Meet Tokyo Motor Show race queens

Fit to Post Autos

Tokyo Motor Show race queens Miki and Emi pose. (Photo courtesy of Cheryl Tay)

She hardly exercises — save for the occasional horse stances she does at home when she feels like it — and her secret to maintaining her figure is to avoid eating at night.

That's what Japanese full-time model Emi Shimizu told me when I interviewed her at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, which opens to public this weekend.

Tall and lanky with an envying flat tummy, Emi was one of the show queens at tyre manufacturer Goodyear's exhibition booth. Along with four other queens, the roster is rotated such that only two of them are 'on show' at any one time.

After six hours of nonstop walking of all the exhibit halls and thronging though the numerous vehicles and girls on display, Emi was the one I remembered the most because of her 'kawaii' disposition and lingering looks.

Fortunately for me, she speaks basic conversational English — which she picked up in high school — so I was able to chat more with her. Emi has been modeling for seven years now — a quick search for her name on the internet revealed many more photos of her portfolio.

A regular feature at Tokyo Motor Show, Tokyo Auto Salon and at other motor racing events, Emi feels that the toughest thing about being a show queen is the need to keep posing and repeating the same poses throughout the day in super high heels.

"It's a hard job but I like it!" she chirped.

On the same shift as Emi was Miki Oohashi, a full-time model who only started two years ago. Despite having less experience than Emi, Miki was no less professional than Emi in striking up poses and seducing the camera.

Although Miki is not able to speak English, my basic knowledge of the Japanese language was enough to understand her telling me that one of the challenges about being a show queen is bearing with the cold in those barely-there outfits.

Friendly and ever-ready to impress with their flurry of poses, both remained tight-lipped about their salaries though, smiling it off that the rates vary from model to model (based on experience and demand) and also depends on the assignment.

Guess how old they are?

Emi is 27 years old, while Miki is 25. I thought they were 18!

Passionate about cars and motorsports, Cheryl Tay is a familiar face in prominent local, regional as well as international automotive titles. More of her at