By Christine Reiko Yano
After global struggle II, jap american citizens in Hawai‘i sought to carve a good area of interest of public citizenship locally. In 1953 individuals of the Honolulu eastern Junior Chamber of trade and their other halves created a good looks contest, the Cherry Blossom pageant (CBF) Queen festival, which quick turned an annual spectacle for the starting to be city inhabitants of Honolulu. Crowning the good Girl analyzes the festival via its many years of improvement to the current inside a number of frameworks of gender, type, and race/ethnicity. Drawing on large archival study; interviews with CBF queens, contestants, and organizers; and player statement within the 50th Annual pageant as a volunteer, Christine Yano paints a fancy portrait of not just a attractiveness competition, but in addition a community.
The examine starts with the topic of attractiveness pageants in most cases and Asian American good looks pageants specifically, interrogating the problems they elevate, embedding them inside their histories, and interpreting them as a part of an international tradition that has taken its version from the omit the US contest. bankruptcy weaves a posh photo of the categorical historic and modern contexts of the CBF Queen festival in its infancy through coming near near the competition from assorted views, together with that of its organizer, the Honolulu jap Junior Chamber of trade. bankruptcy 3 examines the early improvement of the CBF within the Nineteen Fifties and Nineteen Sixties, its glory years. Yano will pay shut awareness to where of the CBF in mild of inner divisions in the jap American group, interethnic kin in Hawai‘i, tourism, Nikkei groups within the continental usa, and kinfolk with Japan. She follows the competition during the a long time into the Nineteen Nineties, including corresponding "herstories"—extensive narratives drawn from interviews with CBF queens. every one narrative is preceded by way of a observation that issues up the topics of the interview and the altering position of jap American girls and the CBF by way of race/ethnicity, gender, and id. The paintings concludes by way of framing problems with race, ethnicity, spectacle, and neighborhood in the intertwined issues of niceness and banality.
In tying the Cherry Blossom pageant Queen festival to pictures of group, <i>Crowning the great lady demonstrates the ways that public occasions resembling fairs and wonder contests are significant to performances of id, tradition, social classification, and politics. it is going to be of specified curiosity to scholars and students operating in anthropology, sociology, historical past, ethnic reviews, and women’s reviews.
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Additional info for Crowning the Nice Girl: Gender, Ethnicity, and Culture in Hawai'i's Cherry Blossom Festical
She used to be the 1st Queen of Okinawan ancestry, one of many few non-Honolulu contestants to win, one of many few blue-collar Queens, and one of many few who was once no longer a scholar on the college of Hawai‘i on the time of crowning (although she was once a pupil past and obtained the aid of her sorority sisters). She wears those differences proudly, remodeling the crown right into a badge of attempt and success. in response to her, it’s no longer that she used to be quite decided to win, yet extra that given the percentages, she used to be astonished to stroll away with the crown. She attributes her profitable partly to her confidence—not in victory, yet in herself. of those quite a few differences, the one who Gwen retains coming again to is the truth that she is, in her phrases, a “country lady” from Kāne‘ohe. Kāne‘ohe is a city at the different facet of the Ko‘olau mountain variety from Honolulu on O‘ahu; even though through the 2000s it has grown right into a suburb of Honolulu, on the time of Gwen’s crowning, it used to be thought of rural and far-off. this sort of place-based identification speaks to the metropolitan (here, Honolulu-centric) na114 bankruptcy 4 Fig. five. 15th Cherry Blossom Queen Gwen Nishizawa, 1967 – 1968 ture of the festival, in addition to extra commonly the measure to which Hawai‘i through the overdue Nineteen Sixties was once ruled through a unmarried city middle. Even on O‘ahu, humans from extra rural components felt a little ignored of the highlight of the CBF and different large-scale public occasions. this sort of peripheral feel used to be even superior on neighbor islands. the truth that Gwen’s victory used to be perceived as a victory for Kāne‘ohe by way of humans of varied ethnicities demonstrates the measure to which the herstor ies i | 1950 s– 1960 s a hundred and fifteen CBF had grown past its racial/ethnic limitations. To humans in Kāne‘ohe, the CBF was once extra a Honolulu occasion than a eastern American one. Gwen’s victory because the first CBF Queen of Okinawan ancestry is typically masked through her Naichi surname. It had taken the HJJCC fifteen years to crown a lady of Okinawan ancestry as their consultant, yet they did so basically obliquely, opting for a Queen who simply “passed” as Naichi. even supposing many folks didn't notice she used to be of Okinawan ancestry, she made Cherry Blossom heritage while she traveled to Okinawa as Queen at her personal cost (HJJCC 1968:52–64). She additionally spoke of Okinawa in her ultimate speech as Queen. Okinawa therefore grew to become a public textual content, finishing years of silence within the CBF. Gwen increases category concerns via describing her family members as blue-collar and mentioning that she was once no longer a school pupil on the time of the competition. She was once now not inevitably the 1st blue-collar CBF Queen, yet she echoes the generally held conception that this was once a competition for ojōsan. possibly simply because Gwen comes from a blue-collar history, she is extra conscious about the undesirable mixture of a Cherry Blossom Queen who works as a cocktail waitress. the teachings of conserving the name of CBF Queen expand in lots of instructions. Gwen has selected to take one crucial element — self-presentation — and propel that right into a profession.