Japanese Model Yoshimatsu Ikumi Wins Miss International 2012

Miss International Winners 2012

Yoshimatsu Ikumi, a model from Saga prefecture, was crowned ‘Miss International’ in Okinawa on October 21. This is the first time since the annual ‘Miss International’ pageant began in 1960 that a Japanese delegate has taken first place, prompting widespread joy at the global recognition of Japanese women’s beauty. While Yoshimatsu’s win has attracted great attention on the Japanese internet, Japanese netizens have taken it upon themselves to discuss whether or not Yoshimatsu deserved the title over her equally beautiful counterparts. Many say that she looks considerably older than her twenty-five years, and that she doesn’t fit the Japanese beauty ideal at all. Regardless, for the next year Yoshimatsu will take up her position as ‘Miss International 2012′ until the competition returns to Japan in 2013.

From Yomiuri Shimbun:

Japanese Representative Yoshimatsu Ikumi Becomes ‘Miss International’

On October 21, the 2012 Miss International worldwide pageant was held in Naha city in Okinawa, and the Japanese representative, model Yoshimatsu Ikumi (25), took the title. She is the first Japanese representative to win the title since the competition began in 1960.

Following the pageant, Yoshimatsu told us the reason for her victory:

“In order to beat the Western contestants, whose figures are superior to mine, I thought that I had no choice but to focus on my good points, so I put my effort into the speech. I believe women will become leaders in opinion in the next generation, so I spoke about the kind of things I would like to do.”

Miss International Yoshimatsu Ikumi swimsuit round 2

As a native of Tosu city in Saga prefecture, Yoshimatsu was inaugurated as a tourism ambassador for the region in March this year. As a sportswoman, she was an athlete in the 100m hurdles in her high school track and field club. Her hobby is running, and she entered this year’s Tokyo marathon, successfully completing the race.

On winning the pageant, she said:

“I don’t know if I’m in a dream or reality. Of course, I approached the pageant with the intention of winning, but I’m overjoyed to have won.”

Miss International Dress

She also won a separate prize awarded by members of the media for ‘Miss Photogenic’.

In this year’s competition, representatives of 69 countries and regions participated. The competition was held in Okinawa commemorating forty years of Okinawa being returned to Japan, and 37 years since the 1975 Okinawa Expo was held there. As a result of the attractions of Okinawa, it has been decided that the competition will be held in the prefecture every year until 2021.

Miss International is taken to be one of the three major global pageants. This year was its 52nd year.

Comments from 2ch.net

38 :名無しさん@13周年:

Amazing. She’s kind of like an actress from the old days w

40 :名無しさん@13周年:

No matter which way you look at her, she’s like the babes you see down at the pubs/bars. Thank you very much.

41.名無しさん@13周年:

You guys are really harsh and nasty…I guess she’s just a conventional beauty.

42.名無しさん@13周年:

I have no idea how foreigners see beauty. Seems like a forty-year old sex industry hag w. Was the whole thing fixed? w

43. 名無しさん@13周年:

She’s a beauty, but there are much more beautiful people in Japan.

44. 名無しさん@13周年:

Her make-up is too thick so you can’t see her actual face, but I don’t suppose she’s a beauty or a shit.

67 :名無しさん@13周年:

No matter the nationality of the person who takes the prize, they all have the same face.

71 :名無しさん@13周年:

I think she’s pretty, but the level of selection is a bit of a mystery. I reckon that if Horikita Maki went in that competition she’d also take the prize though.

79 :名無しさん@13周年:

I don’t really get the Western view of beauty.

80 :名無しさん@13周年:

Damn, I mean, I don’t want it to be thought that this is representative of Japan…

82 :名無しさん@13周年

Is it because the age of people using this board is quite old, I wonder? I can’t hear anyone booing. For me, she’s totally ugly w Plus she’s got the type of face I hate.
She looks like she must be around forty, and like the kind of model who appears in housewife magazines.

151 :名無しさん@13周年:

Seems like she’s got the kind of face foreigners might like. It’s the complete opposite sense to the Lolita-style girls we 2ch guys like. The perspective and the level is different, so we can’t even understand it, let alone be satisfied with it. I’ve forgotten whether it’s Miss Universe or Miss International who competes most based on physical beauty, but ignoring their personalities, but I guess that Westerner’s perspective of beauty has come to be more multi-ethnic because of people of colour. At any rate, there are loads of beauties in Okinawa.

152 :名無しさん@13周年:

She’s beautiful, but she looks like a transgender person ><She’s old ><

名無しさん@13周年:

She’s a beauty but is she really 25???

230 :名無しさん@13周年:

Japanese people’s tastes are different to this. They also differ from the foreigners who win. She has the kind of face that Asians ought to have when seen from white people’s perspective.

231 :名無しさん@13周年:

She doesn’t seem that beautiful to me…

232 :名無しさん@13周年:

She’s kind of like a Bond-girl

240 :名無しさん@13周年:

I don’t think I’d do her, and she’s not my type, but there’s no argument that she’s beautiful. I think that if she came up to you and spoke to you, you’d be nervous and wouldn’t be able to answer straight away, and you’d sweat. She’s clearly from a different world to me.

