|Subject: Interesting story on the new Miss Japan...|
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Date Posted: 22:57:32 03/20/15 Fri
DO PEOPLE HAVE A RIGHT TO BE MAD AT A HALF-BLACK WOMAN REPRESENTING JAPAN AT MISS UNIVERSE?
On March 8, Ariana Miyamoto made history by becoming the first Afro Asian to be crowned Miss Japan. And she’ll move on to represent the country in the Miss Universe pageant. And while her victory is being celebrated by some, others aren’t particularly happy about it. Because outwardly, with a Japanese mother and an African American father, she doesn’t fit the typical mode of a Japanese woman.
And several Japanese people are taking issue with that because, according to the Washington Post, a half Japanese woman, called “haafu” in the culture, does not adequately represent the country, known as one of the most homogeneous places on Earth.
Though Miyamoto may look differently from her competition, the 20-year-old native of Sasebo in Nagasaki says that her soul is replete with Japaneseness. The model, who has an advanced mastery of the art of Japanese calligraphy, had to defend herself when she met with the Japanese media after she received her crown.
Professor of anthropology and Japanese studies at Harvard, Theodore Bestor, said that the Japanese like to think of their society and culture as having an identity that is “inaccessible to foreigners.”
But not everyone is against her representing the nation. Some feel like her selection represents a change in attitude in the country. Megumi Nishikura, who directed a film about mixed people in Japan, says this represents “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.”
Another Japanese woman, Emi Foulk, studying Japanese history at UCLA said that the idea of criticizing a beauty contestant for not looking average is absurd. The whole point is that she’s supposed to be extraordinary. The very notion that it’s a beauty pageant means that she won’t be an average looking woman.
I think this is such an interesting story. It would be very easy to dismiss this as racism plain and simple. And I’m sure there are some people who are truly in their feelings about Miss Japan being a Black woman. But is this comparable to the way we feel when lighter skinned women are constantly chosen to represent us in the media, on runways and in beauty campaigns? Y’all know the outrage some felt at Zoe Saldana being cast as Nina Simone. It’s comparable to the way some Mexicans felt when the Puerto Rican Jennifer Lopez was cast as Selena.
While we could give the Japanese people a side-eye, I know this goes on in our own community as well. I know I’ve heard one too many stories about biracial people feeling ostracized by Black people they thought would embrace them.
Representation is important. And if you don’t feel represented by a particular individual is it always because of bigotry and intolerance?
Either way, as a Black woman, with very little knowledge about Japanese culture, I’m more than happy for Ms. Miyamota and I wish her all the luck in the Miss Universe pageant.
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- The very fact that she WON Miss Japan Universe does show that there ARE those in Japan who do not wish to continue they myth of homogeniaty in Japan. For those "traditionalists" in the country (and there are many) who feel she can not represent "the true Japan"...sorry, honey, the train has left the station. (NT) -- Tiki-Java, 23:34:38 03/20/15 Fri
- She won, she's beautiful. People will have to deal. I agree this is a great opportunity to show that Japan is more forward thinking. (NT) -- Athalia, 05:32:28 03/21/15 Sat
- She's the best contestant they've sent in a number of years. I hope she does very well! (NT) -- BamaMan, 06:58:07 03/21/15 Sat
- Similar reaction when another black beautiful woman won Miss Italy in 1996. Denny Mendez proved her detractors wrong and did well on the Miss Universe stage. (NT) -- Freud, 08:10:48 03/21/15 Sat
- This is an interesting article, but as a woman of faith I can't support this contestant. I can see why the Japanese people are quite upset. God created the Tower of Babel for a reason, and all this cultural mixing really flies in the face of the command to stay with our own kinds. #unblessed (NT) -- Miss USA 2015 Contender!, 15:04:36 03/21/15 Sat
- wow. just.. wow (NT) -- dink, 20:19:30 03/21/15 Sat
- Ok. People don't fall for this bait. This person is not a person of faith, but wants to see people of faith get attacked. True people of faith don't care what color a person's skin is. The Tower of Babel had nothing to do with race. Good try "2015 contender" (NT) -- SparkyP, 23:42:26 03/21/15 Sat
- This is a joke... "Miss USA contender" is a joke character, the same way as Latronda Sharill Simmons. (NT) -- HawtPlusSeksi (nsi), 23:51:10 03/21/15 Sat
- NO! NO! NO!...to HATE, Bigotry, Prejudice, Racism & Discrimination! (NT) -- LOVE, Compassion & Tolerance are the answers for PEACE and the way forward., 03:49:59 03/22/15 Sun
- You people can call me a joke all you want. When I get my final question at Miss USA this year, by God as my witness I will find some way to work this topic into my answer to help ensure my victory. I come from a strong family and pure bloodline, and in my culture losing is not an option. My father works very hard every day to give me the best resources to become Miss USA and Miss Universe, and I will not disappoint him. How could I, after he just gave me a $65,000 check to spend on my wardrobe and another $40,000 for a personal visit with Carlos Alberto. (NT) -- Miss USA 2015 Contender!, 08:51:07 03/22/15 Sun
- Hey look here hey lissen up. Who you callen a joke? This aint no joke. Ima former title holders an I demand some respect. Maybe I dont come on here no more much cause my chilren take my time all up. D'Angelo a teenager an his daddy Justin Popvicks or whoever don't spend no time with him. An the twin Shauntay and Shauday ten year old now an they never even meet their Daddy Fred from Alaska who just abandon everybody. At lease I still got money from when I soo Mr. Trumps he couldnt deny how he have treat me when I compeat in his pagent. The judge just couldnt handle what I have had to offer. (NT) -- Latronda Sharill Simmons, Miss Virgin Islands USA 2005, 10:22:50 03/23/15 Mon
- Wait that girl actually won? It must be a really weak year for facial beauty in Japan this year. Either that or they think the gimmick alone will get them the call. I expect better from Japan. It didn't work for black Miss Israel who I thought was gorgeous and it won't work for Japan. (NT) -- facially a not even close, 16:32:42 03/21/15 Sat
- Regardless of color, she is not Miss U semifinalist material. No matter what color you are, if you are beautiful, you are beautiful. I don't believe in promoting girls due to social hot button issues (NT) -- SparkyP, 23:17:22 03/21/15 Sat
- This is a Facebook trending topic now. Insane. (NT) -- Fan, 06:51:28 03/24/15 Tue
- ...And on Yahoo, too. (NT) -- Miss JAPAN may end up being more popular than Paulina and she's not even Miss UNIVERSE!, 19:20:14 03/26/15 Thu
- I am pretty sure Mr Trump will give her a spot in the semis. He did it before with several delegates whose election was controversial. Why not repeat the same formula now? Two birds and one shot: black and Japanese. (NT) -- Ondina, 14:02:42 03/29/15 Sun
- Sometimes, I read these posts just to laugh at the comments. Granted, a lot of opinions on here are well thought out and fun to read, but sometimes the replies on this board make for a good laugh. Bizarre. (And about the topic: We often forget that problems with race-relations is something that is so prevelant today. I commend this girl for taking it all in stride, and I hope she continues to keep her head up.) -- NJ, 17:19:13 03/29/15 Sun