Alexis Sayuri Okihara Selected Cherry Blossom Queen

Alexis Sayuri Okihara Selected Cherry Blossom Queen

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New Queen Says She is Excited About New Adventure

Gwen Battad Ishikawa

“Grateful” and “excited” are two words that Alexis Sayuri Okihara used throughout her interview at the Hawaii Hochi, Ltd. offices a week after she was crowned the 64th Cherry Blossom Festival queen.

The 25-year-old yonsei was selected as queen from among 15 contestants. Joining her on the court are First Princess Brittney Kawahara; Princesses Ritsuko Tomari, Kristi Murakami and Asia Ayabe, who was also named Miss Popularity; and Miss Congeniality Dylan Lau.

When her name was called at the Festival Ball on March 26, Okihara said she didn’t know what to think. “It was surreal. I took a deep breath and thought of all I went through this past year. I thought of my parents and was thankful for their support, as well as that of my entire family.”

Okihara was happy that her grandparents — Harold and Ruth Okihara and Herbert and Kimiyo Marutani — flew over from Hilo on the Big Island to support her. After the Festival Ball, she went into the audience to find her family. “When I was finally able to talk to them, we all just cried. There were no words. It was all on our faces. I just tucked my head on Dad’s shoulder and we all shared that moment together.”


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