Ikumi – who is an actress, stunt woman and book author – reigned as Miss International 2012 but never reached full circle in terms of crowning her successor a year after (Miss International 2008 Alejandra Andreu crowned our very own Bea Rose Santiago as Miss International 2013). In this article by the Tokyo Weekender back in 2013 where she spoke in a Press Conference in front of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan:
What should’ve been the greatest year of her life turned into a nightmare for Ikumi Yoshimatsu. Soon after becoming Japan’s first recipient of the Miss International crown at the back end of 2012 she was allegedly being harassed and threatened by a powerful talent agency executive named Genichi Taniguchi—aka Motokazu Taniguchi—of Burning Productions. Her crime: The refusal to sign a contract with his company due to concerns over their links with the yakuza…
Ikumi stated that:
“It was on December 30 2012,” she tells Weekender over the phone. “He came in screaming, started chasing me and then finally grabbed my arm and tried to abduct me. After that he sent a private investigator to my house to look through my windows and take photos. He also tried to blackmail my family and threaten them.
For over a year now I’ve been afraid and that feeling has intensified since revealing his name in public. Nobody has done that before so of course I was really worried about it, but I realized what a huge problem this was in Japanese society and how many women live their lives in fear. I knew it was something I had to do. It was completely my own choice.”
Check out the entire article because it reads like a suspense-drama plot for Netflix release. Life can indeed be stranger than fiction.
Perhaps, it will take a decade or two before another Japanese would even make it to the top in Miss International. But that shouldn’t be cause for concern with the locals. They do have pride in seeing a Miss Japan win the crown. But I reckon that they would rather see more of an Akiko Kojima or Riyo Mori in Miss Universe or a very first Miss World maybe?
Have a reflective Good Friday, dear readers!
excuse me, karen ibasco have the beauty and brain she can be a ms universe material just look back when she crowned her sucessor lumabas ang ganda nya at nag stand out pa among the rest..true umg pag black ang nanalo walang bash na nangyayari which is sa totoo lang they look ugly compared sa iba just like ung recent winner sa ms u and ms world na sa totoo lang d naman mga kagandahan while nung nanalo si pia w. sa ms u daming mga nagbash
na taga ibang bansa na chaka dw si pia compared sa ms colombia ung iba naman nag comment ng ugliest ms U dw si pia nakipag-away pa nga ako sa mga bashers nya unlike nung tinalo ng mga chakang black sina mirriam quiambao at ruffa g na hamak mas magaganda walanp masyadong nag react,magpakatotoo nga kau mga plastic..
@ ivy amor Who is prettier between Kevin and Felice, for you, po?
‘Ala, Mr. Tinio. Labo-labo na ‘tong MI post. Pati Earth, World, at Universe, damay.
MQ”s loss was her own undoing. The hosts backstage said so. She “clammed up” (hesitated). Mpule, on the other hand, spoke with conviction.
Ruffa, as @ unorthodox said, was quite likely politicized. MARAMI’ng nanghinayang, ‘di lang obvious kasi wala pa’ng Internet nu’ng mga panaho’ng ‘yun (or at least, not like now). I did. 🙂
Wasn’t it that majority of Pia’s detractors were Colombian? Understandable. Naalala ko ‘yung drama ni Ethel Booba, pero to be fair to her nauna ang kabila sa “burning in effigy”.
@ ivy amor Sama niyo na rin, po, si Jolene.
@Ivy Amor: Hands down, Karen is one rare gem, a brains-beauty-virtue package. Those who bash Karen have a one-dimensional concept of beauty and only see it from the Western cultural lens, therefore narrowly focused on the physical, and sadly confined to the Western standard. They are in a time warp, pathetically still clung to the antiquated concept of beauty shaped by the West’s hegemonic gaze on other cultures, refusing to accept the truth that there is no universal concept of beauty in today’s multi-cultural world that values diversity, inclusion and equality. Having said that, you are also guilty of the very same act you decry—bashing black beauty queens using the same narrow cultural lens. Worse, the subliminal message seems to point to a pecking order of physical beauty archetypes—Western, Oriental– and last– black
Kamukha nya si Gracia… Samatha Lopez.
may something lang minsan sa Miss International na hindi ko maintindihan… ung may biglang susulpot from nowhere n magiging runner up… like Finland sa edition n ‘to… feeling ko tlga Haiti will be part of the Magic Circle of 5.
