Miss Magazine contest finalist can thank famous DNA for contributing to her good looks.

In 607, Japan dispatched a diplomatic mission to China’s Sui Dynasty court. Although this preceded the period of official enforced isolation of Japan’s Edo period, Japan’s island nation status meant it still had little contact with other nations, and Japanese diplomat Ono no Imoko was chosen for the important role of head envoy, an honor which was bestowed upon him again when yet another mission was sent to China in 609.

▼ While Ono no Imoko is long deceased, his name, and likeness, are used by a Japanese Twitter account.

Given the highly stylized nature of Ono no Imoko’s portrait, it’s hard to judge whether he was considered handsome or not. However, apparently his DNA has the makings for an attractive appearance, because one of his descendants is a finalist for one of Japan’s most coveted bikini modeling awards.

For 2018, publisher Kodansha is bringing back its Miss Magazine contest, ending a seven-year hiatus for what was, until 2011, an annual competition. A cross-promotion with the company’s Young Magazine and Weekly Shonen Magazine manga anthologies, Miss Magazine has narrowed its field down to 16 contestants, one of whom is the above-pictured Sarina Enoki.

The 21-year-old Tokyoite lists her hobbies as basketball, badminton, and swimming, but the most surprising part of her profile is the tidbit that Ono no Imoko is one of her ancestors. “I hope I can have good new for him,” Enoki says of her aspirations of winning.

▼ Enoki (seated in the middle of the front row) and the rest of the Miss Magazine finalists

Other famous descendants of Ono no Imoko include 9th century poets Ono no Komachi and Ono no Takamura, and also 10th century calligrapher Ono no Michikaze. Enoki has also displayed a talent for the arts, starring as a samurai’s daughter in short film Otome Sakura, for which she won the category’s best actress award at the 2017 Monaco International Film Festival for nonviolent films.

▼ English-subtitled trailer for Otome Sakura

Enoki was also cast in a supporting role for the live-action film adaptation of anime/manga Marmalade Boy.

The final stage of the Miss Magazine selection process relies on ballots cast by readers of Kodansha’s magazines between now and the end of June, with the final results being announced in mid-July. And remember, if you’re looking to place a vote for Enoki, but feel self-conscious buying an issue of Shonen Magazine to make your voice heard for a bikini contest, you can always say you’re just buying it to read the romantic comedy series.

Related: Miss Magazine official website
Source: Model Press via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Miss Magazine official website
Insert images: Twitter/@_imokono, Miss Magazine official website