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Multiracial Miss Japan hopes to change homeland's thinking on identity

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By Elaine Lies and Shiori Ito

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“He always felt unaccepted by Japanese ... and that made him unable to accept himself,” she added, in perfect Japanese.

“That big mouth, that gaudy face. This is Miss Japan?” one social media commenter wrote. Another said she resembled an ant.

Go ahead, Japanophiles, defend that kind of "thinking". Simply disgusting.

14 ( +33 / -21 )

Don't know if I'm a Japanophile, but if I based everything on the pathetic anonymous insults i read on social media, I'd give up on the human race.

But you are right - THAT kind of thinking is disgusting. The anonymity of social media is a horrifying insight into the way SOME people think.

Go Ariana - you come across as a great ambassador for Japan.

29 ( +31 / -4 )

Under the original article about Ms. Miyamoto, I wrote several comments discussing how the very category of 'half not-Japanese' is detrimental to the well-being of mixed race people in Japan who simply want to be treated like everyone else, and that some of the self-identification of haafu born, raised and still living in Japan is the result of people being forced to accept an identity given to them against their will by the majority.

Ms. Miyamoto herself talks preemptively about her own race in all interviews, the clear result of years of being forced to 'explain herself'. I argued that people who feel only Japanese but look non-Japanese are simply not given the option of refusing to identity as a haafu , and if they want to assert only Japanese identity, in-line with how they feel in their heart, they are in for a long and exhausting journey. I mentioned that when their exhaustion with the constant need to defend your identity and the 'othering' does not stop, this exhaustion can lead to trauma.

These arguments where met with various counterarguments. Haafu is just a label that does not bring any differential treatment. Haafu is just a neutral category like mixed race (ignoring the fact that haafu, unlike mixed race, is intimately tied up with ideas of national purity and superiority). Haafu are different from other Japanese so they should just get over it (ignoring the fact that if you are born in Japan and speak Japanese from birth, there in no difference whatever in how you operate within Japanese society, and that having overseas family is completely irrelevant to someone's awareness of Japanese cultural norms and their own claimed membership of Japanese society).

Other common arguments are that there is no racial discrimination in Japan and haafu are all over the TV so Japanese people fully accept them in society (those advancing this argument are seemingly unaware that celebrities are by definition apart from mainstream society and acceptance as a celebrity does not imply membership of the wider society has been granted.)

A haafu is forced to talk about their own haafuness every single day. I wonder how the people who see this as a non-issue will react to the sad news that Ms. Miyamoto's entry was motivated by her friend's suicide. I expect we will see a large number of posts claiming that can't be the reason, that s/he he had other issues, and that being told every single day of your life 'you are not who you think you are' is a trivial matter.

Haafu, daburu, whatever term we decide on, the problem is the category. Until someone looking like Ariana can introduce herself to another Japanese with no reference to her parentage and no 'explanation' of why she looks like she does, the differential treatment will continue.

Of course you can argue that Japan has few visible minorities. This is true. You can argue the history of Japan is different from the West. This is true too. You can argue that curiosity is about people who look different is not always, or even often, malevolent, and it is to a certain extent inevitable. Indeed, this is true too.

That's why, if we are to protect the rights of all members of Japanese society, the important question becomes not what has happened in the past, or even where we are right now, but where Japan is going in the future. Are efforts being made, including by those in government, to promote a more inclusive idea of national identity and stamp out differential treatment and the alienation that results? Or are leaders, the media and educated members of the general public still talking in exclusive unchanging terms based on dubious pseudo-science about national origins?

There will be posts below from nationalists who object to any widening of the definition of the word 'Japanese' while claiming in the same breath not to be racist. There will be posts from westerners who are nostalgic for how their countries were in the 1950s and want Japan to remain pure so they can look at it from afar and use it to validate their ideas of what a race-based state should look like.

Of course these people are forced to deny or minimize the fact that Japan is already multi-ethnic, and have absolutely no proposals for how Japanese with diverse backgrounds should be treated in their own home.

I hope these people will spare us the arguments about Japan's past, its uniqueness and, why it's culture is under threat. In the 21st century, phenotype cannot be held up as a salient feature of culture or identity in a modern industrialized nation.

20 ( +23 / -3 )

Racial/haafu issues aside, she seems very average-looking. I see women everyday who are more beautiful than her.

