2017 / Nisei Week: Queen Coronation at Aratani Theatre / Aug. 19

Seven candidates nominated by Japanese American organizations in Southern California, shown in July 23, 2017 at the opening ceremony of the 2017 Nisei Week Japanese Festival. (Cultural News Photo)

The 2017 Nisei Week Japanese Festival is a nine-day event first held in 1934, and is recognized today as one of the longest running ethnic festivals in the United States.

This event will take place in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo district from August 19-27. The highlight of Nisei Week is the Queen Coronation on Saturday, Aug. 19 at 7 pm at Aratani Theatre to select the 2017 Nisei Week Queen.

Upon official coronation, the queen and her court will represent the Nisei Week Foundation at the 2017 festival and other community events locally and nationally.

Seven Japanese American organizations in the Greater Los Angeles Area nominate their queen candidate this year.

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The 2017 Nisei Week Queen candidates are following (Courtesy of the Nisei Week Foundation. All photo by Tokyo Miyatake Studio):

Jordyn Keiko Adachi

Jordyn Keiko Adachi representing San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center

Adachi is 23 years old and a graduate of California Lutheran University with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences. She plans to attend graduate school to become a physical therapist and work with patients who have suffered from neurological issues or mental disabilities. She currently works as a physical therapy aide.

Claire Mari Imada

Claire Mari Imada representing Gardena Evening Optimist

Imada is 22 years old and graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a minor in Asian American studies. She currently works as a digital content editor at KLOS and KABC Radio. Her hobbies include volunteering at Gardena Buddhist Church.

Yukari Kristy Yoneda

Yurika Kristy Yoneda representing Japanese Restaurant Association of America

Yoneda is 24 years old. She is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles with a bachelor’s degree in global studies. She currently works as a forensics consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Her hobbies include traveling, finding new coffee shops, running for half marathons, rock climbing, cleaning and organizing.

Tomi Colleen Okuno

Tomi Colleen Okuno representing Pasadena Japanese Cultural Institute

Okuno is 23 years old and graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a bachelor’s degree in illustration. Currently, she works as a painter and freelance illustrator. Okuno hopes to teach visual arts professionally in the future. In her free time, she enjoys playing taiko and watching musical.

Kelly Akiko Sera

Kelly Akiko Sera representing East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center

Sera is 21 years old and currently attends the University of La Verne, where she is pursuing an undergraduate degree in child development. She works at the East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center’s Kokoro no Sato Infant Care Center as an associate teacher. Sera plans to pursue a career as an early education or primary school teacher.

Jordyn Akari Terukina

Jordyn Akari Terukina representing Venice Japanese Community Center & Venice-West Los Angeles JACL

Terukina is 24 years old and a graduate of California State University, Dominguez Hills with a bachelor’s degree in health science. Currently, she works as a physical therapy rehabilitation aide at Atlantis Physical Therapy. She plans to pursue a career as an occupational therapist.

kaitlin Tomomi Hara

Kaitlin Tomomi Hara representing Orange County Nikkei Coordinating Council

Hara is 21 years old and recently graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in molecular environmental biology. She currently works at a doctor’s office as a medical office assistant. Hara hopes to earn a master’s degree in public health and apply to medical school in the future.

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