Newly crowned Miss Universe Japan criticized for not being Japanese enough.
The newly crowned Miss Universe Japan — who was born and raised in Nagasaki and speaks fluent Japanese — isn’t Japanese enough, some critics say.
Ariana Miyamoto has had to defend her heritage and her crown after some pointed out she is a “hafu,” a term for half-Japanese people. The 20-year-old beauty queen’s mom is Japanese and her dad is African-American.
“She has too much black blood in her to be Japanese,” one borderline racist critic posted online, according to Japan’s RocketNews24.
“Even though she’s Miss Universe Japan, her face is foreign no matter how you look at it!” another wrote on Twitter, according to a translation by the Washington Post.
In her first interview after winning the top spot in the contest, the biracial beauty explained that while she doesn’t “look Japanese,” she is truly a representative of the country and the culture. She’s a master of Japanese calligraphy, grew up in Nagasaki and returned to the country after living in the U.S. for high school. By birth, she is a citizen of Japan.
Miyamoto, a model and bartender, hesitantly entered Japan’s Miss Universe qualification pageant. She was afraid her “foreign” appearance would disqualify her, she told RocketNews24.
The 20-year-old says she considers Mariah Carey, who is also biracial, a role model.
She went through a lot of difficulties before becoming apopular singing sensation,” Miyamoto said of the pop diva. “She faced some racial hurdles, similar to myself, but she overcame them and became a top star.”
Miyamoto will represent Japan in the Miss Universe 2015 pageant.
“The world competition is going to be tough, but I’ll believe in myself and continue doing me best!” she said.