All photos courtesy Toyo Miyatake Studios
|Emily Michi Iijima Folick
2012 Nisei Week QueenOrange County Nikkei Coordinating Council
Emily Michi Iijima Folick is 24 years old and graduated from the University of California, Irvine where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business economics. Folick continued her education at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising where she graduated with a degree in fashion design. She currently works in swimwear for the Lunada Bay Corporation. In her free time she enjoys training for triathlons with Team In Training, playing basketball and designing and creating clothing. This year Folick will support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
|Crystal Akie Hanano
First PrincessWest Los Angeles JACL & Venice Japanese Community Center
Crystal Akie Hanano is 21 years old and recently graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychobiology. She currently works at Kaiser Permanente as a support coordinator in the Population Care Management Department. Hanano will be pursuing a career as a dentist. In her spare time, Hanano enjoys playing basketball, hiking, cooking, and trying new cuisine and restaurants. This year Hanano will support the China Care Foundation as her platform.
|Kaitlynn Chiye Sakurai
Miss TomodachiGardena Evening Optimist/The Loft Hawaiian Restaurant
Kaitlynn Chiye Sakurai is 23 years old and graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology. She currently works as a physical therapy aide and plans to pursue a career as a physical therapist. Her favorite pastimes include playing sports, shopping, going to the beach, swimming, hiking and fishing. This year Sakurai will be supporting Project Linus as her platform.
|Lauren Mieko Tanaka Arii
PrincessSan Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center and Coordinating Council
Lauren Mieko Tanaka Arii is 23 years old and currently attends the California State University, Northridge, as a journalism major with an emphasis in broadcasting. She plans to pursue a career as a television news reporter. When she&rsuoq;s not in school, she works in retail at Abercrombie and Fitch. Her hobbies include hiking, visiting museums and aquariums and going to Disneyland. Arii will support the Make-A-Wish Foundation this year as her platform.
|Marci Saori Asao
PrincessJapanese Restaurant Association of America
Marci Saori Asao is 24 years old and graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a bachelor’s degree in economics and a minor in education. Asao currently works as a program leader at THINK together. She aspires to become an elementary school teacher. In her free time, she enjoys playing sports especially basketball and volleyball, doing Japanese classical dance, drawing, traveling and studying European art. This year, Asao will support Kids in Sports as her platform.
|Erika Hayami Fisher
PrincessPasadena Japanese Cultural Institute
Erika Hayami Fisher is 22 years old and recently graduated from the University of California, Irvine, awarded a bachelor’s degree in urban studies with an emphasis in community development and a double minor in Japanese and psychology. Fisher currently works as an administrative assistant for Unidesigns. In the future, Fisher would like to own her own small business to utilize her creative and organizational skills. In her spare time, she acts as a student advisor to the Rising Stars Youth Leadership Program Alumni Committee and also enjoys working do-it-yourself projects and making handmade gifts. The platform Fisher has decided to support this year is NATHA — Neighbors Acting Together Helping All.
|Sarah Michelle Fujimoto
PrincessEast San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center
Sarah Michelle Fujimoto is 23 years old and graduated from Azusa Pacific University in December 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Fujimoto currently works full-time for the Lake Elsinore Unified School District as a school nurse. She plans to obtain her School Nurse Services Credential and M.Ed and would like to eventually become a lead district nurse. During her free time, Fujimoto enjoys dancing, baking cookies and playing with her bulldog. This year Fujimoto will support the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles as her platform.