We grabbed a quick moment on video with Drag Race Season Ten queen Yuhua Hamasaki — making sure to keep a safe distance from her dangerous-looking lashes.
In its ten seasons so far, RuPaul and company have clearly made a point of presenting a cast of racial diversity: white queens, black queens, Puerto Rican queens with accents so thick we sometimes had to guess at what they were saying (here’s looking at you, Cynthia Lee Fontaine).
And — though they have not hugely represented in terms of numbers (there are only about a dozen in the more than 100 queens who have walked Ru’s runway, Asian queens have certainly left their mark on the competition. Picture queens like Ongina, Manila Luzon, Jujubee, Jiggly Caliente, Kim Chi, Raja — original, beautiful, often outrageous. This season, Yuhua Hamasaki joined their ranks, and from the moment she effervesced into the workroom, we knew she was a queen to be remembered.
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Yuhua is actually her birth name, though she eventually added Hamasaki in reference to Japanese pop star Ayumi Hamasaki (who has sold over 50 million records, making her the best-selling Japanese solo artist of all time). Early in Season Ten, when another queen assumed Yuhua was Japanese because of that last name (even though Yuhua is, in fact, of Chinese origin), she cannily clapped back, “Well, you’re not a real woman either!”
In addition to being on Drag Race, some of Yuhua’s claims to fame include a career as a professional seamstress and appearing in Katy Perry’s performance of “Swish Swish” on SNL (which famously introduced the world to “The Backpack Kid,” Russell Horning).
When we spoke to Yuhua, we weren’t surprised to see her looking great (including the aforementioned over-the-top lashes) and sporting her trademark bubbly energy. We were, however, a little bit surprised to hear what she had to say in response to the question: “What would you be doing if you weren’t doing drag?” But why don’t we just let her tell you?
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Last modified: February 14, 2019