Africa

Chiba’s Aisha Harumi Tochigi is Miss Universe Japan 2020, crowned in Tokyo

Aisha Harumi Tochigi (杤木 愛シャ 暖望), 24, of Chiba was crowned Miss Universe Japan 2020 on October 29, 2020. She bested 29 other candidates.

Tochigi is Ghanaian-Japanese. She is the second Miss Universe Japan who is hafu or of mixed race, following Miss Universe 2015 Ariana Miyamoto (宮本 エリアナ), 26, of Nagasaki.

Miyamoto is African-American-Japanese. She finished in the Top 10 in Miss Universe 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States, which was won by Pia Wurtzbach, 31, of the Philippines.

Runner-up to Tochigi is Raimu Kaminashi (上梨 ライム), who is Nigerian-Japanese. Second runner-up Yuki Sonoda (園田 悠希) is Filipino-Japanese.

Third runner-up Kilala Watanabe (渡辺 耀) is the only one in the Top 5 who is not hafu. Fourth runner-up Marina Little (リトル 満里菜) is Kiwi-Japanese.

“I’d like to spread that nobody should be judged by their color (or) from… where they come from because this year, there was so much discrimination,” Tochigi said in the question-and-answer portion. “It’s not only about racism but there was discrimination towards ages when COVID-19 started so I’d like to tell people that we shouldn’t judge people by their appearance but understand them, understand each other. It is the key to end discrimination. I’d like to spread that. Thank you.”

 

The Miss Universe Japan 2020 preliminary round was held on October 23, 2020. The judges were makeup artist Kodo Nishimura, Miss Universe Japan 2003 Miyako Miyazaki, NHK World Japan reporter Jason Hancock and Miss Universe Japan 2008 Hiroko Mima, who is also the Miss Universe Japan national director.

Miyazaki returned as a judge during the coronation night, which took place at the Yamano Hall in Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan. She was joined by Miss Universe Japan 2011 Maria Kamiyama, Miss Universe Japan 2018 Yuumi Kato, “NHK World Medical Frontiers” host Erica Angyal and Defense and Cabinet Office parliamentary vice minister Rui Matsukawa.

It was the 23rd edition of Miss Universe Japan. It was Tochigi’s second time to compete in the beauty pageant that selects Japan’s representative to Miss Universe.

 

When Tochigi joined Miss Universe Japan 2019, she finished in the Top 5. The winner was Ako Kamo (加茂 あこ) of Hyōgo, who was unplaced in Miss Universe 2019.

Miyamoto was the last representative from Japan to place in Miss Universe. If Tochigi wins Miss Universe 2020, she will the beauty pageant’s third title holder from Japan following  Miss Universe 1959 Akiko Kojima (児島 明子) and Miss Universe 2007 Riyo Mori (森 理世).

Born on January 4, 1996 to a Ghanaian father and Japanese mother, Tochigi grew up in Japan and has been involved in volunteer activities both in Japan and Ghana since 2006. She is 5’8″.

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