Newly crowned Nisei Week Queen Juli Yoshinaga waves to the crowd at the Aratani Theatre on Saturday evening. (Photos by MARIO G. REYES/Rafu Shimpo)
Mia Masae Lopez is First Princess; Kara Chizuru Ito named Miss Tomodachi.
By GWEN MURANAKA
RAFU SENIOR EDITOR
Juli Yoshinaga, 23-year-old graduate of Cal State Long Beach, was crowned Nisei Week Queen at the 79th annual Nisei Week Coronation on Saturday night at the Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo.
When her name was called, many in the audience thought of one person who was not there, her grandfather George Yoshinaga, who penned the popular column “The Horse’s Mouth” for The Rafu Shimpo until his passing in 2015.
Yoshinaga represents the Japanese Restaurant Association of American and works at Warner Brothers Entertainment Group in multicultural marketing. Her parents are Tim and Mifumi Yoshinaga.
Mia Masae Lopez was named First Princess. She is a 25-year-old graduate of Cal State Polytechnic University Pomona and represents Venice Japanese Community Center and Venice-West Los Angeles JACL.
Kara Chizuru Ito, a 22-year-old graduate of Concordia University Irvine, was named Miss Tomodachi. She represents Orange County Nikkei Coordinating Council.
The 2019 Nisei Week Court will represent the Japanese American community at events throughout Southern California as well as travel to Japan, Hawaii and San Francisco. Also serving on the court are:
Marika Kate Gotschall, 23, representing Pasadena Japanese Cultural Institute;
Ariel Mei Imamoto, 22, representing the San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center;
Emily Yuiko Ishida, 25, representing the East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center;
Kayla Sachiko Igawa, 23, representing Gardena Evening Optimists.
A full wrap-up of the Nisei Week Coronation will be in the Tuesday edition of The Rafu Shimpo.
Yoshinaga (right) reacts as her name is called. She is joined onstage by (from left) Marika Kate Gotschall, Ariel Mei Imamoto, Emily Yuiko Ishida and Kayla Sachiko Igawa.