First-Ever Multiracial 'Miss Japan' Forced to Defend Herself for Having an African-American Father


Miss Nagasaki, Ariana Miyamoto, recently became the first multiracial contestant ever to be crowned Miss Universe Japan and will represent Japan in the 2015 Miss Universe pageant.

She’s absolutely gorgeous, right?


Unfortunately, because her father’s African-American and her mother is Japanese, Miss Niyamoto has been forced to defend both her title and her heritage.

According to local media, she was initially a little wary about entering the pageant because she was “h?fu,” the Japanese word used to refer to multiracial or multi-ethnic half-Japanese people.

“The selection of Ariana Miyamoto as this year’s Miss Universe Japan is a huge step forward in expanding the definition of what it means to be Japanese,” filmmaker and co-director of the film “Hafu,” Megumi Nishikura told NBC News, “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.”

According to the film, “Hafu: The Mixed-Race Experience in Japan,” 20,000 half-Japanese people are born in Japan each year, including both multiethnic and multiracial people.

“In a country where the majority of fashion beauty magazines and TV shows are reigned by ‘h?fu’ models and actors,” filmmaker and co-director of the film “Hafu,” Lara Perez Takagi told NBC News, “It was actually about time that a mixed-race Japanese girl won the Miss Universe pageant.”

In her first televised interview since winning the crown, Miyamoto explained to reporters that while she doesn’t ‘look Japanese’ on the outside, on the inside, there are ‘many Japanese things about her’.

In another interview she revealed that the most influential person in her life is none other than Mariah Carey:

“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.”

Keep doing you, Miss Miyamoto.

[via Daily Mail]

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