-6 ( +15 / -21 )

I agree with you Jerseyboy. The Japanophiles are living in their fantasy bubble and are so unaware of what is really happening around them. The "halfs" are actually emerged in the culture and know how it really is here.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

Go ahead, Japanophiles, defend that kind of "thinking". Simply disgusting.

There's no defense, it's disgusting thinking. But Peacetrain said it best:

if I based everything on the pathetic anonymous insults i read on social media, I'd give up on the human race.

Haafu, daburu, whatever term we decide on, the problem is the category.

No, the problem isn't the category. Trying to pretend that a biracial child isn't of mixed heritage doesn't make it go away, particularly if the child is visibly half-Asian. The 'category' exists, even if you want to bury your head in the sand and pretend it doesn't. The problem is with the attitudes of some people in regards to that 'category'. It's these attitudes that need to be changed. We need to teach them that haafu are Japanese, and that they need to be treated that way, we shouldn't be teaching them to hide from the existence of race, and pretend it doesn't exist.

Until someone looking like Ariana can introduce herself to another Japanese with no reference to her parentage and no 'explanation' of why she looks like she does, the differential treatment will continue.

Humans question that which is different to their expectations and experiences. It's human nature. What you describe is something that has never happened in the history of humanity anywhere, ever. It goes against basic human nature. And expecting a group to suddenly drop human nature is an exercise that will leave you banging your head against the wall.

What we need to do is expand the knowledge of Japanese people to understand that haafu are Japanese, so that their expectations will be different than they currently are, and therefore their experiences (whether they be educational experiences, or first-hand experiences) allow them to realize that if a person is haafu, they can still be just as Japanese as a Japanese person.

Burying our head in the sand as to the fact that they are biracial does nothing for anyone.

9 ( +13 / -5 )

Wow. Those japanese kids can really be cruel. Saying, "her color might rub off" and refusing to touch her. Ariana has lots courage for returning. Now she's got some fame and put the biracial issue into the national limelight. I wish her nothing but success-

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Humans question that which is different to their expectations and experiences. It's human nature. What you describe is something that has never happened in the history of humanity anywhere, ever.

Not so.

In the 1950s being British meant being white. Now a black man can introduce himself to other Britons, say he is British if he wants too, and no-one (at least no educated people) gives him the Spanish Inquisition about his parentage, starts to talk to him exclusively about the Caribbean, or refuses to engage in any further conversation until his family origins have been determined.

There is no category of 'half-British'. So the non-existence of the category and the equality of treatment are tied up together. You cannot hope to maintain equal treatment while promoting the category as a 'thing' worth discussion. I agree it will be difficult to have people think of all Japanese citizens as simply Japanese, not ifs and buts, irrespective of what they look like. It's a hard goal, but a worthy goal.

Obviously, in the case of the UK, the vast change in attitude (which contradicts your assertion this has never taken place) is tied up with colonialism, migration and empire and does not directly relate to Japan as such.

But Japan's population is falling dramatically and in future large-scale immigration may be essential for people to maintain their quality of life and Japan's international influence. If Japan is still putting its own citizens into boxes as it starts to import overseas talent, it won't end well.

Your position is essentially saying that a, say, half-Japanese salesman should have to explain his physical appearance to every single customer he meets and he should not have a problem with doing so. I accept your point as to why this happens now. But I would argue that it does not need to keep happening on into the future.

I also agree that not everyone is equally affected and of course some individuals may not worry about constantly explaining their identify.

But, in your world and with your solutions, what is the remedy for people who simply do not want to discuss their phenotype every single time they meet someone? What about the people who find this first irritating, then exhausting and eventually traumatic? You offer them nothing.

It's not about burying one's head in the sand. It's about discouraging Japanese people from thinking that physical appearance is the most important thing about an individual. Yes, it's human nature to categorize. Yes, we see people according to how they look. I don't deny it's hard work. But it's work that needs to be done.

17 ( +22 / -5 )

I thought the most demeaning part of the article was "... she added, in perfect Japanese."

39 ( +39 / -2 )

Thank you writers for using the expression "multiracial" rather than that disgusting Japanese term and providing a little information about the backlash from some of Japan's low I.Q, racist commentators.

All else aside Ariana Miyamoto is absolutely beautiful. She also happens to be intelligent. The racism she encountered in school is unfortunately typical in Japan.

That Ms Miyamoto is Miss Japan is a step in the right direction. But it will not by itself end prejudice in Japan, no more than a Black U.S. President has stopped the horrendous discrimination against Black people that persists in the US.

