The first ever mixed race Miss Japan has been forced to defend herself against accusations that she ‘isn’t Japanese enough’ because her father is African-American.
Ariana Miyamoto was born and raised in Nagasaki, speaks fluent Japanese, and has been chosen to represent Japan in the Miss Universe pageant.
But the 20-year-old beauty queen used her first television appearance after her selection to apologetically explain to reporters that while she doesn’t ‘look Japanese’ on the outside, on the inside, there are ‘many Japanese things about her’.
She has faced a storm of criticism that she is ‘not Japanese enough’ to represent the country because although her mother is Japanese, her father is American.
In Japan, Miyamoto is called a ‘hafu’, a Japanese term used to refer to someone who is biracial.
There is a feeling in the country, one of the least ethnically diverse in the world, that mixed-race people are not fully Japanese.
Website Byokan Sunday and Naver Matome report that Twitter users have posted comments such as: ‘Is it okay to select a hafu to represent Japan?’ and ‘Because this is Miss Universe Japan, don’t you think hafu are a no-no?’
Others commented that she didn’t ‘look Japanese’, her face was ‘too gaijin’, meaning literally ‘outside person’, or that the country deserved a ‘pure-blooded Japanese’ beauty.
Elsewhere online, one person commented, ‘It makes me uncomfortable to say she’s representing Japan.’
Click here to continue reading…
SOURCE: AMANDA WILLIAMS