Japanese beauty queen – Mori Riyo

Mori Riyo, Miss Universe 2007On May 29th, Japanese Mori Riyo was crowned Miss Universe, the first winner from Japan since 1959. While Mori is most definitely beautiful, I can’t help but feel that she’s not the most beautiful woman in the world (my mum is!) , and it seems most people share my view. Even the bookies gave her only a 150-1 chance of winning.

Although I still see Miss Universe as a beauty pageant, these days the judges look for much more. Perhaps Miss Mori’s language skills helped her beat off the challengers – she can speak an impressive six languages, and she’s only 20 years old!

Miss Universe is co-owned by American business tycoon Donald Trump, and after her victory he said…

“She is an amazing champion, an amazing woman and I hear that they go totally insane in Japan, so that’s good.”

Excuse me? Totally insane? Yeah, about as insane as when Vista was launched in Japan. The Japanese population could possibly be the most reserved in the world. They don’t express much emotion, and with the exception of a few extremists and those that appear on crazy TV game shows, the general reaction to any big news is often quite subdued. In fact, baseball crazy Japan celebrates it’s sporting victories with discounts at department stores, not huge parties in the streets.

So, it was no surprise that many Japanese didn’t even know Mori had won Miss Universe, and those that did, although proud, debated her beauty and compared her with last year’s runner up, Chibana Kurara, rather than going totally insane.

Still, congratulations to Mori, she certainly has her fans, including our very own Michael McKinlay who I had this conversation with:

Mike: Mmm she’s hot! I totally want to date her 😉
Nick: Yes, but the most beautiful woman in the universe? I think not. My mum is.
Mike: Ok, well sorry, but if I have to choose a date between your mom and Miss Japan… I’m gonna have to go with Japan!

If you like, you can find me on Twitter at @nick_ramsay. I'd love to hear from you!

4 thoughts on “Japanese beauty queen – Mori Riyo

  1. KURARA CHIBANA is the winner of many people’s hearts in 2006 and still is today…

    There are so many people who still can’t get over her loss last year (Just do a Google Blog search on Kurara Chibana and read the comments on related Youtube videos).

    Although Miss Japan wins this year, I can’t help but consider this 50% of success was influenced by Kurara Chibana’s near-winning in 2006. If not for the publicity which Kurara had generated (with her personality and great intellect) without any recent major predecessor or influences since 2003’s Miss Japan who also made into the Top 5, I think Riyo Mori wouldn’t have the benefit of having the judges’ and audiences’ predisposed attention this year.

    I mean it’s all about karma and sub-conscious factors, which perhaps can be defined along the line of “sublimal influences” and “rippling effects”. Because people are still so charmed by Kurara Chibana’s endearing personality, linguistic and intellectual abilities from last year that they would naturally take a great interest in this year’s Miss Japan, and see if the standard is still there or even better.

    Although I am not in a position to comment about who is better, I could probably and boldly concur that Kurara Chibana is an embodiment of what a 21st century Asian female should be – Western and Asian knowledge, Asian women’s strong and independent personality, great sense of style and beauty, and not forgetting a burning passion in one’s life.

    After all, how many Miss Universes could we remember for their great personalities and beauties even years after they have won and passed on the crown? I don’t think there’s many to count with fingers.

    For a 1st Runner Up like Kurara Chibana who is still unforgotten in some audiences’ minds and still greatly appreciated a year after, I guess this could probably be seen as the next highest level a Miss Universe finalist can go.

    Because after the one year Miss Universe reign, what the ladies have got left are their personalities and individual qualities to help them in their future careers and life, not the 250K crown or sash. More so, if we are more interested in a Miss Universe Runner-up instead of the actual winner, can we still say Kurara Chibana has lost?

    From an alternative point of view, perhaps by not winning the title has made Kurara truly and even more unforgettable in the audiences’ hearts. Although it is still early to say, but thoughout the next decade or so, when people mention Miss Japan or Miss Universe 2006, I’m pretty sure Kurara’s name will pop up followed by praises and appreciative comments.

    I’m not a Japanese. I’m not speaking for Japan.

    I’m just speaking from a human’s point of view.

    If years after 2006, we could still recall that charming and passionate Kurara Chibana in our hearts, perhaps that’s the kind of quality a Miss Universe titleholder should have. For Kurara to have embodied that quality, she not only has already surpassed the status of a Miss Universe winner but has also gone the way of being a gorgeous legend in people’s hearts.

    Yours truly,
    C’est Moi.

    1. Thank you for that comment! It’s worthy of a blog post in itself!

      I don’t really follow mainstream media much, but I do remember Kurara getting more publicity last year than Mori did this year. Who could forget that stunning samurai-style outfit she wore? That image will remain in our minds for years to come, whereas as La Flor said, there’s nothing particularly Japanese about Mori. As far as personalities go, I’ll take your word for it.

      All credit to both of them though, and I’ve just read over at Japan Probe, that she is hoping to join the cast of Heroes! Good luck to her.

  2. I think Riyo Mori was the best contestant at Miss Universe. She is beautiful and I love everything about her

    Having said that, i also think Kurara Chibana should have won last year. In a contest between Riyo and Kurara? Hard to say but I would go for Kurara.

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