HAVING been enamoured by Japanese culture after two trips to the country, medical student Crystal Teh Hui Yin will now get to be its ambassador.
The 24-year-old won the Miss Penang Yosakoi Pageant 2019, earning the right to be the face of the marketing campaign for next year’s Yosakoi Parade.
She edged out 10 other hopefuls in an exciting, two-round final held at the Extension Wing atrium of Gurney Plaza recently.
“I’ll do my bit to promote the Yosakoi event to the public, including my friends on campus,” said the Penang-born who is currently studying in Kedah.
She just returned from a family holiday in the Land of the Rising Sun several weeks ago, visiting cities like Tokyo and Osaka. This came on the back of another trip in August.
“The natural sights are beautiful. It was nice and cooling too in autumn. I’d surely like to visit again,” quipped Teh, who speaks a bit of Japanese.
Like all other finalists, she did a catwalk and dance in a yukata for the first round, then paraded an ivory and pink-hued furisode kimono in the second.
“While it’s tight, it certainly makes you feel elegant. I was really taken aback when they announced my name,” Teh said of her experience.
Pharmacist Chia Shock Hong, 27, finished runner up. Modelling a light blue furisode with gold detailing, she too had good things to say about the garment.
“It keeps the wearer upright and in good posture,” said the lass from Sungai Petani, who is also a big fan of Japanese culture and is part of a music band.
School-leaver Yo Yo Tan, 19, claimed third place. She had always liked seeing people in kimonos, and was thrilled to finally be able to wear one herself.
“Japanese people are so respectful in everything they do,” observed Tan, who is of Thai-Chinese descent and was clad in an orange and grey number.
Besides the top three, there were also subsidiary titles of Miss Congeniality for Scarlette Leang Ming Siew, and Miss Photogenic for Jane Foo.
All winners took home a combination of branded cosmetic products, vouchers, cash and trophies as prizes.
These were handed out by the Consul General of Japan in Penang’s wife Machiko Kanoya, Miss International Japan 1991 Miho Shimobuchi, Pink Hibiscus honorary chairperson Harumi Yamazaki and Gurney Plaza centre manager Peter Chan.
Also present were Consul General Shinichiro Kanoya and Vice Consul Kosuke Nakagawa.
Pink Hibiscus president and founder Emi Yamazaki said it was a good platform to showcase the elegant furisodes, which typically take an hour to put on.
“It’s hard to find many of its accessories in Penang, so some had to be delicately handmade by our members,” she pointed out.
Yamazaki also announced that next year’s Penang Yosakoi Parade would be held on March 9. For updates, follow its Facebook page by looking up the event name.