242 :名無しさん@13周年:

A beautiful woman is a beautiful woman. But she’s someone who has an older face if you think about it in the traditional sense of Japanese beauty. I mean, she’s not a bit different from the sense of beauty in Japan. She’s been chosen based on what someone white would go for.

What do you think? Do Westerners/white people have a different sense of beauty from Asians/Japanese?

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  • Kiff

    Naaaaaa man… She’s not that beautiful…

  • MrT

    Maybe shes a squeaky

    • the ace of books

      Urbandictionary gave me six different definitions for that word, and none of them seem to fit (although I rather like the idea of comparing her to a limbless, stuffingless toy hedgehog). So – your meaning?

      • anon

        See his comment in the Japanese youth not interested in sex post.

  • http://www.facebook.com/deejaytaufiq Mohamad Taufiq Morshidi

    She looks like the headroom teacher from My boss My Hero.

    • http://www.facebook.com/inahson Yaminah Jamison

      Kashii Yuu? Eh….. I dunno about that one…

      • ChuckRamone

        Funny you mentioned her. She’s my type, though I think she looks nothing like this Miss International.

        • http://www.facebook.com/inahson Yaminah Jamison

          Yeah she totally doesn’t. It’s said she has a perfect symmetrical face too (which may explain why her face looks different/unique) so that’s a main reason why i say she doesn’t look like her.

  • Kate

    Eh meh. She is very attractive but not anywhere close as beautiful or striking as some of the other contestants…. personally I think Miss Paraguay, Miss New Zeland, and Miss Dominican Republic were the most beautiful women there. Miss Portugal was the least attractive.

    http://www.miss-international.org/en/international-delegate.html

    • vincent

      Ms Paraguay and Ms Poland have my vote.

  • Peter Barefoot

    Sorely disappointed. She looks like she’s over 40 to me. I think maybe she is more beautiful in actual life than when under all that makeup and spotlight.

  • Paul M

    Sorry, but as one Japanese commenter said, if she came up to you in a coffee shop or somewhere you’d be tongue tied and sweating. She is hot, no doubt about that. My only problem is that she’s a bit skinny, I would definitely encourage her to eat more pies.

    • besudesu
      • Paul M

        www? What the? *clicks link* Oh! Nice one, thank you. I’ve visited Japan several times on business and as a tourist so I’m hoping to get a more in depth insight into this fascinating country and culture through this forum – thank you.

        • besudesu

          Thanks Paul! We’re really glad that you’re enjoying the site and that it will be useful to you!

  • Lovely

    interesting. I noticed that the Maki woman someone referred to his very plain and her cheeks are really chubby like a fat person’s.

  • the ace of books

    Interesting, all the comments about her face. I think I agree most with this comment: “No matter the nationality of the person who takes the prize, they all have the same face.” Because it’s pretty much true. These beauty pagents all look for a particular style of beauty – not what’s actually international, but all conforming to a certain type of beauty that is, in fact (no matter how much they wish to deny it) Western in style.

    So yeah. Her face is … well, it’s just a face. No feelings about it. On the other hand, idgaf what people say, imo she looks elegant in the swimsuit photos. I don’t know about sexy, but very aesthetic.

    I find that the most attractive (to me) and interesting-looking people aren’t the ones in the beauty contests….

  • Adrianojapan

    OMG!! only now I got the meaning of “ニューハーフ”… I thought the “new halfs” ppl talk here were the young half-japanese idols we see everyday on tv.. no wonder never got called back by that cutie I tried to chat up “but you’re so beautiful, I bet you’re a nyuu-haafu” …. thanks japanCRUSH! will never FAIL again! ^^V

    btw I think the transgender Haruna Ai so much hottier than this miss universe.

    • besudesu

      Talk about faux pas…glad we could help!

  • TheOrz

    A little too thick…

    • ChuckRamone

      Get outta town. You’re one of those guys who goes for the kawaii type, eh?

    • dim mak

      Not at all

  • miic

    beauty contests is for rich homosexuals.

  • lel

    Miss International/World/Universe pageants are as much about choosing the most attractive woman as the European song contest is about choosing the best song.

    Obviously they are all very nice, but I wouldn’t read too much into it.

  • besudesu

    ‘Beauty’ is socially and culturally constructed, and placing value on it is subjective at best, damaging at worst. But what none of the netizens have spotted in their discussion of Western ideals of Asian beauty is that the entire judging panel was actually Japanese, with the exception of the Honduran ambassador to Japan, who was a competitor in the pageant in 1977. Furthermore, the judges were mostly women, who will naturally have different aesthetic preferences from our friends at 2chan…

    It’s just as the old Japanese proverb says: 蓼食う虫も好き好き(たでくうむしもすきずき)[Tade kuu mushi mo sukizuki]. This means ‘there’s no accounting for taste’, but literally ‘some bugs eat knotweed and they like it.’

