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First Ever Mixed Race Miss Japan Criticized for Not Being “Japanese Enough” Because her Father is African-American

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Miss Japan

She was born and raised in Nagasaki, Japan and speaks Japanese fluently. Her father is African-American and her mother is Japanese. But still, many are unhappy that she is the new “Miss Japan” and has been chosen to represent the country in the forthcoming Miss Universe pageant.

Meet Ariana Miyamoto, the mixed race 20-year-old beauty queen who is in the midst of this controversy.

Ever since she was crowned Miss Japan, she has constantly had to defend herself from critics who say she is not Japanese enough, just because one of her parents is American.

According to Daily Mail, she constantly has to emphasize that although she doesn’t look Japanese on the outside, there are many Japanese things about her on the inside.

Miyamoto is called a ‘hafu’, a Japanese term used to refer to someone who is biracial.

MI 2Reports state that the common perception in Japan, which is one of the least ethnically diverse countries in the world, is that mixed-race people are not fully Japanese.

Many Japanese people on social media have expressed their displeasure that Miyamoto will be representing the country.

“Is it okay to select a hafu to represent Japan?” said one commenter. “It makes me uncomfortable to say she’s representing Japan,” said another. Similar comments have poured in ever since the news was announced.

However, her supporters see nothing wrong with Miyamoto representing Japan.

For instance, Japanese  filmmaker, Megumi Nishikura says:

“Miyamoto’s selection as Miss Universe Japan is a huge step forward in expanding the definition of what it means to be Japanese. The controversy that has erupted over her selection is a great opportunity for us Japanese to examine how far we have come from our self-perpetuated myth of homogeneity while at the same time it shows us how much further we have to go.”

Ariana

Miyamoto isn’t letting the criticism get her down though. She looks up to superstar singer, Mariah Carey, for inspiration.

“She went through a lot of difficulties before becoming a popular singing sensation. She faced some racial hurdles, similar to myself, but she overcame them and became a top star, so she’s been a big influence on me,” she said.

Photo Credit: Facebook/Miss Universe Japan/Daily Mail

50 Comments

  1. Uju

    March 23, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    All I see I a beautiful woman

    • Seriously

      March 23, 2015 at 8:05 pm

      Yes, but you can’t be colorblind to the fact that she’s black too. I have mixed feelings only bcos I will personally prefer someone who looks like a native to represent how majority looks like in a country. For example, it makes more sense to have dark/brown with curly hair to represent Nigeria than a mixed person bcos majority of nigerian women are darker with tight curly hair sans the wiggis and weaves. However, Japan is a very race conscious country and white washed. If she was half white the better and wouldn’t complain.

    • tunmi

      March 23, 2015 at 11:30 pm

      I agree with that. You pick someone who reflects the majority or at least a present minority in a society. For ex, a Latina ms USA would be apt or an Asian ms USA. It’s not that you want to deny them (mixed folks), you want to give a fair representation

    • Ijeoma

      March 24, 2015 at 3:23 pm

      These Asian people idolize white people. I think their reasons are because she is mixed with black & is darker in complexion. They are known for bleaching their skin like Nigerian women & changing their features to look more “European”

  2. oyinda

    March 23, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    I am sure what pains them more is that her father is black…if she had a Caucasian father, I am sure there would not have been a problem….they can kill themselves

    • Smh

      March 23, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      Girl you took the words out of my mouth! Pure racism, i wonder why people are so intimidated by black people smh

    • fga

      March 23, 2015 at 8:08 pm

      Lol., that’s where you’re wrong. Japanese people see themselves as superior to everyone else. Even whites are called “gaijin” ( foreigner). The only person acceptable to a Japanese person is someone who is purely Japanese. They look down on Chinese, Koreans and everyone else as well. In the past their leaders killed so many Chinese people, that China considers them a nation of war criminals. So it isn’t just about being half-black. Japan has a superiority complex problem.

    • O~Intuition!