9 ( +12 / -4 )

You can be born in Japan, raised in Japanese customs, attend a Japanese school your whole life, but if one of your parents aren't Japanese, most won't consider you Japanese either.

Every mixed race child Ive met has a story to tell like hers.

20 ( +22 / -3 )

There is no category of 'half-British'.

You are missing the point of the meaning of the word "half", it means race not nationality, as Japanese like to think they are ethnocentric, that race and nationality are one in the same.

People are in many ways (here) more comfortable with calling someone "haafu" because the label helps them to put a person in a category that they understand. On the other hand what they really have a hard time accepting and understanding is someone who is Caucasian or Black, not ethnically Japanese in any form, telling them that their nationality is Japanese. They have the most difficult time wrapping their heads around it, because of their beliefs that the two are one in the same.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I thought the most demeaning part of the article was "... she added, in perfect Japanese."

Exactly what I thought. No shi* Sherlock, seeing as she's Japanese... It's bad enough when they do it to people who've lived in Japan for years but when it's to a Japanese person... although seeing as they have to add "he said through an interpreter" for most Japanese baseball players who've lived in America for 10 years you can understand the surprise.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Humans question that which is different to their expectations and experiences.

Not so.

In the 1950s being British meant being white. Now a black man can introduce himself to other Britons, say he is British if he wants too, and no-one (at least no educated people) gives him the Spanish Inquisition about his parentage, starts to talk to him exclusively about the Caribbean, or refuses to engage in any further conversation until his family origins have been determined.

And that is because the expectations and experiences of the British have expanded to understand that people of other race can be British as well.

There is no category of 'half-British'.

There is no ethnic category of 'British' for one to be half of. The same cannot be said of Japanese - there is a category of ethnically Japanese, that one can be half of. Unless Japan becomes multi-cultural enough for the category of ethnic Japanese to be meaningless, there will be half-Japanese people, and again, burying your head in the sand to it's existence does not make it go away.

You cannot hope to maintain equal treatment while promoting the category as a 'thing' worth discussion.

Again, you are preaching something that has never happened in the history of humanity anywhere. People question that which differs from their experiences and expectations. As long as people don't have experiences that teach them that haafu are just as Japanese as non-haafu, it will be a thing to discuss.

the vast change in attitude (which contradicts your assertion this has never taken place)

I never asserted that a change in attitude has never taken place. Re-read my comments.

Japan's population is falling dramatically and in future large-scale immigration may be essential for people to maintain their quality of life and Japan's international influence. If Japan is still putting its own citizens into boxes as it starts to import overseas talent, it won't end well.

If large-scale immigration happens, you will start to see changes in how people deal with and recognize haafu, as the people will have more experience with them, and a better understanding of what being haafu means. Again, this is human nature. But you are trying to say that Japanese people should already be reacting to haafu with the attitudes of those who have been exposed to large-scale multiculturalism, without having the experiences for them to know how to react in that matter. This is what has never happened anywhere, any time. If we want this to happen, we need to educate, and to normalize haafuness. And Ariana is a huge step in that direction. She has opened the conversation amongst some Japanese people. She is representing Japan. The more experiences the Japanese have like this, and the more we can open the discussion within Japanese people, the more haafu will gain full acceptance, even without large-scale multi-culturalism.

Your position is essentially saying that a, say, half-Japanese salesman should have to explain his physical appearance to every single customer he meets and he should not have a problem with doing so.

No, it's not. I'm speaking of what is. You are speaking of what should be. The above quote uses the word 'should', and therefore does not represent anything which I have said in this thread, or the other one.

in your world and with your solutions, what is the remedy for people who simply do not want to discuss their phenotype every single time they meet someone? What about the people who find this first irritating, then exhausting and eventually traumatic?

Though I am not religious whatsoever, I place a lot of weight with this quote:

Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

The fact is, in Japan, people are going to discuss haafu's race if they are visibly haafu. It's human nature. Therefore, my advice is to accept it and revel in it, while at the same time using the opportunity to educate the people being spoken to that they are just as Japanese as the person they are speaking to, having spent their whole lives in Japan. And for those who cannot find that serenity to accept, then they should change what they can. Since they cannot change their race, they should change their location to one in which their race will not be questioned (as much) - which would be some country other than Japan.

You offer them nothing.

