In a year filled with a lot of racial tensions, Japanese Ghanaian, Aisha Harumi Tochigi, has won the coveted Miss Universe Japan 2020 title with her powerful message on discrimination during the question and answer section of the show.
“I’d like to spread that nobody should be judged by their color (or)…where they come from because this year, there was so much discrimination,” she said during the pageantry show held on October 29 in Tokyo.
“I’d like to tell people that we shouldn’t judge people by their appearance but understand them, understand each other. It is the key to end discrimination. I’d like to spread that.”
Tochigi was born on January 4, 1996, to a Ghanaian father and Japanese mother. She lived in Accra till age seven and relocated to Japan with her family. Tochigi, from Chiba Prefecture, has been volunteering in Japan and Ghana since 2006.
Like most beauty queens, Tochigi also has her story. She competed in the same pageant last year and came in at Top 5 losing to the 2019 winner, Ako Kamo.
The 24-year-old tried again this year and maneuvered her way through the competition beating 29 other contestants during the finals in Tokyo to be crowned Miss Universe Japan 2020.
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Miss Universe Japan 2020になることができました👑 本当に嬉しい！驚くほどたくさんのお祝いメッセージが届いていて、改めてどれだけ多くの人にサポートされているのかを実感しました☺️🤍🤍 ちょっとずつだけど返していきます！ Thank you so much for all your support. I was able to accomplish because of all the love I have received. I’ll do all my best to inspire people as much as possible 🥰❤️❤️ Photo from Shiningmisses #missuniversejapan #missuniversejapan2020 #missuniverse #ミスユニバースジャパン2020 #ミスユニバースジャパン #ミスユニバース #コードスリー #コングレスクエア羽田 #コングレ#羽田イノベーションシティ #roadtomissuniverse#diverse @missuniversejapan @missuniverse @my_beauty_hm
This win makes her the second mixed-race person to win the pageant. The first was Miss Universe 2015 Ariana Miyamoto, 26, of Nagasaki.
There have been only two winners of the Miss Universe pageant from Japan. The first was Miss Universe 1959 Akiko Kojima and Miss Universe 2007 Riyo Mori.
Miss Universe Japan is subtly making a statement to promote the beauty of hafus or biracial citizens in Japan, Travel Noire reports. The first runner-up this year was Japanese-Nigerian Raimau Kaminashi while Japanese-Filipino Yuki Sonoda took the second runner up spot.
Third runner-up Kilala Watanabe was the only non-biracial contestant in the Top 5. The fourth runner up was Kiwi-Japanese Marina Little, Global Asia News pointed out.
Tochigi will represent Japan in the 69th edition of the Miss Universe pageant.