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Reaching for the universe

45 Comments
By Chris Betros

It seems very appropriate that this year’s Miss Universe Japan, Hiroko Mima, excels at high jump, since she is aiming for the highest bar of all on July 14 in Vietnam when she represents her country in the final – following in the footsteps of Riyo Mori who won last year, and Kurara Chibana, who was 1st runner-up in 2006.

Born in Tokushima, the 173-cm-tall Mima, 22, who has taken part in many national high jump contests, says she always wanted to be a physical education instructor. “I never saw many beauty contests on TV when I was growing up. I knew of Miss Japan, but didn’t know Miss Universe at all. Then I saw the news about Kurara, and last year, when Riyo won, I discovered we were the same age. I thought if she could do it, so could I.”

Mima’s determined spirit has not only propelled her onto the world stage; it has helped her through some difficult times. In junior high school, she had a serious spinal illness. Then her father died three years ago. “I didn’t confine myself to my room crying. My family and I all supported each other by talking about how enjoyable life was with him. Everybody remembers him in a positive way. I think he is looking over us from heaven. These tragedies made me realize we only get one life and I am determined to take on many challenges.”

Since being picked to represent Japan, Mima’s life has been a whirlwind of activity as she and Miss South Korea undergo training under the eye of Miss Universe Japan national director Ines Ligron. “Until I became the finalist, I didn’t have many opportunities to meet foreign people, so I didn’t know what kind of image of Japanese they have,” she explains. “Now that I am training with Miss South Korea, I wish I could talk with her about the difference in understanding of history between Japan and South Korea or what young people think about it. I am teaching myself English through DVDs.”

Mima thinks the image of Japanese women has been that they are shy and modestly respect men. “Recently, though, young women are more independent and don’t hesitate to express their own ideas. That’s the image of Japanese women I wish to project to the world.” She believes that true beauty comes from within, not from makeup and clothes. “I know a lot of people criticize beauty contests, but they are not just about appearance. It’s about who we are inside and what we can do. I would like to visit children who suffer from the same illness I had and give them a smile.”

Mima said she has become interested in African issues after seeing the film "Hotel Rwanda." “It made me think about refugee issues and racial conflicts. Although I couldn’t understand all the dialogue (because it was in English), I was moved and cried.”

As Miss Universe Japan, a whole new world is opening up for Mima. “I was raised in a small town in Tokushima. There, time passes slowly and people live slowly. In Tokyo, people are always walking quickly. I feel restless here.” Now that she is in the limelight of the big city, Mima’s fashion style has changed, too. “I never was very fashion conscious. I’m an athlete, so I liked sportswear. I don’t have any specific style yet. Rather, I would like to be a woman who looks good in different styles.”

Mima has put her PE studies at college on hold for this year, but still likes to exercise at the gym. So does her kind of guy have to be sports-minded? “I do like sportsmen; however, what is most important for me is that they should be ‘smart.’ I don’t mean smart in terms of academic ability. I mean men who enjoy their lives in a smart manner are attractive.”

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.


45 Comments
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still say chichibana is the best one over last few years this one is a little chunky

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no, seriously, check it out http://www.japanprobe.com/?p=4182

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I think Miss Hiroko is an amazing choice to represent Japan in this year's Miss Universe. I've seen pictures of her and she has an incredibly versatile and exotic look. She almost looks Pinay, or maybe even has other dark hispanic features in some shots. She has this beautiful 'darker' skin that sets her apart from the pale white skin the usual JP contestants have. I'm sure she'll do well.

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Is it the haircut, her nose or lips that makes her look like shes half black? I've seen girls here that look like that.

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tokyotom - I checked it out and no, she's not "chunky." More like magnificent! There's no way she can lose!

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sarge, I am sticking to my guns, could use some toning now, i realize i am no prom queen myself, but she is playing in the big leagues, so she gets judged the same way

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My family and I all supported each other by talking about how enjoyable life was with him.

Is she really Japanese? o_0

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Congratulations for being selected. My condolences for being the next one after...

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the hotter ones, deshou!

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Too small mouth!

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I'm kind of disappointed, I don't really find her that attractive. She looks good in the JT picture but the shots that tokyoton posted look terrible.

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I guess maybe she is smart (probably), and its nice to find, a smart girl in this kind of contest, even when she said something like "people (women) should say what they think", saying in one way goodbye to the hypocricy of the tattemae culture, but by the other hand i agree she is not beauty, maybe somebody like Waka Inoue would do it better (with a new brain, of course).

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She looks mixed with black or hispanic, not too good a girl to be a true rep for Mrs Japan. I've seen Japanese woman on the Yamanote sen that look a lot more beautiful than her, true Japanese astetics and looks and i'm sure just as smart or smarter.

Still, Kurara Chibana is tops in my book.

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Anmari.

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I've seen Japanese woman on the Yamanote sen that look a lot more beautiful

And I make it a point to get them off as soon as possible.

