Meet Japanese race queens Toshimi and Leah

Written by Cheryl Tay on . Posted in Cheryl Tay Blog | Blog Post of Cheryl Tay

Toshimi Takahashi said she could only speak a little Mandarin when I first spoke to her. However, as the conversation went along, I concluded that her Mandarin is more fluent and accurate than mine.

The 25-year-old China-born Japanese was one of the 10 J Girls flown in specially for the Tokyo Auto Salon Singapore. Her sweet face and cheerful disposition is infectious, which explains why she was one of the most popular of the group.


She loves her job a lot, but there is just one gripe she has – having to pose in the same midriff baring outfits during winter assignments.
“I can take heat and being in the sun is fine. However, it is during the winter where we have to bear with it as we are wearing so little. We have to keep our smiles on although we feel like crying inside!” said Toshimi.

Taking a lot of pride in her work as a model, Toshimi often spends time reviewing photos taken of her so she can improve on her smiles and her poses. Not seeing herself as a race queen past the age of 30, she has also gone into acting as the next step in her career.
To the envy of many girls out there, Toshimi eats whatever she wants to eat, so long as she sticks to her golden rule of not eating past 6pm. “I used to go to the gym, as well as run, but the only thing I do now is some stretching. It is important to get a lot of rest though, I sleep a lot!”

The other J Girl that I could converse freely with was Leah Mizumura who could speak English. Having lived in the States before, the 27-year-old Tokyo-based model only returned to Japan five years ago and started modeling since.


A big fan of motor racing and cars, her favourite car is the Honda S2000 and she got excited when I showed her a picture of my pink S2000. She started liking it since it was featured in the movie “2 Fast 2 Furious”.

Used to having many people crowd around to take photos of her at events such as car shows, Leah said “it actually isn’t all that tiring to be in heels all day”. She hasn’t had any bad experiences on the job, saying that the fans are very nice people.

Leah enjoys cooking and baking cookies, but she is careful about the food she eats. Making the effort to run at least two times a week, she eats a lot of vegetables and drinks a lot of water. That helps explain her toned body and her defined stomach complete with abs.

Both Toshimi and Leah are single at the moment, hence they don’t have the issue of jealous boyfriends. Should they have one though, he has to be able to understand their work.

More of my Tokyo Auto Salon Singapore photos here.

*This article was first published on Yahoo!

Cheryl Tay

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Singapore’s only female full-time motoring and motorsports photojournalist. Independent automotive consultant and prominent local motorsports personality Cheryl Tay is uniquely passionate about all things cars and motorsports. She also has a strong passion to share her interest and knowledge, hence having a dream to become the ‘Oprah Winfrey of cars and motorsports’ and create a multimedia platform for her sharing. - A female in a male-dominated world, Cheryl Tay is Singapore’s only female full-time motoring journalist and motorsports blogger and she regularly writes for prominent titles in Singapore, Asia and internationally. (See full list of titles that Cheryl Tay writes for here.)

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