By ELLEN ENDO
Special to The Rafu
For the second consecutive year, a young woman representing the San Fernando Valley was crowned queen of the 2017 Nisei Week Festival during ceremonies held last night at the Aratani Theatre.
Jordyn Keiko Adachi, 23, will reign over the Festival’s grand parade today and throughout the coming year.
Adachi will be accompanied by first princess Yurika Kristy Yoneda, sponsored by the Japanese Restaurant Association of America; “Miss Tomodachi” Kelly Akiko Sera, East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center; Kaitlin Tomomi Hara, Orange County Nikkei Coordinating Council; Claire Mari Imada, Gardena Evening Optimists; Tomi Colleen Okuno, Pasadena Japanese Cultural Institute; and Jordyn Akari Terukina, Venice Japanese Community Center and Venice-West Los Angeles JACL.
Adachi succeeds 2016 Nisei Week queen Jaclyn Tomita, who was also sponsored by the San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center.
“I still can’t believe it,” Adachi reacted when asked how she felt at hearing her name announced.
Daughter of Karla and Steve Adachi, the 23-year old California Lutheran University biological sciences graduate drew from her experience as a basketball player to introduce herself to the Coronation audience. She is the granddaughter of Carolyn Sato, a Nisei Week princess during the 1960s.
VIDEO: See footage from the Coronation at The Rafu Shimpo’s Facebook page, here!
Adachi works as a physical therapy aide and plans to attend graduate school to become a physical therapist.
The year ahead will include numerous public appearances and trips to Hawaii and Japan for her and her newly anointed court.
Adachi may feel more at home on a basketball court than in high heels, but admits that she has become accustomed to walking in heels.
It was a briskly-paced evening of entertainment that borrowed from a range of music and dance styles, from vintage rock-and-roll by Earth, Wind, and Fire alum Sheldon Reynolds to the classical grace of the kimono walking to funky hip-hop.
Nisei Week chairman Leiton Hashimoto and committee stalwarts Gerald Fukui and Keith Inatomi made a surprise appearance as dancers during the hip-hop routine choreographed by Tara Kawai-Daniels.
ABC7 news anchor David Ono, noting that this year marks his 18th as emcee, was joined by co-emcee Helen Ota.