Model of Ukrainian descent triumphs Identity controversy reignites with Miss Japan

“There have been racial barriers, and it has been challenging to be accepted as Japanese.” When Carolina Shiino was named Miss Japan on Monday, she expressed her emotions in perfect Japanese. The 26-year-old model was reared in Nagoya after moving to Japan when she was five years old. She was born in the Ukraine. Although she is the first Japanese citizen to win the contest by naturalization, her triumph has reignited the discussion about what it means to be Japanese.

Her win has been hailed by some as a “sign of the times,” while others claim she doesn’t have the proper appearance for a “Miss Japan.” With an African American father and a Japanese mother, Ms. Miyamoto’s triumph at the time sparked debate over whether a person of mixed race should be able to win the tournament. Ms. Shiino’s lack of Japanese ancestry has now offended some people on social media.

“The winner of Miss Japan is a 100% pure Ukrainian, not even mixed with Japanese. Recognize that she is stunning, but this is “Miss Japan.” “Where’s the Japanese flair?” stated a post on X, which was formerly Twitter. “Yes, no issue at all if she was half [Japanese]. However, she was not even born in Japan and has no Japanese ancestry,” another commenter stated. Her victory, according to others, was giving the “wrong message” to people across the nation. “I think that Japanese people naturally (would) get the wrong message when a European looking person is called the most beautiful Japanese.” Some questioned if it was a political decision to go with the model who was born in Ukraine.

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