Japan Today
Image: Instagram/missuniversejapan

Miss Universe Japan picks Sailor Moon ninja transformation dress as national costume for 2018

By Oona McGee, SoraNews24

As 2018 slowly winds down to a close, the pageant world is only just heating up, as contestants prepare for one of the biggest events on their calendar: the annual Miss Universe competition.

Representing Japan at this year’s contest is 22-year-old Yuumi Kato, who was crowned Miss Universe Japan 2018 at Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo in March. Representing Mie for the national pageant, Nagoya-born Kato was chosen to represent Japan at the international competition after proving she was much more than just a pretty face.

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Image: Instagram

The young model, actress and reporter, who was raised by her parents in Malaysia from the ages of 5 to 13, is fluent in Japanese, English, Chinese and Malay, and has also studied the art of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony.

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Image: Instagram

Since being crowned Miss Universe Japan, Kato has travelled abroad to countries like Cambodia as part of her official duties.

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Image: Instagram

After months of preparation for the Miss Universe pageant, which will be held in Bangkok on Dec 17, Kato debuted her national costume at a press event in Tokyo on Nov 19.

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Image: Instagram

What you’re seeing is real – Kato will be appearing at Miss Universe dressed as Sailor Moon. And not only will she be dressed as a magical anime girl on stage, she’ll be completing a transformation sequence as well. Kato will step out as a kunoichi, or female ninja, before turning around to reveal herself as Sailor Moon. At the Tokyo event, she cosplayed down the catwalk, receiving enthusiastic applause from the audience.

According to pageant organizers, the national costume worn by contestants at the event should “incorporate various ideas based on their own culture and traditions“. A female ninja and Sailor Moon outfit fits perfectly into this description, and Kato herself says: “I’m honored to be able to appear on stage as Sailor Moon, a character who’s been loved not only in Japan, but around the world for over 25 years.”

Kato has been quick to credit the team behind her stunning magical girl transformation, which includes the National Director of Miss Universe Japan, Hiroko Mima, the designer of the dress, Kioi Akiyama (below left), and hairstylist Sunao Akiyama (below right). In charge of Kato’s makeup is famed makeup artist and Buddhist monk Kodo Nishimura.

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Image: Instagram

Last year’s Miss Universe entrant from Japan, Momoko Abe, also appeared at the event, heaping praise on Kato and her team for the unusual national costume, saying it was a world away from the usual kimono often worn by Japanese contestants.

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Image: Instagram

Following her costume debut, director Mima answered questions from the host of the event, saying the decision to dress as an anime character was part of a desire to showcase “cool Japan” and the local cosplay culture to the world.

▼ Left to right: Maria Kamiyama (model and Miss Universe Japan 2011), Hiroko Mima, Yuumi Kato, Momoko Abe, Kodo Nishimura.

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Image: Instagram

Once the decision to cosplay at Miss Universe was made, makeup artist and self-confessed Sailor Moon fan Kodo made the suggestion to Mima that Miss Universe Japan transform into Sailor Moon. The team then worked together to make the dream a reality, with the costume designer creating an outfit that would surprise people and leave a lasting impression on the judges.

We’ll have to wait until Dec 17 to find out how well the national costume is received by judges, when Kato steps out as Woman Warrior Sailor Moon at the 67th Miss Universe with contestants from 92 other countries around the world.

Source: Missosolgy Japan Facebook

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Sailor Moon girls appear as samurai and ninja in five-piece character art collection

-- Need a new job? Japanese tourism organization is looking to hire two samurai

-- Sailor Moon team is ready to keep your legs warm, nose dry with tights and tissue holders

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Looks great in other costumes, but not in the Sailor Moon outfit, imho.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I have to agree, the sailor outfit is more befitting for girls of a smaller statue.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

No thanks. I'm waiting for the Miss Pan-dimensional Multi-verse Pageant.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

As Charlie Brown would say...… Good grief!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

not surprising!

since she was born in the late 90's of course she chose usagi!

now if she was from the late 2000's / early 2010's then i would be really surprised since in those times the most popular magical girl series in japan were lyrical nanoha , madoka magica & fate/kaleid prisma illya!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I happen to think she looks good in the denim jeans and white top lol

Everyday sexiness ;)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some things I will never understand......

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I happen to think she looks good in the denim jeans and white top lol

Everyday sexiness ;)

Agree. She would look even better in a tank top. Nothing more sexy than a 175cm/slim 'girl next door' type woman in jeans/white tank top imo.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sailor Moon? Shaking my head but the new generation is like this. Next year, it might be Kumamon or Mickey Mouse.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not very attractive outfit.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pikachu would of been a better choice ~_^

2 ( +2 / -0 )

She is pretty. But the Sailor Moon outfit... she looks way better in a red bikini.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The thing that stood out most to me in this article was the fact she became quadrilingual when living in Malaysia from 5-13.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I hope she wins in the name of the moon !!..

ah ok , better hold off on those magic mushrooms

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Miss Country, Miss World, Miss Universe, Miss High School, Miss University, Miss Jeans, Miss Selfie etc.

The world is full of feminism. Evey shopping centre in the world, you have too many clothing shops, make up shops, mostly for girls/women.

But in poor countries, people don't even have a pair of shoes or warm clothes for the winter. What happens to unsold clothes at the stores?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pathetic as there is nothing remotely Japanese about the Sailor Moon character.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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