No, I offer reality. See my quote above. Trying to say 'things have to change' is all fine and dandy, but the fact is that it will take time. So if someone is frustrated by being questioned about this all the time, then they should alter their circumstance to that so as that they are not questioned all the time. And since that is not going to happen any time soon in Japan, for the sake of their own sanity, they should find somewhere else. On the other hand, if they can handle that frustration, then they should stay in Japan, and educate as many as possible through a positive attitude, and providing a positive example. This will not only benefit themselves, but also benefit other haafu who the people who have been educated will go on to meet, and will benefit Japanese society overall.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

jpn_guy & strangerland both make valid points. My Japanese wife refers to our son (with pride) as a haafu. I asked her just the other day if she didn't think it was strange or insulting and she looked at me like I was crazy and responded that she thought it was cool.

As someone who's been teaching here for twenty years, I have concerns about how he'll be treated in school - most of the Brazilian, Peruvian and Filipino kids I've taught over the years tend to be known first and foremost for their foreignness, even if they were born here, and I've seen how that has stressed some of them out.

I have a friend who insists on referring to his children as daburu, and while I understand his reasoning, it doesn't seem like a better solution than calling people haafu. I don't think looking at talento as being representative of how haafu are treated is realistic, but I'm hopeful that the acceptance they are shown bodes well for the future in regards to how haafu are treated in society at large.

I think that if there is a ray of hope in regards to this whole issue its the younger generations. When I first moved here I got stared at, petted(?), and was generally made to feel like an outsider pretty much daily. Now the kids I run into don't think anything about the fact that there is a gaijin in town, even if their parents and grandparents do act surprised to see me running around town on occasion.

The issue of race is still a difficult and complicated one even in hetrogeneous nations like the U.S., but the situation is markedly better than it was 50 years ago. Unfortunately I think the issue of race and multiculturalism is going to need a similarly long gestation period here in Japan.

Finally, I think we gaijin parents of haafu/daburu children need to be realistic - the article stated that our kids make up a whopping 3% or so of the population. With those sort of numbers I think that whichever side of the issue you come down on, a fair amount of "gaman" is going to be needed.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

All power to the girl and hope she floors the judges dead. But 1.73 m for a 20 year old in Japan these days isn't all that uncommon as it would have been a couple decades ago. As for the first stupid comment, Japanophiles don't defend bigoted statements, athough J-haters seem to defend theirs.

2 ( +14 / -13 )

I think that if there is a ray of hope in regards to this whole issue its the younger generations. When I first moved here I got stared at, petted(?), and was generally made to feel like an outsider pretty much daily. Now the kids I run into don't think anything about the fact that there is a gaijin in town, even if their parents and grandparents do act surprised to see me running around town on occasion.

I agree. When I first moved here, I'd have kids on school buses waving at me, or people on the street asking to take their picture with me. Now I can walk into a store, ask the questions I want and make payment all without a comment or acknowledgement of my ethnicity whatsoever. Of course that may be because half of the staff are not Japanese themselves these days.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yubaru, Japanese are not ethnocentric. Japanese people might be zenophobia because being constantly criticized by foreigners. Japan's shintoism is very accepting, and so is Japanese people. The thing is foreigners are not accepting and trying to change Japan. Thus the Japanese become zenophobia even more.

-44 ( +4 / -47 )

Tina - you are making the very common error of attributing your feelings to be the same for everyone else. A grave mistake.

27 ( +30 / -4 )

Ariana Miyamoto seems like a remarkable human being, and gives me a thread of hope for Japan. This nation is very fortunate to have her.

As a parent of a biracial child in Japan I could identify with her perspective and experiences. It sparked memories of my son being given the English menu and compliments on his Japanese (which is his first language).

I had never been interested in the Miss Universe pageant before now. This year I will follow it closely. I wish Miss Miyamoto all the best.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

@strangerland

Since they cannot change their race, they should change their location to one in which their race will not be questioned (as much) - which would be somewhere other than Japan.

Which is of course next to impossible for someone who has born and lived their whole life in Japan. And even if transferring your whole life to another country where as easy as jumping on a bus, aren't you asking a bit much?

In admitting that, under the current situation, the best option for some people would be to try and leave the only home they have ever known, I think you have made my point for me.

I pray for Ms. Miyamoto's late friend, who might well have been trying to follow your advice.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Which is of course next to impossible for someone who has born and lived their whole life in Japan. And even if transferring your whole life to another country where as easy as jumping on a bus, aren't you asking a bit much?

I'm not asking anything. I'm giving advice on how to deal with the reality of the situation as it is now. Either accept it as being what it is, and do what you can to change it over time, or move somewhere where you don't have to deal with it.

