February 15, 2014
Tokyo, JapanーFebruary 15, 2014ーNexyz. Corporation (Tokyo, Japan; Takami Kondo, president; securities code 4346) and Nexyz. Group company Hakubi Corporation (Hakubi Kyoto Kimono Gakuin; Tokyo, Japan; Shigetoshi Hara, president) today announced the results of the final judging round of the Kimono Queen Contest 2014, Japan's largest kimono festival. The final judging was held at the Asakura Public Hall on February 15, 2014.
From among 6,657 entries, 320 ladies made the cut through regional judging to appear at the historic Asakura Public Hall in the heart of old Tokyo for final judging. Each of the 320 contestants presented themselves in their best kimono and accessories, vying to be named Kimono Queen 2014.
At the end of judging, guest judge and actress Fuuka Koshiba addressed the contestants saying, "You are all so beautiful. The kimono is a unique Japanese tradition that brings out the elegance and style of what it means to be a Japanese woman." Ms. Koshiba's comments were warmly received by the audience, who made the trip through record-breaking snowfall to see the beauty and pageantry of the kimono contest.
Each judge graded the contestants on overall presentation, including how contestants wore their kimonos, as well as walking, facial expression, and performance. Amidst high-level competition, Misato Ozawa (23) from Tokyo was awarded the grand prize certificate and trophy. "I was so nervous," said Ms. Ozawa, "I was worried about all of the snow today, but I am so happy to have been able to wear such a beautiful kimono and named winner of this wonderful contest."
As the winner of the Kimono Queen 2014, Ms. Ozawa will be involved in a number of public appearances, including presenting at international ceremonies, modelling for Hakubi Kyoto Kimono Gakuin posters, modelling at kimono shows, and more. Ms. Ozawa will be a representative to the world for the world's most-recognized cultural costume. The contest runners-up, Miss Photogenic, and other top award winners will also be called on to model and participate in other activities.
Yuki Kadono (21) and Sae Shimizu (17), both from Kanagawa, were named runners up.
Comedian pair Beethoven performed a short show, keeping judges and audience in stitches, as well as putting the contestants at ease. Following the comedy show Fuuka Koshiba made her entrance in a beautiful white and pink kimono. Ms. Koshiba told the audience about her figure skating hobby and discussed the Sochi Olympics. "I've never had the chance to wear a kimono for work, so I'm a bit nervous" said the actress. "After they tightened the obi [belt], I felt like I was standing much taller." At 16 years of age, Ms. Koshiba brightened the hall with her youthful energy and smiling face.
Next to the stage was star of TV, movies, and commercials, Ms. Ayame Goriki, wearing a deep green flowered furisode style kimono. Said Ms. Goriki, "I have always loved the timeless, understated kimonos. One day I'd like to be someone who can wear kimonos as part of a regular, everyday wardrobe." Ms. Goriki continued, "When I wear a kimono, I feel aware of every movement, right down to my fingertips." Her parting words from the stage were, "I want to learn how to dress myself in a kimono and share with everyone the wonder and charm of this beautiful traditional costume."
Kyoka Yoshida (20) of Tokyo, who won the Oscar Promotion Award, will enjoy the support of the Oscar Promotions talent agency, who will introduce her to opportunities in the media.
Hakubi's, mission is to evangelize the beauty and grace of the kimono. Over the years Hakubi has exposed hundreds of thousands of peopleーbeginners to expertsーto the joy and grace of wearing the Japanese kimono, an inseparable part of Japan's unique culture of heartfelt service.
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Nexyz. Corporation Group Public Relations: Hideya Sato
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