About the Author

Bailey Irene Midori Hoy is an M.A. Student at the University of British Columbia, and graduate of the University of Toronto. A fourth generation Japanese Canadian, her interests involved work related to diaspora, feminism, and material culture. In 2020 she was a co-recipient of the Richard Lee Insights Through Asia Challenge, where she conducted research on the relationship between kimono and Japanese Canadian women, which was recently published this year in the journal Re: locations. In 2021 she finished her senior thesis on Japanese American Beauty Queens. She is currently a fellow at the University of British Columbia’s Institute for Asian Research, Centre for Japanese Research. She hopes that her research will help healing and communication between the generations, and make information more accessible to her community. She is also interested in the interplay of power between Japanese diasporic communities and Japanese soft power.

Document Type



This paper examines beauty pageants held at incarceration centers during the Japanese-American internment. Although there has been literature created on beauty pageants before and after WWII, there is very little information on these war-era pageants, despite their prolific nature. Using mostly primary sources and material culture, the paper examines the coverage of the contestants, clothing, and presentation within the Center’s newspapers and in coverage by the Wartime Relocation Authority, whilst also problematizing uncritical readings of these documents. This paper highlights the difficulty in determining agency within spaces of incarceration, and calls for further research on the subject.



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