      March 23, 2015 at 10:09 pm

      Now I see why my Landlord emphatically said ” I am Japanese “, when I mistakenly asked if he speaks Mandarin (well), being a Chinese Man (in CA).
      #NowIgetIt lol

    • Zizi

      March 24, 2015 at 12:20 am

      2014 Asian next top model was also mixed, and her kind of mix is even too obvious , she’s dark with a hair that almost looked like African hair, during one her interviews she said” I pray the Japanese ppl will look at me or chose me to work in some modeling company beyond my skincolor , i hope they will see my zeal, my passion ” she’s also not accepted by Japanese ,she looked bullied , she lookedand behave like someone who has been alot trouble fighting for survival in a place she calls her country.i pray one day they will all be accepted by their society as a human. Becareful the partner you chose for your children might suffer for what they no nothing about, these people are innocents of these racial issues.

    • Ijeoma

      March 24, 2015 at 3:30 pm

      O~Intuition- you can’t ask any Asian person that question. That’s ignorant. You wouldn’t want someone walking up to you and asking if you speak Twi or Ask if you’ve seen a lion before.

  3. Tatler

    March 23, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Well some years ago you couldn’t enter nigerian beauty contests if you were half caste.

    • SOLO ACT

      March 23, 2015 at 8:35 pm

      and your point?

    • ada nnewi

      March 23, 2015 at 11:53 pm

      Her point is every race is selectively racist and “half castes” have a tough time trying to figure out where they belong…

    • Stephanie-feld

      March 23, 2015 at 9:08 pm

      It’s 2015 and you still use the offensive derogatory term “half caste”.

    • Tatler

      March 24, 2015 at 12:48 pm

      Yep and will continue to do so, though it certainly isn’t used in the derogatory manner you mention. I take it we must be from different gens.

    • Tatler

      March 24, 2015 at 1:27 pm

      Just stating an observation & leave it others to use as they like. But I for one don’t do racism, it’s very alien to me.

  4. EllesarisEllendil

    March 23, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    Before Nigerians jump on the self-righteous wagon. What country complains at the amount of fair people that win beauty pageants????
    Beautiful Woman though.

    • Ada Nnewi

      March 24, 2015 at 4:42 pm

      Thank You!!!!

  5. daisy

    March 23, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    this is just funny. Really.

  6. Tosin

    March 23, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    She is beautiful! Like a young Alicia.

  7. tunmi

    March 23, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    She’s gorgeous. Perhaps there should be a “Miss Hafu” competition. You do not get to tell a culture what should be representative of that culture, the people of that culture should be the one to do that. See the United States for the representation of Black. It gets lighter each decade.

    What would be a fair way of doing this? Separate competitions and celebrating both winners? Or keep it all inclusive?

  8. @edDREAMZ

    March 23, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    a.k.a EDWIN CHINEDU AZUBUKO said…
    .
    She gats thick skin……
    .
    .
    ***CURRENTLY IN JUPITER***

  9. SOLO ACT

    March 23, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    i just really need mixed people to go an sit DOWN! why is it that all their ambitions relate to BEAUTY and TALENT. cant they just go to school like others. mchew

    • missy

      March 23, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      Actually many of us do go to school and excel at it. So chew on your feelings of inferiority.

      It is annoying when people want to tell you how to identify yourself when you are mixed. If the Japanese constituition allows her Japanese nationality based on one parent, then she is allowed to do anything a full Japanese person can.
      It reminds me of a Nigerian immigration officer telling me i wasnt supposed to have a Nigerian passport. And i asked him to take it up with the forefathers who wrote the constitution . I made sure i took down his name and details and reported him.

      ignorance is bliss, but people need to realise the world has truly gone global and deal the hell with it. Mixed children are not going anywhere, its only going to get worst because many mixed people are marrying each other and their offsprings are getting harder to identify.

    • SOLO ACT

      March 24, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      excuse me but why do biracial people always think that blacks feel they are inferior to them?. i see a lot of you really cling to this notion that black people are scared or have a feeling of insecurity around you. do u ever tell that to the other half you are mixed with? if you are mixed with white i bet u dont tell that to white girls cuz they would put u straight in your PLACE but since u are growing wings on me let me help you CUT IT! i do not feel inferior to a biracial person. ok. is that enough for your tender heart? lol secondly i stand by my statement!

      MOST MIXED PEOPLE WANT TO BE IN THE TALENT INDUSTRY esp those that are below the age of 25. its a shame that i see latina, asian and black women in huge numbers in school but i see biracial women(those mixed with black) mostly dating athletes, rappers and trying to model on instagram. i am not knocking your hustle.

