60th Cherry Blossom Festival Miss Popularity
Teri Leina'ala Nakakura
Parents: Francis and Sadie Nakakura
High School: Kamehameha Schools, Kapalama Campus, 2006
College: Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Applied Mathematics, 2010
Occupation: Electrical Engineer
Ambition: To extend my knowledge and ability to design “green” buildings and self-sustaining infrastructures by becoming a professionally certified and LEED certified engineer, to become a great role model and positive influence to those I know and meet, and to live a happy life free of regrets.
Interests: Hula and Tahitian dance, outdoor running, hiking, church, going to the beach, spending time with family and friends.
This year's theme is "Kizuna," which translates as "To Bond." What Japanese tradition do you value most and why?
Watching my 75-year-old grandfather and his 91-year-old brother jokingly try to beat each other with a “kine” (wooden mallet) is a memory I will never forget. However, even sibling rivalry could not restrict them from pounding mochi in a rhythmic beat still embedded in my mind today. It is the gathering of family and friends cooperatively persistent and determined to complete a task regardless their differences, that makes “Mochitsuki” (mochi pounding) my most valued Japanese tradition. It allows for loved ones to spend time reminiscing, sharing news, and enjoying each other’s company in today’s fast-paced and individualistic society. For myself, it builds awareness of my Japanese heritage, while showing me that with discipline comes success. Most importantly it is the love, care, and dedication of others that influences me to have a positive attitude and outlook, and for which this tradition remains so strong and prevalent in my life today.