2017 Nisei Week Queen & Court

The 2017 Nisei Week Court, from left to right: Princess – Kaitlin Tomomi Hara (Orange County Nikkei Coordinating Council); Princess – Tomi Colleen Okuno (Pasadena Japanese Cultural Institute); 1st Princess – Yurika Kristy Yoneda (Japanese Restaurant Association of America); Nisei Week Queen Jordyn Keiko Adachi (San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center); Miss Tomodachi – Kelly Akiko Sera (East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center); Princess – Claire Mari Imada (Gardena Evening Optimist); and Jordyn Akari Terukina (Venice Japanese Community Center & Venice-West Los Angeles JACL).
All photos courtesy Toyo Miyatake Studios

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Queen Jordyn Keiko Adachi

San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center

Birthplace: Woodland Hills, California

Age: 23

Education: California Lutheran University

Degree: Bachelor of Science

Major: Biological Sciences

Platform: Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Hobbies & activities: Fitness-related activities such as hiking, working out in the gym, and golfing.

Professional / Career Goals: Attend graduate school to become a physical therapist and work with patients who have suffered from neurological issues or mental disabilities.

What is your first recollection of Nisei Week? “Nisei Week holds a special place in my heart because my grandmother took part in Nisei Week when she was around my age. It was something that we talked about often and bonded over.”

Parents: Steve and Karla Adachi

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1st Princess Yurika Kristy Yoneda

Japanese Restaurant Association of America

Birthplace: San Francisco, California

Age: 25

Education: University of California, Los Angeles

Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Major: Global Studies

Platform: Junior Achievement

Hobbies & activities: Traveling, finding new coffee shops, running and training for half marathons, rock climbing, cleaning and organizing.

Professional / Career Goals: Continue working as a forensics consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers and eventually go into the import/export business, bringing in new businesses to the United States from Japan.

What is your first recollection of Nisei Week? “When I first moved to Los Angeles in the 2nd grade, my father took me to the Nisei Week Parade. Since then, I grew up watching the Nisei Week Court in the parade each year with my family.”

Parents: Akimasa and Naomi Yoneda

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Miss Tomodachi Kelly Akiko Sera

East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center

Birthplace: West Covina, California

Age: 21

Education: University of La Verne

Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Major: Child Development

Platform: Milk + Bookies

Hobbies & activities: Making handmade cards, volunteering for community youth programs, and watching Chip and Jojo on HGTV’s “Fixer Upper.”

Professional / Career Goals: Pursue a career as an early education or primary school teacher.

What is your first recollection of Nisei Week? “My first recollection of Nisei Week is as a 2nd grader, playing 3-on-3 basketball in the streets of Little Tokyo as part of the San Tai San tournament to raise funds for the Budokan.”

Parents: Jon and Dawn Sera

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Kaitlin Tomomi Hara

Orange County Nikkei Coordinating Council

Birthplace: Santa Ana, California

Age: 21

Education: University of California, Berkeley

Degree: Bachelor of Science

Major: Molecular Environmental Biology

Platform: Alzheimer’s Association

Hobbies & activities: Baking recipes found on Pinterest, finding new ice cream shops to satisfy her sweet tooth, and photographing her travels.

Professional / Career Goals: Pursue a master’s degree in public health and apply to medical school in the future.

What is your first recollection of Nisei Week? “My first recollection of Nisei Week would be volunteering with friends in high school at the shave ice booth at the Tanabata Festival and then looking around at the Nisei Week cultural exhibitions and entertainers.”

Parents: Toshiki and Nancy Hara

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Claire Mari Imada

Gardena Evening Optimist

Birthplace: Santa Monica, California

Age: 22

Education: California State University, Fullerton

Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Major: Communications

Minor: Asian American Studies

Platform: Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation

Hobbies & activities: Volunteering at Gardena Buddhist Church, playing taiko, participating in modern dance, and supporting the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Professional / Career Goals: Pursue a career in event planning or public relations.

What is your first recollection of Nisei Week? “I remember when I was little, my grandma and grandpa would show me the Rafu Shimpo article of the beautiful, newly crowned Nisei Week Queen and her court.”

Parents: Brian and Imogene Imada

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Tomi Colleen Okuno

Pasadena Japanese Cultural Institute

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California

Age: 23

Education: Rhode Island School of Design

Degree: Bachelor of Fine Arts

Major: Illustration

Platform: Armory Center for the Arts

Hobbies & activities: Playing taiko and watching musicals.

Professional / Career Goals: To teach visual arts professionally in the future.

What is your first recollection of Nisei Week? “I remember attending the Nisei Week Parade with my mother when I was in grade school and waving to the Nisei Week queen and court so vigorously that I got their attention.”

Parents: Dale and Ayako Okuno

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Jordyn Akari Terukina

Venice Japanese Community Center & Venice-West Los Angeles JACL

Birthplace: Gardena, California

Age: 24

Education: California State University, Dominguez Hills

Degree: Bachelor of Science

Major: Health Science

Platform: Be The Match

Hobbies & activities: Playing and coaching basketball, going to the beach, trying new dessert places, and finding new hiking trails.

Professional / Career Goals: Pursue a career as an occupational therapist and work with children to help them rehabilitate and develop a better quality of life.

What is your first recollection of Nisei Week? “When I was three years old, I was named 1st princess at the Nisei Week Baby Show. Kimi Evans was the Nisei Week Queen and I remember how special I felt to stand next to her on stage and talk to her!”

Parents: Michael and Jannet Terukina