What is your suggestion to someone who faces the frustrations you describe? I haven't heard you offer anything.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

'Yubaru, Japanese are not ethnocentric. Japanese people might be zenophobia because being constantly criticized by foreigners. Japan's shintoism is very accepting, and so is Japanese people. The thing is foreigners are not accepting and trying to change Japan. Thus the Japanese become zenophobia even more.'

Have you ever come across words like 'some', 'many', 'few', 'majority' or 'minority'? You constantly seem able to either speak on behalf of the country of Japan or know the views of close to seven billion on the planet who aren't Japanese. In my experience living and working in Japan, the people I know would be far from happy to have your far-right views seen as representative of them. Please speak for yourself.

13 ( +13 / -2 )

Strangerland - I don't think so. You guys just don't want to accept the facts I'm pointing out. That you are trying to change Japan. Most Japaese people are not trying to change the country but trying hard to get accepted in the society. Why do you think you can change a country of long history? Do you understand what "change" mean? Which means you assume you are right and Japan is wrong. With that attitude, you cannot change anything.

-36 ( +3 / -37 )

You know, if she actually wins Miss Universe, all of a sudden she'll be Japanese enough for everybody, that's for sure!

Go Ariana!

12 ( +16 / -4 )

You guys just don't want to accept the facts I'm pointing out.

Maybe if you start pointing out some facts, we'll accept them. So far all you've done is stated your own opinion, and tried to say all Japanese people feel that way. That's not a fact, that's your own opinion, and is factually incorrect.

Why do you think you can change a country of long history? Do you understand what "change" mean? Which means you assume you are right and Japan is wrong.

It depends on what change you are speaking of. If you are speaking of discrimination against others, then yes, I think it's wrong. I don't accept that discrimination should be allowed because it's tradition. If that were the case, then slavery would be allowed in the US, because it's tradition. Apartheid would be allowed in South Africa, because it's tradition. Locking up Japanese in internment camps in Canada would be allowed, because it's tradition. Tradition is not an excuse for discrimination, regardless of the country. This has nothing to do with my 'being right', it has to do with the act of discrimination being wrong.

12 ( +14 / -3 )

I was curious as to how this Reuters article was conveyed in the media outlet's Japanese edition. I must say, it was significantly watered down.

In this English version it talks of vicious remarks made about her on social media ("“That big mouth, that gaudy face. This is Miss Japan?” one social media commenter wrote. Another said she resembled an ant."). Meanwhile, the Japanese version has "ネットには、宮本さんの容姿について「日本人らしくない」など、心ないコメントが多く寄せられた。" ("There were many insensitive comments online such as, 'she doesn't seem very Japanese.'")

Here is a link to the Japanese article (summarized translation): http://jp.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idJPKBN0MU0A220150403

7 ( +9 / -2 )

@tinawatanabe "Yubaru, Japanese are not ethnocentric. Japanese people might be zenophobia because being constantly criticized by foreigners. Japan's shintoism is very accepting, and so is Japanese people. The thing is foreigners are not accepting and trying to change Japan. Thus the Japanese become zenophobia even more."

There are a lot of fictions in people's beliefs. But, Japan is always changing slowly and quickly. For example, some Japanese care not a whit about shinto. Criticism is always very good for anywhere. Don't be afraid! The first lesson of history is, "you're mother is a ......." That means your country is not clean. You have a right to know this so you can improve society, the world and humanity...You say that Japanese people may fear/hate foreigners because Japanese are victims. This is a dangerous idea for anybody, anywhere. On a side note: I do worry that Japan is out of balance between young and old. That can sink a society.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@ Tina...

Did you actually READ what I wrote?

Yubaru, Japanese are not ethnocentric. Japanese people might be zenophobia because being constantly criticized by foreigners. Japan's shintoism is very accepting, and so is Japanese people. The thing is foreigners are not accepting and trying to change Japan. Thus the Japanese become zenophobia even more.

Now then, Japanese are only "very accepting" when whatever they are accepting conforms or follows their beliefs, ideas, customs, or way of life. Don't be fooled by all the "hospitality/omotenaishi" acceptance crap, that only counts as long as it doesnt infringe upon a person for too long of a time.

And you really seem to overly generalize about gaijin here too, it comes across as all or nothing, when it's really a bunch of shades of gray.

