A half Indian Half Japanese beauty queen has been crowned Miss Japan, yesterday.
Her Victory came after a year when Ariana Miyamoto faced ugly recoil for becoming the first black woman to represent Japan and Won Miss Japans title in spite of criticism faced complaining that Miss Universe Japan should instead have been won by pure Japanese rather than someone who is from the mixed race.
Priyanka Yoshikawa, 22 and who also has an elephant training license, said she would use her win to “change perceptions”. Ms. Yoshikawa is an avid kick-boxer and She earned her elephant trainer’s license to add spice to her resume.
She is Fluent in Japanese and English and towering over her rivals at 1.76 meters, she will contest the Miss World crown in Washington this December.
Yoshikawa said, “Before Ariana, haafu (half) girls couldn’t represent Japan, “She added, “That’s what I thought too. I didn’t doubt it or challenge it to this day. Ariana encouraged me a lot by showing me and showing all mixed girls the way.”
“I know a lot of people who are haafu and suffer,” she said. “When I came back to Japan, everyone thought I was a germ.”
“Like if they touched me they would be touching something bad. But I’m thankful because that made me really strong.”
Yoshikawa was born in Tokyo to an Indian father and a Japanese mother. “We are Japanese,” Ms. Yoshikawa told AFP news agency. “Yes, my dad is Indian and I’m proud of it, I’m proud that I have Indian in me. But that doesn’t mean I’m not Japanese.”
Ms. Yoshikawa, like Ms. Miyamoto, was bullied because of her skin color after returning to Japan aged 10 following three years in the US and a further year in India.
There were, however, several people on Twitter that expressed unhappiness.
“It’s like we’re saying a pure Japanese face can’t be a winner,” said one user.
“What’s the point of holding a pageant like this now? Zero national characteristics,” another complained.
Ms. Yoshikawa however, was not letting the doubters get to her.
“There was a time as a kid when I was confused about my identity,” she said. “But I’ve lived in Japan so long now I feel Japanese.”