First official appearance by 2012 court at Memorial Day commemoration

The Japanese Queen Scholarship Organization of Washington crowned Yuna Marie Nishimoto as the 2012 queen at the 53rd annual scholarship celebration over Memorial Day weekend. With the coronation, she also carries the title of Seattle Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival Queen.  The celebration at the Theatre Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue played to a full house, with enthusiastic supporters for all of the participants.

As its first official appearance, the 2012 court participated in the annual Nisei Veterans Memorial Day commemoration at Lakeview Cemetary in Seattle.  Queen Yuna and court placed a floral wreath at the base of the memorial on behalf of the organization.

Queen Yuna was selected by the six-member panel of judges to serve as queen for 2012.  Rounding out the court are First Princess and Miss Tomodachi or Miss Congeniality Taryn Lee Imanishi, Princesses Nicole Ruriko Lee, Sylvie Hana Shiosaki, and Heidi Sachi Iha.   In addition, Queen Yuna also received awards for academic achievement, community service, and her creative expression, which was a personalized rendition of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” rap.

Queen Yuna is the daughter of Katsu and Maria Nishimoto; First Princess Taryn is the daughter of Gary and Jeanette Imanishi; Princess Nicole is the daughter of Craig and Nancy Kodani-Lee; Princess Sylvie is the daughter of Neil and Lonnie Shiosaki; and Princess Heidi is the daughter of Toru and Sachie Iha.

During its year of service, the 2012 court will participate in a variety community events and volunteer at Keiro and Nikkei Manor.  Queen Yuna will represent the Seattle Japanese community in the Seafair Scholarship Program for Women in July 2012, as well as the annual spring festival in Seattle’s Japanese sister city of Kobe, Japan, in May 2013.

The Japanese Queen Scholarship Organization of Washington is committed to developing Japanese women into leaders through higher education, community service, and cultural awareness.


Mari Sugiyama, [email protected]
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