9 ( +10 / -2 )

There is no ethnic category of 'British' for one to be half of. The same cannot be said of Japanese - there is a category of ethnically Japanese

For the U.S., there used to be. It's a bit naive not to realize it. Yes, people believe it in Japan too. But it is a fiction, right? Humans tend to organize themselves based on these fictions. Ethic nationalism is one of these modern ideas that has led to so much poison and pain. But Ariana is a hopeful sign. We have a right to believe things can improve for the future generations.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

people believe it in Japan too. But it is a fiction, right?

Your post isn't very clear, so it's hard to follow exactly what you are saying. Are you trying to say that ethnicity doesn't exist?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In order for Japan and its people to embrace Japanese ハーフ/クォータ/immigrants, the mentality has to change from seeing the family before the individual. The individual is not an individual in Japan. The family is the individual. I suppose at this point in time, that sort of thinking seems to be an insurmountable hurdle.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The family is the individual. I suppose at this point in time, that sort of thinking seems to be an insurmountable hurdle.

This is also not unique to Japan either. When the "need" arises acceptance will follow, but for now the "need" is not so great so the status-quo stays in place.

Respectful acceptance of diversity/differences in not something the current Japanese populace sees a need to accept in the current climate, if ever.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Your post isn't very clear, so it's hard to follow exactly what you are saying. Are you trying to say that ethnicity doesn't exist?

Ethnicity is a broad term. That's why I like it over race (which is bunk). Purity doesn't exist. Ethnic nationalism is a modern fiction based on ethnic purity.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

More power to Ariana and wish her success in whatever endeavour she hope to embark in the future. On a separate issue, how can she be a "dual citizen" ? I thought that Japan does not allow this and one must renounce one's original citizenship before obtaining a Japanese passport.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't accept that Japanese form a distinct racial, or ethnic group. Most Japanese are ethnically and genetically identical to most Koreans but, as we see with the Zainichi people, being ethnically identical to Japanese isn't enough to gain them Japanese nationality. If being of the same race doesn't automatically make you Japanese then race cannot be used as a marker of "Japanese" identity.

In fact, Japanese nationality is an entirely artifical construct. Anyone, of any race, can be a Japanese national if they are prepared to jump through the hoops erected by the Japanese government. People who try to define "Japanese" in terms of race are nothing but racists.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I thought that Japan does not allow this and one must renounce one's original citizenship before obtaining a Japanese passport.

First off she is under 22 which is the age in Japan that one has to "declare" their choice of citizenship. However if she votes, pays taxes, etc etc etc it will be assumed that she chose Japanese citizenship and the "other" citizenship will no longer be in effect from the eyes of the government here.

2nd America allows dual citizenship's, she could keep her American passport/citizenship if she so chooses, it's not like either country goes to the trouble of telling each other who is taking which citizenship.

3 ( +4 / -0 )

She strikes me as a proud and courageous young woman. And people who make the big differences in fighting social ignorance and making change in our world need both qualities in spades.

I wish her well.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Nice.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Will not happen in a thousand years. It was silly for her to be chosen as Miss Japan.

-18 ( +1 / -19 )

As for the first stupid comment, Japanophiles don't defend bigoted statements, athough J-haters seem to defend theirs.

Ossan -- wrong, as usual. You should have waited a couple of more minutes until tina had her chance to defend this kind of thinking:

Yubaru, Japanese are not ethnocentric. Japanese people might be zenophobia because being constantly criticized by foreigners.

Why do you think you can change a country of long history? Do you understand what "change" mean?

In other words, since Japan has a long history of "ethnic purity", where nationality/race/DNA are all the same, you should expect this kind of thinking. And that thinking is reinforced by institutions like the family registry. And the folks who would critisize Japan are just making this xenophobia more institutionalized, because change is a bad thing. Respectfully, Ossan, your comments about Japanese society would have more validity if you had actually lived there, instead of just visited on vacation.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

On a separate issue, how can she be a "dual citizen" ? I thought that Japan does not allow this and one must renounce one's original citizenship before obtaining a Japanese passport.

Not exactly. One needs to declare an intent to 'abandon' (放棄) one's original citizenship, in order to maintain their citizenship. One doesn't actually need to renounce (離脱) their citizenship.

Read more here: http://members.jcom.home.ne.jp/yosha/yr/nationality/Dual_nationality.html

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Jimizo and Yubaru, You (and many others here) are criticizing Japan or the Japanese people unfairly, and that's not generalization on your part? If I say that trying to change a country is wrong, why is it a generalization? I only mention a tendancy that I see in Japan of course. I do admit my poor English though

-7 ( +5 / -13 )

On the positive side, I have been scanning yahoo japan, twitter, and other social media sites, and there are plenty of Japanese people who support Miyamoto and who think the criticism of her is silly, since she was born & raised in Japan.

