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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

2011 Miss Universe Japan

Photo taken on Sept. 5 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
This is the story of the current Miss Universe Japan 2011 Kamiyama Maria (surname first). Born on February 17, 1987 and from Osaka, Japan, the beautiful woman is 1.68 meters (5'-6") tall.

I'm having a bugger of a time finding a lot of data on Maria.

Here's what I have found:

As far as stories go - she's not what we in the business call juicy. No scandals, no skeletons... just a warm, intelligent and beautiful person with a gaijin (foreigner) first name representing Japan.

So... what's with the name Maria? Let's see if we can get her to open up a bit. 

She was crowned Miss Universe Japan 2011 on June 17, 2011 at the Tokyo Dome City Hall in Tokyo, Japan. and is all set to compete in the 2011 Miss Universe pageant on September 12, 2011 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Maria was born in Tokyo and is a graduate of Seikei University studying English. She spent two years in Hawaii after graduation and worked at American Eagle Outfitters there.

“It was a great time,” she says. “I remember going shopping at Walmart just in a bikini and flip flops. It felt natural, but when I came back to Tokyo, I thought I can’t do that anymore.”

Until the Miss Universe Japan pageant, Maria was a salesperson at a Ginza-area clothing store in Tokyo.

So far... she doesn't appear overly ambitious.

Then, perhaps after being told for the 1000th time that she was gorgeous, she thought about entering the Miss Universe Japan pageant.

“I always thought that beauty contestants lived in another world,” notes Maria, “but I also thought that being in one would give me the chance to make a difference in my life and help others. I didn’t tell anyone, not even my family, when I applied because I was a bit embarrassed. I was still in Hawaii when the Tokyo audition was held, so I had to go to the Osaka one when I returned to Japan. I asked my sister to come with me and then I told her. After a second audition, my parents found out and said, ‘No, that is not you.’”

But, while they didn't really think she had it in her, her parents supported her decision and followed her to the Miss Japan contest in Tokyo. When she won, there was a loud scream.

“That was my mother. She cried and went crazy,” explains Maria.

Maria says she is fully aware that Japanese women have a stereotypical image worldwide... one where they are afraid to express their true feelings and opinions in a male-dominated society. She wanted to change that.

"I think I am a fairly opinionated person, so I hope I can give a good impression.”

She also knows that the March 11 disaster will be a topic of conversation whenever she goes abroad. “I have been to Tohoku a couple of times to do volunteer work. We played with children in Miyagi and Fukushima and Sendai. The first time I was really sad because everything was a mess. But when I met the children, they were so genki (energetic) and that lifted my spirits. I want to tell everyone: ‘Thank you for helping us.’ Japanese have a resilient spirit and we will recover.”

For Maria Kamiyama, the children are everything, and is interested in their health issues, especially vaccinations. “I know there are a lot of children suffering overseas, too, and I want to make sure that people in Japan are aware of that.”

While Japan - It's A Wonderful Rife was unable to get the scoop on her name - and yes, she is 100% Japanese and isn't the author's love-child, despite his protestations to the contrary... but Maria is normal... if not a tad boring despite her good looks. She's not stupid, though. Just kind of ordinary... maybe even like the girl next door if you were lucky enough to live next door to a Miss Universe contestant, of course.

Says Maria: "Well, I don’t like heights. Ghosts scare me. I cried when I saw Sean Penn’s film ‘Into the Wild.’ If I could have dinner with any movie star, it would be Angelina Jolie. I like surfing, hip-hop dancing, the music of Alicia Keys and Jack Johnson, and cooking. Please try my salmon with sautéed onions.”

She also likes surfing, dancing and singing. 

And despite her great figure--she says that while in training 80% of her food is healthy and the remainder is whatever food she wants--she loves sweets and: "if you really want to make me happy, just give me a cheesecake and a fork and I’ll eat the whole lot. Well, maybe not until after the final.”

To the left is an official head shot of Maria Kamiyama taken at the 2011 Miss Universe pageant in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  


Files compiled by Andrew Joseph

4 comments:

  1. Actually, Andrew.... I've met her a few times. Kamiyama san has even been a guest on my radio show before.... She is a big fan! Well, not a fan of me, but a fan of the host of the show I produce. She's a fan of George Williams.... Not me... Sigh!....

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  2. Too cool, Mike, too cool. What's your impression of her? Cool, calm ,collected, girl next door? Hot, edgy, sexy? Kamiyama-san is certainly pretty - of that there is no doubt - but she's not quite my cup of o-cha (tea) and I can't figure out why. Perhaps if I'm going to have a fantasy girl it better be someone completely out of my league - like 2006 or 2007 Miss Universe Japan.

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  3. Mike... next time you get a Miss Universe contestant on your show... get an autographed photo for me (and one for Matthew)!

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  4. Nice - I'll take a photo of her! :-) @Ando-ryu-san - have you seen her blog page?: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/muj2011osmk

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