They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder…or, should we say, the knife holder.

If you’ve ever heard of Awaji Island, located in Japan’s Seto Sea, it’s probably because you’ve heard of their traditional puppet theater practices. It takes a true Japan aficionado to know that Awaji Island is also famous for its onions.

▼ Blooming onions never tasted so good.


In a nation known for its immense variety and sheer amount of advertising and promotion, it takes a lot for any product — let alone produce — to get in the spotlight. Luckily, Awaji Island has some creative citizens.

Awaji Island is holding what they like to call their Tama Naki Bijin Contest – or “Onion Crying Beauty Contest.” Resident beauties compete to see who can cry the prettiest while chopping up an Awaji onion on a cutting board that’s conveniently placed on one of the island’s most scenic points.

The six finalists range everywhere in occupation from elementary school student to local farmer. Each contestant stars in a short commercial displaying their faces with tears and a shot of the finalists slicing into the onions. Kanoko Uemura, a university student, is currently in the lead with almost 9,000 votes.

▼ Just sell us a whole basket of onions. Seriously.

In second place is Marina Fukuhara. You can watch her version below.

And to give you an idea of the variety of contestants, here is Fumiko Hamaguchi.

▼ We particularly appreciate how precise here slicing is!

As for Japanese commenters, some of them have been crying tears of laughter over the campaign. While undoubtedly an original advertising strategy, this definitely ranks high among Japan’s “What?” moments.

If you want to cast your vote or see the other top six contestants’ videos, you can check out the official site here. All it takes is a click on your favorite entry to vote! The deadline to vote is September 30th at 11:59 p.m. (JST).

Sources: Hamusoku, Uzunokuni
Images: YouTube/株式会社うずのくに南あわじFlickr/Charlie Anzman