Why is Karen Ibasco bashed for winning Miss Earth? Compared to MU 2019 she is much more beautiful. It makes me really wonder why praise the South African Tunzi and bash Karen. Public speaking wise, Karen’s response to the final quesrion is much more substantial than that of Zozi. People seems to have been taken with her facility in the English language – a case of style over suvstance. Zozi was said to have achieved a degree in public speaking, which answers for her ability to speak well. Pitted together in a debate, don’t think she would win over the obviously intelligent physicist Karen. Lastly, are prople just afraid to be labelled racist that they do not express their true opinion of Zozi. It seems there is another form of racism nowadays, that is just because a woman is black everything that must come out of everybody’s mouth should be favorable. It is okay to call Karen ugly, never Tunzi. In the same manner Filipinos joined the band wagon of praising the MW winner from Jamaica. Truth be told, is she beautiful? Well in my opinion, compared to Karen she is definitely not good looking. Poor Karen, she has been and continues to be bashed by Filipinos while praising the “black beauties” of South Africa and Jamaica.
Hindi sila kagandahan pareho pero mas vibrant naman personality ni Zozi kaysa kay Karen. Mas maganda din sa paningin ko si Zozi kaysa kay Karen. Karen may be more knowledgeable than Zozi when it comes to Science and all, but public speaking and charisma wise, kay Zozi ako. Mas magaling din si Zozi pagdating sa mga life lesson issues than Karen. Kumbaga si Karen book smart at Zozi ay street smart. Nababash si Karen dahil:
Miss Earth is Filipino owned.
Miss Earth 2017 was held (as always) in the Philippines.
Miss Earth 2017 panel was dominated by (once again) Filipinos.
Hindi kagandahan si Karen. Sakto lang kumbaga. Hindi na dapat nakalusot pa sa Face and Poise round. Yun lang.
Makasandwich win din naman ang Miss Earth sobra. Chweh!
@ VINA YU I’m going to say this now. I have been reluctant, but it’s now going three years since then and there’s a new post already to obscure this comment of mine.
I’m on the fence with KI. Yes, I agree she was not the prettiest that year. BUT, I believe her win, even if it was home court, was not entirely undeserved for the following reasons.
1) She registers like a wealthy Chinese businessman’s well-sheltered daughter, therefore ALTA.
2) She is SEXY.
3) She is apparently kind.
4) When she crowned successor Nguyen Phuong Kahn, not a few were left thinking why she wasn’t styled THAT way a year earlier (the criticism over her “fea-ness” would have been rendered baseless).
5) INDIRECTLY, it was just too bad that things did not work out for Fahsai, who was most everyone’s bet to win. MEO must exercise care in selecting hashtags, ensure these are truly universally-understood, however this has been said before by others….. 🙂
@REBECCA: I feel the same pain as you do when people bash Karen for her looks, because she is absolutely beautiful— physically, intellectually and spiritually. Those who bash her have a one-dimensional concept of beauty and only see it from the Western cultural lens. Karen is the quintessential Oriental beauty topped up by a rare combination of mathematical talent and communication skills. Those whose cultural lens on beauty is narrowly focused on the physical, and pathetically confined to the Western standard, will not see beauty in Karen. But physical beauty is culturally defined. And beauty is not just physical but cerebral and spiritual. In other words, there is no universal concept of beauty in today’s world where diversity, inclusion and equality are the widely accepted ethos. Those who bash this duly proclaimed queen by an illustrious panel of judges are still embracing the antiquated concept of beauty shaped by the West’s hegemonic gaze on other cultures
@REBECCA: The same case applies to you, unfortunately. In defense of Karen, you need not denigrate another by using the same narrow cultural lens. I hope we all open up to the holistic concept of beauty where the physical dimension is culturally- defined, where the cerebral dimension is readily discerned from the sensible ideas that come out of her discourse, and where the spiritual dimension is seen from her personal values mirrored by her advocacy.
A blessed Good Friday and a glorious Easter Sunday!
Poor Ikumi, she was barred from attending the 2013 coronation. She could have been the one to pass the crown to Bea Santiago.
I am happy that she have found a higher purpose after what had happened. The pageant became a platform for her to fight abuses to women in her country. Though it is not as rosy as what the pageant advocates.
2012 the year when the winners were crowned in their respective countries.
Miss International – Japan
Miss World. – China
Miss Universe. – USA
buti n nga lang hanggang Ms. Air lng ang Pinas… isa p sanang nabash ng husto ang Pinas nung time na un.