    • Mohammad

      March 23, 2015 at 11:25 pm

      Tell that to Barrack Obama, Chuka Umunna and many other mixed-race people in jobs that you probably approve of.
      You ask why their ambitions must relate to beauty and talent?! If your ambitions do not involve nurturing a talent that you already have/show, then I am really sorry for you. It probably explains your bitterness. Please pay attention people. Do what you have an aptitude for. No do follow-follow like our ironically monikered “solo act”.

    • Nkechi

      March 24, 2015 at 3:23 am

      The earth is the Lord’s and it’s fullness therein why should I be oppressed or intimidated my someone else who thinks he is superior. God made us for great purposes and I will certainly enjoy all He has for me. Guess what? I am attracted to winners, those who defeat racial discrimination inclusive.

    • Iris

      March 24, 2015 at 5:28 am

      Is this a serious comment? My God…

  10. elsie

    March 23, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    If I may ask, were the judges japanese? She deserved to win and they gave her the crowm, period.

  11. le coco

    March 23, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    i have had enuff of all this, “you’re not……….. enuf” please no one gets to tel sm1 that they are not enuff.. this young girl grew up in japan.. speaks the language and knows the culture.. isnt that the criteria for these pageants?.. why should she have to look like the majority.. if she is representing the majority then what about the minority… why should a nigerian contestant have to be brown/ dark before she is considered pageant material.. abi the hausa’s and fulani’s that make up about 21% of our population, arent they light skinned?.. why shouldnt they be represented? as for this young lady, she is the perfect person to get people talking.. the japanese should start to acknowledge the beauty in being diverse, and respect other peoples diversity.. GOOD FOR HER…

    • halia

      March 24, 2015 at 3:16 am

      Preach!!!!

  12. Mr Ebeniro

    March 23, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    Have the Japs won it before? No. For the first time ever you Japs have a decent chance. Be grateful, you need that black.

    • halia

      March 24, 2015 at 3:13 am

      Lol! Thats another way of looking at it!!!

    • Dom!!!

      March 24, 2015 at 10:57 am

      LOolllll

    • caroline

      May 31, 2015 at 2:33 am

      Yes. Japan won miss universe in 1957. Japan was the first out of the Orients to win Miss Universe. Please research your facts first before saying anything.

    • caroline

      May 31, 2015 at 2:48 am

      Even though miss Ariana isn’t full Japanese I’m sure she will do well. I She is beautiful. I am of mixed Japanese descent with Latina. She isn’t full Japanese that people would recognize her as oriental. She actually looks more like Filapina. It’s not just Japan has racial identity issues. A couple years ago it was hard for Americans to accept miss America, because she washer family was from India, but she was born i the U.S. A lot of people were mad, because she wasn’t white. People were calling her a terrorist. Every country has there share of racial tensions unfortunately we still have it in the United States undeniably or we wouldn’t be having all these riots across the country.

  13. sista

    March 23, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    I would definitely feel the same if I were a Japanese.

    • Anon

      March 24, 2015 at 12:36 am

      Really?

  14. MORLUCHI

    March 24, 2015 at 2:46 am

    Sweet Ariana I feel for u by birth you are a Japanese,and from the little I know u can become naturalist in Japan with the little I have read,but mayb they want u to totaly denounce being a black-American. Her smile killed it though

  15. halia

    March 24, 2015 at 3:11 am

    Beautiful! Im proud of her. #Ignorethelevelsofignorance

  16. nnenne

    March 24, 2015 at 3:44 am

    Congratulations dear.
    All of you complaining deal with your tribalism first.

  17. tunmi

    March 24, 2015 at 6:22 am

    How about the peoe of Japan get to decide who the winner is out of the last 2 or 3? That way the wish of the people is reflected.

  18. mx

    March 24, 2015 at 7:51 am

    its not racism its..blacks are intimidating in look so also are black mixed children.they will get over it in time….as for black people stop crying racism in everything japanese hate every other race they feel superior make black people dey read before they open there mouth.

  19. Justme

    March 24, 2015 at 8:33 am

    The world is a melting pot now. And thanks to globalization. If she has a Japanese mum, was born in Japan and feels Japanese. Then who is to question it. I feel its exactly this kind of mind set that hinders people from achieving their dreams. It gladdens my heart to see this. Yah!

