|Photo taken on Sept. 5 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.|
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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