Saké & Miss

Do you like pageants?

In France, the Miss France competition is still popular. For Miss France 2024, more than 7.24 million viewers were in front of their small screens according to Médiamétrie. Eve Gilles saw herself consecrated. The 2022 edition brought together 6.72 million spectators, which is the historic low, unlike 2020 with 8.6 million people.

Other competitions are also eagerly awaited such as Miss World which has existed since 1951. India, Venezuela, Jamaica and the United Kingdom are the countries which have seen the most winners and last year, in 2023, 2 .3 billion viewers from 162 countries followed the competition!

As for Miss Universe, we had the chance to see the coronation of Iris Mittenaere in 2021 (cocorico!). The competition dates from 1952 and was created in the USA unlike Miss World which was born in the United Kingdom.

Iris Mittenaere

Of course, these beauty contests generate a lot of ink. For or against, everyone has strong arguments and the debate is in full swing. In Japan, the same is true. The recent Miss Japan competition caused controversy in the Land of the Rising Sun because the winner of January 22, 2024, Karolina Shiino, was not Japanese. Finally, she was born in Ukraine and came to Japan at the age of 5 before obtaining citizenship 19 years later.

Her election sparked outrage and raised questions about the notion of identity. Unfortunately for Miss Japan, she had to give up her crown because of an affair of adultery with a married man.

Karolina Shiino

Another competition caught my attention in Japan: the one of Miss Saké ! Yes, yes, you read that right, Miss SAKE!!!

Miss Saké – logo créé par Issei Kitagawa

Originally, sake is “Kuchi Kami Zaké”: sake chewed by a young woman during a Shinto ritual in a Shrine. According to legend, it was this young woman who invented nihonshu. Miss Saké is therefore the representation of this young woman.

To participate in the competition, the young woman must be between 20 and 39 years old, single and of Japanese nationality. She must love sake and know the world of nihonshu to become a perfect ambassador of Japan here and elsewhere. The competition also explains that this title aims to stimulate the social progress of women through sake and Japanese culture. There is no swimsuit parade in this election.

The first Miss Saké was elected in 2014 (so it started in 2013) and each year, the miss participates in more than 400 events around Japanese food and culture. The aim is also to promote Japan from a touristic point of view.

Miss Saké 2024

The election takes place in Japan but there are also Miss Saké competitions in 5 countries including the USA. The first Miss Saké USA was elected in New York in 2016.

It is noted that the Miss Saké are “ambassadors with aesthetic awareness and intelligence”. They therefore support the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) initiative. But they must also provide education around food and agricultural activities (rice planting, visiting producers, etc.) and Japanese cultural activities (festivals, celebrations, conferences, etc.).

SDG ou ODD en français

I also discovered that for Miss Saké’s 10th birthday, the association which is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry as well as the National Tax Agency, has decided to highlight the entire Saké family. Indeed, Miss Saké is single but sake culture does not only affect this population of women. Also, Mrs Saké was born: Saké Madame! There are several age categories up to those over 60. The election will take place on May 2, 2024: we therefore do not yet have the results. To our delight, there is also a Mr Saké!

Miss Saké 2023 is Yamada Kotoko and I might see her, I hope, at the Kura Master sake competition next May!

Miss Saké 2023

I had already seen Miss Saké 2022 at Kura Master last year. Her name is Risa Isobe.

Miss Saké 2022

Here is a little photo with the President of the Saké Jury, Xavier Thuizat as well as Paz Levinson and the President of the Shochu Jury, Christophe Davoine.

Kura Master 2023

So what do you think of this Miss Saké election? Give me your opinion in comments!

France Bleu Gironde

#France Bleu Gironde broadcast from April 25, 2024 with Marie-Corine Cailleteau: click on the link to listen to the replay more easily and go to my Instagram @chloeandwines to see my appearance on the radio in Reels!

Enjoy this article?

If you enjoyed this article you can share it with your friends and continue to discuss it on social networks.