Beauty pageants are no stranger to the occasional oddball costume, but Japan is getting geeky with a Miss Universe Sailor Moon costume. The costume is being worn by Yuumi Kato, Japan’s representative for the international competition.
Sailor Moon is a long-running and beloved franchise that spans manga, anime, and video games. The tale is centered on Usagi Tsukino, an ordinary girl who is gifted with the power to transform into Sailor Moon and fight the forces of evil. This is one of the most well-known examples of the Magical Girl genre in anime and has developed a worldwide fandom. It should come as no surprise, then, that a Miss Universe Sailor Moon costume was the go-to choice for Japan’s representative in this year’s competition.
Yuumi Kato, aged 22, is Japan’s representative for the international beauty pageant. Although she was born in Japan, she suffered from a tumultuous childhood and was forced to stop going to school at the age of 13. That year, she moved to Malaysia and shortly began going to work in order to support her family. The struggles she endured in her teenage years helped her develop a strong sense of independence and a deep understanding of child poverty – a cause that is all too close to her heart.
It is perhaps understandable to see Yuumi Kato’s choice of a Miss Universe Sailor Moon costume. Both the model and the fictional character are all about combating injustice in style, though they do admittedly make use of entirely different approaches.
The Miss Universe Sailor Moon costume is being worn for the “national costume” portion of the competition – an entirely logical choice considering the cultural phenomenon that anime and manga has shown itself to be the world over. Yuumi Kato will face off against nearly one hundred other contestants at the Miss Universe competition in in Thailand on December 17, 2018.