama Unplaced
United States 1998 Nana Okumura Tokyo Unplaced

Former pageants[edit]

Miss Japan pageant[edit]

The Miss Japan pageant had existed from 1952 to 1997. During that period, the pageant managed to produce a winner and three top 5 finalists at the Miss Universe pageant. In 1959, Akiko Kojima claimed the first crown for Japan. After a top 12 semifinalist placement in 1975, Japan managed to place only one more time prior to 1997, when Mizuho Sakaguchi took fourth place in 1988.

Year Former Miss Japan Placement Special awards
1952 Himeko Kojima United States Miss Universe 1952 - Unplaced
1953 Kinuko Ito United States Miss Universe 1953 - 2nd Runner-up
1954 Mieko Kondo United States Miss Universe 1954 - Unplaced
1955 Keiko Takahashi United States Miss Universe 1955 - 4th Runner-up
1956 Yoshie Baba United States Miss Universe 1956 - Unplaced
1957 Kyoko Otani United States Miss Universe 1957 - Top 16
1958 Tomoko Moritake United States Miss Universe 1958 - Top 16 Miss Congeniality
1959 Akiko Kojima United States Miss Universe 1959
1960 Yayoi Furuno United States Miss Universe 1960 - Top 16
1961 Akemi Toyama United States Miss Universe 1961 - Unplaced
1962 Kasuko Hirano United States Miss Universe 1962 - Unplaced
1963 Noriko Ando United States Miss Universe 1963 - Top 16
1964 Shizuko Matsumoto United States Miss Universe 1964 - Unplaced
1965 Mari Katayama United States Miss Universe 1965 - Unplaced
1966 Atsumi Ikeno United States Miss Universe 1966 - Unplaced
1967 Kayoko Fujikawa United States Miss Universe 1967 - Unplaced
1968 Yasuyo Iino United States Miss Universe 1968 - Unplaced Miss Congeniality
1969 Kikuyo Osuka United States Miss Universe 1969 - 4th Runner-up
1970 Jun Shimada United States Miss Universe 1970 - 3rd Runner-up
1971 Shigeko Taketomi United States Miss Universe 1971 - Top 12
1972 Harumi Maeda Puerto Rico Miss Universe 1972 - Top 12
1973 Miyoko Sometani Greece Miss Universe 1973 - Top 12
1974 Eriko Tsuboi Philippines Miss Universe 1974 - Unplaced
1975 Sachiko Nakayama El Salvador Miss Universe 1975 - Top 10
1976 Miyako Iwakuni Hong Kong Miss Universe 1976 - Unplaced
1977 Kyoko Satoh Dominican Republic Miss Universe 1977 - Unplaced
1978 Hisako Manda Mexico Miss Universe 1978 - Unplaced
1979 Yurika Kuroda Australia Miss Universe 1979 - Unplaced Miss Congeniality
1980 Hisae Hiyama South Korea Miss Universe 1980 - Unplaced
1981 Mineko Orisaku United States Miss Universe 1981 - Unplaced
1982 Eri Okuwaki Peru Miss Universe 1982 - Unplaced
1983 Yuko Yamaguchi United States Miss Universe 1983 - Unplaced
1984 Mayumi Niiyama United States Miss Universe 1984 - Unplaced
1985 Hatsumi Furusawa United States Miss Universe 1985 - Unplaced
1986 Hiroko Esaki Panama Miss Universe 1986 - Unplaced
1987 Hiroe Namba Singapore Miss Universe 1987 - Unplaced
1988 Mizuho Sakaguchi Taiwan Miss Universe 1988 - 3rd Runner-up
1989 Eri Tshiro Mexico Miss Universe 1989 - Unplaced
1990 Hiroko Miyoshi United States Miss Universe 1990 - Unplaced
1991 Atsuko Yamamoto United States Miss Universe 1991 - Unplaced
1992 Akiko Ando Thailand Miss Universe 1992 - Unplaced
1993 Yukiko Shiki Mexico Miss Universe 1993 - Unplaced
1994 Chiaki Kawahito Philippines Miss Universe 1994 - Unplaced
1995 Narumi Saeki Namibia Miss Universe 1995 - Unplaced


  1. ^ May 29, 2007 12:00AM (2007-05-29). "Japan's Riyo Mori wins Miss Universe | thetelegraph.com.au". Dailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved 2012-08-25. 
  2. ^ "Ayako Hara : Miss Universe Japan 2012 | MISS UNIVERSE 2012 | livewireworld | livewireworld". Livewireworld.info. 2012-04-01. Retrieved 2012-08-25. 

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