Simply the Best

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The 2010 Nisei Week Court is, back row, from left, Brynn Nakamoto, Jamie Hagiya, Lauren Weber, Lani Nishiyama; front row, from left, Christy Sakamoto, Reiko Yokomizo, Kelli Teragawa.

The 2010 Nisei Week Japanese Festival queen candidates took center stage for their first official coming-out appearance to various community leaders, local dignitaries, family and friends at the Opening Ceremony event held Sunday, July 18 at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM). The seven candidates will compete for the title of Nisei Week Queen on Saturday, August 14, at the Aratani Japan America Theatre. Upon official coronation, the queen and her court will represent the Nisei Week Foundation at this year’s festival and other community events locally and nationally (including Nagoya, Japan) throughout the year. Nisei Week Queen Coronation tickets are available at the Golden Circle level (includes special dinner at the Kyoto Grand Hotel at 5:30 p.m. prior to the coronation with preferred orchestra seating) at $160 per person; orchestra seats are $75 per person; or balcony seats are $65 per person. The 2010 Nisei Week queen candidates are:

Jamie Joyce Hagiya

Pasadena Japanese Cultural Institute

Jamie Joyce Hagiya is 25 years old and graduated from the University of Southern California with a major in communication.  While at USC, Jamie played on the women’s basketball team and following graduation, played professionally in Greece.  Hagiya currently coaches and trains kids in basketball in Southern California and hopes to expand her camps along the West Coast, Hawaii and Japan in the future. In her free time she enjoys playing and watching sports, going  to the beach, watching movies, eating, traveling, listening to music, meeting new people and working with children.  This year Hagiya will be supporting Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution as her platform.

Brynn Akemi Nakamoto

Japanese Restaurant Association of America

Brynn Akemi Nakamoto is 21 years old and currently attends the University of Southern California where she is majoring in public relations.  Nakamoto is currently involved with USC’s Annenberg TV News and has an interest in broadcast journalism. During the summer she is busy organizing activities for the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Beyond the Bell Summer Program.  In her free time, she enjoys baking desserts, rollerblading with her dogs, doing yoga and pilates, pottery throwing, swimming, playing tennis and writing poems.  The platform Nakamoto has decided to support this year is the Free Arts For Abused Children.

Lani Kume Nishiyama

West Los Angeles Japanese American Citizens League and Venice Japanese Community Center

Lani Kume Nishiyama is 24 years old and received her bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in real estate finance from the University of Southern California. Nishiyama is currently pursuing an acting career and is a student of the Wayne Dvorak Acting Studio.  In her spare time, she enjoys running with her dog, cooking, doing ceramics, playing piano, doing improvisation, backpacking, singing, rollerblading, playing volleyball and tutoring. The platform Nishiyama has chosen to support this year is The Guide Dogs of America.

Christy Kimiko Sakamoto

Orange County Nikkei Coordinating Council

Christy Kimiko Sakamoto is 24 years old and graduated cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles where she received her bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in women’s studies.  She also recently received her master’s degree in library and information studies with a concentration in Asian American studies from UCLA.  Sakamoto currently works at the Japanese American National Museum in education.  In her free time she serves on the board of the Japanese American Historical Society of Southern California and is a charter member of LTRoots. She enjoys playing basketball, playing pai gow poker, attending musicals, and fishing. Sakamoto has chosen to support the Los Angeles Conservation Corps as her platform this year.

Kelli Toshiye Teragawa

East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center

Kelli Toshiye Teragawa is 24 years old and a graduate of the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona where she majored in business administration with an emphasis in management and human resources. Teragawa currently works at FIA Insurance Services, Inc.  When she is not busy working, she enjoys exploring different restaurants, experimenting with cake decorating, playing sports and traveling.  The platform Teragawa has chosen to support this year is Prevent Child Abuse America, an organization with the mission to prevent the abuse and neglect of America’s children.

Lauren Terumi Weber

Gardena Evening Optimist and The Loft Hawaiian Restaurant

Lauren Terumi Weber is 24 years old and a graduate of San Diego State University with a degree in business administration/marketing.  She is currently working as a licensed real estate agent and works part time at the Loft Hawaiian Restaurant and at Array Systems, a computer IT company.  In her free time Weber creates and designs jewelry that she has turned into a small business, “LaurenLuvS.” She also enjoys surfing, hiking, taking photographs and video editing. The platform Weber has chosen to support this year is TWLOHA or “To Write Love On Her Arms,” a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.

Erin Reiko Yokomizo

San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center and Coordinating Council

Erin Reiko Yokomizo is 23 years old and a graduate of the University of Southern California where she received her bachelor’s degree in communication with a minor in art history.  Yokomizo is currently employed by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art where she works in the communication and marketing department.  She is an active member of the San Fernando Valley Holiness Church in Pacoima and enjoys mentoring and working with the church’s high school students.  She also enjoys snowboarding, visiting museums, and finding new places to eat in Los Angeles.  Her platform this year is Zoe International Ministries.

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