Buti pa ang Japan nahiya magcrown agad ng kanilang sariling representante kahit matagal na sana nilang deserve magkakorona sa sarili nilang pageant na ito. Unlike dun sa isang BIG 4 pageant na laging bias sa sarili nilang representative kahit hindi ganun ka deserving. Chweh!
@ VINA YU I personally consider Earth and Supranational on more or less equal footing, even though the former has been around for twice as long as the latter. That being said, Poland has crowned one of its own already, and so not too different from the UK (World) in terms of a home court early win.
Of our four Earth queens, I like Jamie Herrell the most on physical beauty. Had it not been for concerns that giving pageantry another shot this year (see Mr. Tinio’s post in My Blog Library as one of the possible crossover-repeaters for either MUP or BBP) was simply too risky, I would have supported. But that’s all water under the bridge now….. (she did say categorically that she was not going to proceed, as did Teresita Ssen….).
Karla Henry’s African Air “lady-in-waiting” I would have preferred. Had THAT happened, Manila would have been ahead of Tokyo in crowning an African rep. In any case and back to the subject of this post, I am unsure if someone from the Dark Continent who can match, if not exceed, Evelyn Namatovu can be found anytime soon.
Abennah Appiah, I hope, could return here for public appearances. Hopefully, “may g(h)ana pa siya”. 🙂
Mr. Tinio, it is now more or less eight (8) years since Ikumi Yoshimatsu’s debacle. Do you think she is #PhenomenalWoman enough for MUP? CAN THEY INVITE HER TO JUDGE? No, I don’t think Mdme. SMA will risk incurring the ire of the Yakuza and endangering her MI franchise….
I like Jaime and Angela. They really deserved that back to back win real big. yung kay Karla acceptable naman to many dahil facially striking din naman siya. Even kay Sandra Seifert Na sa tingin ko deserved din ng higher placement. Dun sa 4th Miss Earth natin ako na shookt kung bakit nakalagpas sa Beauty of Face and Poise round sa Top 16 ng Miss Earth. Hanggang Top 16 lang talaga dapat siya. Ngayon kung nababash siya (Oxana Federova of the Philippines) ng ibang lahi o ang Miss Earth Org mismo, dapat hindi na shookt dyan ang mga loyalista ni Madame Lorraine. Hirap nga naman talaga idefend nung ganda ni Miss K.
My most favorite MIsses International are Lara Q and Melanie … then Bea and Kylie.
Best speech goes to Lara Q
I’d be clearly biased if I said one of our six MIs had the prettiest face . More outstanding beauties have won MI In the past . However , I enjoyed Kylie’s editing the most .
Did I hear correctly (towards the end of the video)? They experienced a typhoon during their stay? Well, it is Okinawa, after all…. Where Lorenzo Ruiz and Pedro Calungsod were captured, no? Nonetheless, it is BEAUTIFUL place, with an oceanarium and an annual international orchid show which the Philippines participates in regularly, like the Sapporo Snow Festival further north which became showcase for our ice sculptors’ skills honed in cruise ships as OCW’s.
The ushers are from the nearby American naval base, I assume. Mr. Tinio, please tell Mdme. SMA to hire George Reylor de Lumen, Gianpaolo Paparo, and Aaron Beau Davies (his GLAM/Empire/Mercator contract is already finished, right?) for the next edition of BBP. Btw, how’s CTS 2020?
Blogger King, who was the Japan rep to MI 2017 who trained at KF, po? ADORO! She was teased for being “too bakla” (it probably did not work to her advantage that she was right next to Kevin Liliana in all segments, after all “J’ comes after “I”), but displayed CLASS by being the ONLY Runner-up to break ranks to approach the new queen and offer greetings. Her porcelain skin was STUNNING, complemented by her milky jade-green evening dress. 🙂
Also, is Edymar Martinez the ONLY MI titlist to have also won Best in Swimwear/Perfect Body? I read a comment in a pageant page that she/he saw her at Dubai airport, that she looked like a saint… (nothing to do with figure, of course).
Yakuza. Like the Mafiosi, you become inextricably tied to their network the moment you fall into debt and run to them for help. Miss a payment, and you pay dearly…. And on this day, we recall the STEEP price that was Christianity’s ransom. Now fully paid, liberty is fully restored.
You must be referring to Natsuki Tsutsui, Flor.
@FlorTula…i guess you have to, you need to, you should CREATE YOUR OWN BEAUTY PAGEANT blog…
this is a positive comment! It will surely be interesting!