11 ( +10 / -0 )

You (and many others here) are criticizing Japan or the Japanese people unfairly

Criticism of racial discrimination is not unfair.

On the positive side, I have been scanning yahoo japan, twitter, and other social media sites, and there are plenty of Japanese people who support Miyamoto and who think the criticism of her is silly, since she was born & raised in Japan.

Great! It's sad that people place so much weight on negative comments, while ignoring positive ones, or placing little weight upon them.

10 ( +10 / -1 )

"...since Japan has a long history of "ethnic purity", where nationality/race/DNA are all the same"

Here is a bunch of dangerous fictions reinforced by propaganda. But believing fervently doesn't make it any truer.

"...change is a bad thing."

Another idea defended against criticism. But it's the other way around: Defense of the status quo is really an attack on future generations and human development. It feels good to "defend Japan." But you have to believe in a whole lot of nonsense to take this mantle.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Here is a bunch of dangerous fictions reinforced by propaganda. But believing fervently doesn't make it any truer.

shallots -- really? Is it "dangerous fiction" or "propaganda" that the estimate is that 98.5% of Japan's population is ethnic Japanese? Please enlighten us all on how that is not "truer".

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Only way I see prejudices ending here an abroad is worldwide Multi-cultural breeding!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Yubaru "What are you? Where are you from? What does your father do? Do you have any siblings? What do they do?" Intrusive questions during an interview is unique to Japan. I'm not referring to interviewing a タレント. You don't have to be a 外人 or ハーフ or an immigrant to encounter such questions. A girl from Okinawa who went to Keio University told me she was taken aback when the interviewer made disparaging comments about her family and Okinawa as he looked over her resumé. (comments such as "Huh, lots of siblings, nothing better to do than make babies...")

Japan, as a whole, seems to be chugging along just fine. Most of its people choosing to marry within and some of them marrying 外人. Not embracing, not seeing a need to accepting 外人/ハーフ/ immigrants as Japanese...

Interesting if Ariana Miyamoto, whether or not she goes on to be crowned Miss Universe, she does whatever she can to keep the conversation going. I don't mean, "Look at Ariana, despite being an African-American Japanese, she's doing something so uniquely Japanese!" although there's nothing wrong with that. Might as well keep your name out there, any way you can so you can earn a paycheck plus still be relevant as a model/actress/singer in Japan. I mean, making speeches or writing a book about people like her (Japanese with a gaijin parent) for example. If she or someone else keeps the discussion going, perhaps it'll open the doors wide open to Japan embracing immigrants and all that encompasses...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Yubaru

First off she is under 22 which is the age in Japan that one has to "declare" their choice of citizenship. However if she votes, pays taxes, etc etc etc it will be assumed that she chose Japanese citizenship and the "other" citizenship will no longer be in effect from the eyes of the government here.

If she has dual nationality, she is required to declare her choice of citizenship. This is a legal requirement, so in that respect, there is not an assumption about nationality, but a formally submitted document. Assuming the law is followed.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Jimizo and Yubaru, You (and many others here) are criticizing Japan or the Japanese people unfairly, and that's not generalization on your part? If I say that trying to change a country is wrong, why is it a generalization? I only mention a tendancy that I see in Japan of course. I do admit my poor English though

Unfairly? I have earned the right to criticize my adopted country, my citizenship here gives me that right as well. Don't think for a moment that I "hate" Japan, not at all, there is much to be admired and respected and in some ways should could be copied as well. However I do not bury my head in the sand either.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I would assume she chose Japanese citizenship as did Bobby, Becky, etc.

If she grew up here all her life it be natural as for any mixed kid raised here.

No public media mentions her nationality but I am sure it came up in the selection process so what's the quibble?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

'Jimizo and Yubaru, You (and many others here) are criticizing Japan or the Japanese people unfairly'

Tina, where in my post did I criticise Japan? I criticised your constant attempts to tell us what Japanese people think. The views you express are not representative of a country of over 125 million. Exasperating generalizations like 'Japanese are not ethnocentric' or 'the thing is foreigners are not accepting and trying to change Japan' show an us and them attitude or 'not like us' which is part of the problem of why many Japanese see or treat those who don't 'look Japanese' differently. It isn't Japan in contrast to or versus the rest of the world and the sooner more people stop thinking and speaking in these ridiculous terms the better, including for 'haafu'.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@ jerseyboy Oh. I thought your comments were meant to be ironic.

