Crowning the Nice Girl: Gender, Ethnicity, and Culture in Hawai'i's Cherry Blossom Festival
By Christine R.Yano
After World War II, Japanese Americans in Hawaii sought to carve a positive niche of public citizenship in the community. In 1953, members of the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce and their wives created a beauty contest, the Cherry Blossom Festival Queen Pageant, which quickly became an annual spectacle for the growing urban population of Honolulu.
Crowning the Nice Girl analyzes the pageant through its decades of development to the present within multiple frameworks of gender, class, and race/ethnicity. Drawing on extensive archival research; interviews with CBF queens, contestants, organizers, and participant observation in the Fiftieth Annual Festival as a volunteer, Christine Yano paints a complex portrait of not only a Beauty pageant, but also a community.
Paper: 304 pp.