2023: Nisei Week selects Kaitlyn Emiko Chu as 2023 Nisei Week Queen

2023 Nisei Week Court (L-R) Aiko Marie Matsumura Dzikowski , Kamalani Higashiyama, 1st Princess Sara Emiko Kubo, Queen Kaitlyn Emiko Chu, Miss Tomodachi Nancy Izumi Chin, Isabella Rose Polizzotto, Kaili Mika Inouye. (Courtesy of Nisei Week Foundation. Photo credit by Toyo Miyatake Studios)

On August 12, 2023, Kaitlyn Emiko Chu was crowned as the 2023 Nisei Week Queen at the Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo. The Queen’s Coronation event of the selection kicks off the nine-day Nisei Week Japanese Festival, a celebration of Japanese and Japanese-American culture and community in the Little Tokyo district of Los Angeles.

During her speech, Chu spoke of how art and dance has shaped her life and during the question and answer period, expressed a desire to preserve the stories of the legacy businesses and Nisei veterans through workshops and social media promotion. She is the daughter of Chris and Holly Chu.

Queen Kaitlyn Emiko Chu is 24 years old and represents the Orange County Nikkei Coordinating Council. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in Arts, Technology, and the Business of Innovation.

Kaitlyn works as a product designer at Apple where she prototypes new experiences, interactions, and animations. In her free time, she loves exploring new cities and cuisines, teaching workshops

on how to make kokedama (the art of Japanese moss ball bonsai plants), and hosting book readings of her children’s book, Smiling from Ear to Ear. She will support Go For Broke National Education Center as her platform.

Sara Emiko Kubo was selected as First Princess with Nancy Izumi Chin chosen by the rest of the candidates as Miss Tomodachi.

Isabella Rose Polizzotto, Kamalani Higashiyama, Aiko Marie Matsumura Dzikowski, and Kaili Mika Inouye round out the rest of the Nisei Week Court.