    • caroline

      May 31, 2015 at 3:24 pm

      Yes, just me, it should be thought of that way, but not everyone thinks that way about the world yet.. Japan is not a melting pot like the U.S.. Japan is a very conservative country with old traditional values that goes way back to the shogun periods. A lot of Japanese take pride of there heritage. Japan did advance with great technologies developed when western influences came into Japan. Japan was influenced by the Dutch, Portuguese and the Americas.. For example, in the U.S. it is true that we are a melting pot. There are different ethnicity here, but a place where whites and blacks are seen as only Americans and other people seen as foreigners. Do you think it is really fair that Americans have to check mark where everyone belongs in what racial group?
      As a multiracial Asian American born in the United States, it is annoying of being constantly asked where are you from or you’re not American, because I’m not Anglo, because the true Americans people say are Anglos.. If anyone were to be true Americans it would be the native Americans. It is very funny that actually some of the native Americans tribe did migrate from Asia several thousands of years ago.

      Also I saw a post earlier sites that the original people of Japan were Caucasian, but if you look at them they don’t look nothing like Caucasians. This minority group are called Ainu. They look more like native Americans and the saying goes some of the native Americans did migrate from Asia.The myth is that the Japanese migrated from Korea, but if you think the vast population came from China not Korea, because China basically covers majority of Asia. Japanese look similar to the Chinese in facial structure more than Koreans.

      . For a very long time the Ainu weren’t considered Japanese citizens, but it changed at a slow pace like how in comparison we have never had a biracial President. Things take time. Change does not happen overnight. I hear people on this site saying Japan is racist. People on this site can’t sum up everyone in the country is. It takes time for people being accepted as Japanese if they don’t look Asian.
      Also I hear other people saying derogatory words like Jap. Jap is a very offensive word like saying the N word t.o a black person. Those words are both derogatory and racist..

  20. Berry Dakara

    March 24, 2015 at 10:30 am

    I honestly cannot believe some of the responses I’m reading here. Wow.

  21. Naveah

    March 26, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    Abeg these Japanese people should go and sit down somewhere with their NONSENSE. They are okay with claiming Chris and Cathy Reed who are half white (father) and Japanese (mother) since they gave them their first ever Olympic win for ice dancing, abi? Those ones are not hafu abi? But Ariana they reject, might it be because she is half BLACK and Japanese? It’s the black part that is stuck in their craw like a fish bone in the throat. Asians are so damn racist, I look at them and ask myself what in all of God’s heaven is so special about them that makes them think they are better than black people…I look up, I look down and I see NOTHING!

    She was born and raised in Japan, she speaks Japanese fluently…Japan is all she’s known all of her life. SHE IS JAPANESE, end of story. Unless the rule says the contestant has to be 100% Japanese – both parent must be Japanese – their griping is null and void. Na Americans come select am as winner, no be Japanese people who dey the panel? Humans like to bellyache about everything!

    If an Oyibo girl lived in Nigeria all of her life, speaks Yoruba, Igbo and Ishan, she is Nigerian to me and can represent Nigeria, finite! Isn’t it about showing the pride and knowledge of the place you were born and raised in?

    Please stop splitting hair over nonsense, jare!

  22. Ada

    March 27, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    She come fine pass them sef!

  23. Ogb

    April 29, 2015 at 4:40 am

    Lol. For those of you saying, “if she was half white they wouldn’t complain” are WRONG! Don’t forget that she was picked to represent Japan BY Japanese judges, and that she’s the first EVER mixed raced contestant to win. Half white/Japanese have applied before her and LOST. Also, there are many japanese people who DID approve of her victory, there were far less who didn’t. I agree though, that she doesn’t really look Japanese. Personally I wouldn’t want someone who didn’t look like the majority of Nigerians represent Nigeria.

  24. Daisy

    May 31, 2015 at 3:08 am

    Sunday night Nina Davuluri, Miss New York, was crowned the winner of the 2014 Miss America Pageant. She is the first contestant of Indian descent to be crowned Miss America. When her win was announced, Twitter immediately exploded with hateful tweets, with people calling her Arab.

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