Asianmiss Country : Japan
Kurara Chibana (Chibana Kurara), a Japanese model, was born on March 27, 1982, is a native of Naha City (the capital of Okinawa Prefecture). She competed in Miss Universe 2006 and ended up as the 1st Runner-up.
Chibana is known for her participation in Miss Universe 2006 where she represented Japan. She won the best national costume award for her samurai/ninja-style outfit designed by the artist Yuichi Miyagawa and the designer Yoshiyuki Ogata, and later became the first runner-up for Miss Universe 2006. During the final, Chibana wore a black evening gown exhibiting intricate laticework designed by Olivier Theyskens for Rochas, and at the preliminaries, Chibana sported a unique red and pink-hued gown with silver corseting designed by Novespazio.
Her achievement was remarkable in the light of the fact that Japan has never come this close to winning the crown since 1959, when Akiko Kojima won the first Miss Universe crown for the Land of the Rising Sun. Kurara Chibana's successor, Miss Universe Japan 2007, Riyo Mori won as Miss Universe 2007 in Mexico City. She also managed to outdo the two Japanese women who managed to enter the semi finals in most recent years (Miyako Miyazaki, fourth runner-up in 2003 and Mizuho Sakaguchi, 3rd runner-up in 1988).
She was an educational-philosophy student at Sophia University. She got her Bachelor of Arts degree in 2006. She turned down a job offer from Japanese publishing company in order to compete in Miss Universe Japan pageant, which was held on April 25, 2006 in Tokyo. Kurara now works as a feature reporter, flying around the world to interview unique people for a leading fashion magazine in Japan. She writes and takes photos of their lifestyles. She can speak four languages: English, Spanish, French, and Japanese.