    • Kate

      Waiiitttttt, so let me sum this up correctly: a bunch of mostly Japanese women picked a Japanese woman as the most beautiful? Well that pretty much takes all credibility away from this competition. Of course an almost all Japanese panel (mostly japanese women) are going to pick the Japanese woman as “most beautiful”. The ONLY way it would of been fair would be to.have.judges from none of the countries competing or to have an array of.judges from different countries. Now it makes sense why she won, because frankly, compared to other contestants, she isnt even half as attractive. I mean Miss Paraguay and New Zeland leave her in the dust…..but yeah this was about as objective and fair as the Scopes Monkey case with a jury full of southern baptist.

      • rollin wit 9’s

        just learn to stop paying attention to beauty pageants. They’re about as fair as a heavyweight boxing match.
        In my opinion, peoples vote should count but then we’d see the western girls winning hands down every single time, with South American gals owning!
        Why do you think one chinese gal won once, when the damn pageant was hosted in china, go figure. And if i recall, she couldnt even speak english.
        but again who cares, its a beauty pageant! A waste of my time and yours.

  • moshimoshi

    The 2ch (not 2chan which is futaba) comment #44 says something like “It is nonsense to call someone a beauty when she wears so much makeup that you can’t see her actual face.” The translations of other comments are bad, too.

    • besudesu

      Again, moshimoshi, I’m sorry if you disagree with the translations. japanCRUSH wants its translations to be as accurate as possible. Still, it seems that you read the site very closely, so we hope that you enjoy at least part of what we do.

  • Cleo

    They don’t believe that Psy’s success is genuine but they believe THIS about themselves!??

    • royaljester

      Yet another classy racist rant by Cleo

    • Ryoma

      Are you the same Cleo as on JT? I’m Reformed ^_^

  • rainy days

    >2chan
    To be precise it’s 2ch.Futaba is 2chan(chan’s father)

    • besudesu

      You’re right rainy days. I’ll change it to 2ch. But actually in English we often see 2chan used to refer to both 2ch and futaba, which is confusing! So thanks for your comment. We’ll just use the URLs from now on.

  • Kochigachi

    All I can say is thank you to Plastic surgeon

    • expatrick

      Funny, because the only way Koreans can be beautiful is through plastic surgery.

  • 孟恬

    lol, for me, most of the comments read like “She is not an 2x year old that looks like teen! How can anybody be so perverted that he can like a woman that looks like one?”

  • dim mak

    not loli enough for japan i see

  • Kim

    I hope she ends up doing AV

  • elizabeth

    What does a beautiful body and/or face have to do with world peace?

  • Owbak

    The Chinese take pictures of Caucasians because they encounter specimens of perfection in esthetics : round eyes
    with segmented upper eyelids, decent noses to wear glasses, narrow faces that don’t occupy excess space in photographs,
    hair so soft that it’s silky and manageable for stylists, skin that reflects light to the best advantage for photographers
    and painters, the ability to roll their tongues to pronounce the R and RR, the buttom well rounded but not grotesque like
    a freak, slender calves and their voice is exotic and sonorous. In summary, the Caucasians have the ability to evoke
    yearnings, to stimulate the dream of tomorrow and to create a sense of mystery.
    Have you ever observed a woman with blue eyes (green or grey), brown hair, pale skin ? When light falls on her, the image
    is oo la la breathtaking. If that’s not a trophy woman, I don’t know who’s.These’re a woman’s most fungible assets,
    instantly exchangeable for love, money or power. On a whim, she can destroy the world.

    • Fire

      all distant culture creates a sense of mystery, to easterner its the westerner and vice versa. It is enjoyable to read this description, are you a writer?

    • expatrick

      What does that have to do with Japan or this article? White women are the hottest and Asian women are second runner up.

      • expatrick

        Stop stalking me you psycho Indo Muslim!

  • Owbak

    The Chinese take pictures of Caucasians because they encounter specimens of perfection in esthetics : round eyes
    with segmented upper eyelids, decent noses to wear glasses, narrow faces that don’t occupy excess space in photographs,
    hair so soft that it’s silky and manageable for stylists, skin that reflects light to the best advantage for photographers
    and painters, the ability to roll their tongues to pronounce the R and RR, the buttom well rounded but not grotesque like
    a freak, slender calves and their voice is exotic and sonorous. In summary, the Caucasians have the ability to evoke
    yearnings, to stimulate the dream of tomorrow and to create a sense of mystery.
    Have you ever observed a woman with blue eyes (green or grey), brown hair, pale skin ? When light falls on her, the image
    is oo la la breathtaking. If that’s not a trophy woman, I don’t know who’s.These’re a woman’s most fungible assets,
    instantly exchangeable for love, money or power. On a whim, she can destroy the world.

  • expatrick

    Japanese women are NATURALLY more beautiful than Korean women.

  • Mansoor

    She is really gorgeous and stunning. I love her. Hope one day I will be with her as couple

  • Lulu

    Ikumi is beautiful! So who is saying that she’s “too old”? PedoBear?

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