The 2016 Nisei Week Queen title which represents greater Los Angeles Japanese American community, went to 24-year old Jaclyn Hidemi Tomita who was supported by San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center at the Coronation event on August 13 in Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles.
The 2016 Nisei Week Queen and Court will appear at the Nisei Week Grand Parade on Aug. 14 in Little Tokyo. The parade will start at 4:00 pm.
The Nisei Week Queen and Court program, 15-month long goodwill ambassador activities, begins in May every year when names of the Nisei Week Queen candidate are submitted to program host organization the Nisei Week Foundation, and selects the Nisei Week Queen, the First Princess, and Miss Tomodachi titles on the first weekend of the Nisei Week Japanese Festival which is held in mid August in Little Tokyo.
For the 2016 Nisei Week Queen tile, seven candidates who were supported by Japanese American community centers and community organizations in the greater Los Angeles area, appeared at the Aratani Theatre in the campus of the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, and showed their kimono and evening gown appearances, verbal communication skills, and determination of being community representatives.
This year’s theme of question and answer session was “cultural sustainability” in Little Tokyo where most of Japanese-own stores disappeared and new businesses and new residents came in. While most of candidates posed to answer and gave relatively short replies, Tomita explained a brief history of Japanese American from the wartime incarceration to ongoing multi-purpose gym “Budokan” project in Little Tokyo.
Jaclyn Hidemi Tomita was born at Northridge in Los Angeles, and graduated from San Diego State University with Bachelor of Art degree.
The First Princess title was given to 23-year old Megan Tomiko Ono who was sponsored by the Orange County Nikkei Coordinating Councul. Miss Tomodachi title was won by 24-year old Julia Kiyomi Tani who was represented by the Pasadena Japanese Cultural Institute.
Four candidates who bear Princess title and act as goodwill ambassadors with the 2016 Nisei Week Queen are 24-year old Kaya Minezaki of the Japanese Restaurant Association of America, 25-year old Heather Yoneko Iwata of East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center, 22-year old Shannon Aiko Rose Tsumaki of West Los Angeles Japanese American Citizens League and Venice Japanese Community Center, and 23-year old April Leilani Nishinaka of Gardena Evening Optimist club.