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texashog65

How can you say you've seen girls "just as smart or smarter," unless you know Hiroko Mima personally? Weird, some of the comments that JT lets through.

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texashog65 at 01:55 PM JST - 3rd July

She looks mixed with black or hispanic, not too good a girl to be a true rep for Mrs Japan.

Seriously, what is the definition of ''pure''Japanese? What kind of remark is that? There is no such thing as a pure race. Everybody has a little ''somethin, somethin'' in their family tree whether they want to admit or not. Ainu anyone?

I've seen Japanese woman on the Yamanote sen that look a lot more beautiful than her, true Japanese astetics and looks and i'm sure just as smart or smarter.

True Japanese aesthetics you mean? PFFT. Maybe try to spell the word correctly first. Oh you mean the pale skin, the no meat on their bones frame? The vacant stare? Is that your definition of Japanese aesthetics? People like you is why these women has weight and esteem issues. Daresay maybe even anorexia? I have met Japanese girls that are rail thin and still think their fat. Sad really.

And how do you know how smart they are? Do you talk to them? Do you know Mima -san ? You sound like some J guys I have met who will lay down with a girl, without protection, because the girl ''looks'' clean. Nasty!

Point is you must be one shallow individual and these elegant beauties from the Yamanote line probably wouldn't give you the time of day.

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Did the pic change or is it just me?

<strong>Moderator: We changed the photo.</strong>

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Cool that one is better :)

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Cool that one is better :)

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Cool that one is better :)

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sorry, lag sorry

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I liked the first photo better. Good thing I printed it out ha ha ha

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Beauty contests.... are not just about appearance. It’s about who we are inside and what we can do. I would like to visit countries where children suffer from the same illness I had and give them a smile.

Way to go, representing Japan, Hiroko. Instead of seeing children suffer and thinking of helping their physical needs, you want to smile at them?

The only time a smile has healing powers is in a Magical Girl anime.

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@keshii

I think she is just giving a typical beauty pageant answer. Do you really think she writes this stuff herself?

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A better picture, because her bod is better than her face.

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It seems very appropriate that this year’s Miss Universe Japan, Hiroko Mima, excels at high jump

Why is high jump or anything like it part of the contest now? Maybe convenient would have been a better word, as in now I have something to start this article with.

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Beauty contests are about who they are, inside. Not about looks. Thats why they are called 'Beauty inside is all that matters' contests.

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She reminds me of Chiaki Kuriyama; (OK?) to the extent that I feel she may be emulating her, ...except that you've gone and changed the photograph! LOL

PS Why did you change the photo, anyway?

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http://www.japanprobe.com/?p=4182

more pics. I, um, er, don't think she'll win this year.

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who are the sponsors of the event? If Mikimoto jewelry, then she may win.

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http://www.japanprobe.com/?p=4182

more pics. I, um, er, don't think she'll win this year.

Are you serious? She looks gorgeous there. By the way, that same japan probe page has a good discussion thread going on about how she looks.

Glad I am not the only one quite disturbed by what some people think a "real" Japanese woman should look like. Normally, I think most people would celebrate that this year's Miss Japan has 'dark/southeast asian' features, as it shows the diversity of Japanese women. I mean, look at Hiroko's legs and body, absolutely smoking, fabulous curves that look like an athlete (as she is). The point is that she will wow many people that not all JP women are pale, light skinned women you see in the swimsuit models or actresses.

Best of luck to her!

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Well, she was crowned Miss Universe Japan by official judges, so somebody must think she is worthy to go to the pageant.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and judging just by her looks, I bet most of the guys posting here would love to "be holding" her.

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Beauty contests are about who they are, inside. Not about looks

Haahahahahaha... oh wait... you are serious..?... right?

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To me she looks like a Philippines girl. Philippines beauties have won the pageant many times. But I think the pageant winners are selected politically. this year will win an Asian girl, that year Latin american, etc... Beauty is subjetcive thing, what one thinks beautiful, others do not find so extraordinary. The problem with Mima is that she does not have breasts. Have you noticed that?

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To me she looks like a Philippines girl. Philippines beauties have won the pageant many times.

Yeah, like 2 times

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i hope there are better pics than those on japanprobe...she's got no rack, kinda chunky thighs, and a weird smile...i see hotter japanese girls on the streets every day

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not hot

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It must be something to do with her intellect.

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call me

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wilbur / tokyotom - You guys need some new glasses.

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wilbur / tokyotom - You guys need some new glasses.

No, no Sarge. We simply don't have their standards. Of course, they're also so shallow, they're standing on shore.

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Mima: "I know a lot of people criticize beauty pageants, but they are not just about appearance. It's about who we are inside and what we can do. I would like to visit countries where children have the same illness I had and give them a smile."

I love her attitude.

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That is one beautiful woman. Nuff said.

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Miss Venezuela is the new Miss Universe. Runner-up is Miss Columbia. South America rules this year! Still think Hiroko here is a total babe...

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