"98.5% of Japan's population is ethnic Japanese..." means what to you? It can't mean all.

Actually, I didn't think we were disagreeing but maybe we are. The idea of the Nation is relatively new in terms of history. That's a fact. You say "long history." If you're comments are not meant to be ironic, what eactly do you mean by "long"? But even in that recent concept there are some variations of various kinds, are there not? Where do minorities fall in that sameness? Race is a disputed concept in terms of science, is it not? DNA and sameness is an interesting contention. But you've already admitted that it's not true. You have to change the word "all."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The Us has also had post bubble eras, not so?

Let her live where her heart and comfort lies. Myself from a western country and decided this is where I want to be.

I know the USA, Europe and its problems but said no thanks to them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

More than the race issue, my first thoughts were, 'What? They are still doing beauty pageants?"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's disgusting what some posters have said in terms of this young woman's ethnic background and nationality. That people have said she looks like an "ant" among other things it unfortunately quite typical of a lot of thinking of xenophobic Japanese that still remains very strong in this day and age. Hopefully, as she has stated, an as I think is TRULY a goal worthy of a 'Miss Universe' (unlike the fluff you hear them talk about that they can never affect), she can change this thinking a little bit. It's the younger generation that have hope, the older have next to none if they already can't accept the woman for whom she is.

tinawatanabe: "Strangerland - I don't think so. You guys just don't want to accept the facts I'm pointing out."

It is ABSOLUTELY classic that Strangerland says YOU are generalizing again and saying that you are simply misdirecting your own feelings onto others, and your response is "don't accept that points I am pointing out." That is TOO funny!

Tina, just tell us this: do you admit the woman is fully Japanese, according to both the law and Japanese culture, or not? I think that would say a lot. Yes or no.

-4 ( +3 / -8 )

Patty cake.

Plenty of haafu have performed and won in that contest from many nations. Myself a haafu(pure Caucasian though) my son is euro/Japanese.

So what's the big deal with Japan?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I don't understand. I was merely taking a shot at ethnic privilege.

You were, in your attack against 'ethnic privilege', speaking with ethnic privilege.

Hence my statement.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

'Myself a haafu(pure Caucasian though)'

What an interesting description.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Jimizo.

Only if you mean mixed parentage between Caucasians, Asian, negroid/african, hispanic/etc in short not between countries and nationalities.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

She is absolutely gorgeous!!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@Jimizo

Exasperating generalizations like 'Japanese are not ethnocentric' or 'the thing is foreigners are not accepting and trying to change Japan' show an us and them attitude or 'not like us'

Yubaru said the Japanese are ethnocentric, and you don't think it's generalization because you agree with him. And If I said the Japanese are not ethnocentric, you say it's generalization because you don't agree with me. Double standard.

which is part of the problem of why many Japanese see or treat those who don't 'look Japanese' differently.

Maybe sometimes seen or treated better? Why is it wrong if being treated differently? Do you really think there is no difference? Those who look differently may in fact have different background, experience, and ideas, that may work for both positively and negatively. They may have different ideas that Japan desperately needs, or they may lack some knowledge about Japan due to living or interest in the other country.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

Her Father is a US Citizen and her Mother is Japanese, the rest is not important except to small minded people who want to make it so.

So she is American/Japanese and not part of an american subset like Hispanic, Indian, etc. Passport counts only.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

'She is absolutely gorgeous!!'

Yes, she is. That smile could light a hall up. I'm glad to see a lack of the predictable 'I see better looking girls on the street every day' comments. I want to know where these people live.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

One thing that needs to happen is that racially Asian Japanese need to start referring to themselves as Asians when speaking of race. Then they need to start using words like White and Black too. I never had a Japanese describe me as White. They either call me "gaijin" or assume I am American. Until Japanese can separate race from nationality, and accept that most them are Asian in race and Japanese is not a race, this will be a perennial problem. As it is now it seem to me most Japanese don't have the concept of the difference.

Now, as you may gather from the above, I don't have a problem with labels in general. Labels are only a problem when they are used as an attempt to feel superior, which is unfortunately a thing that humans are preprogrammed to do and people doing it need a smack down.

But its also very important to name these labels properly to avoid such things. For example, Miyamoto's father is described as "African American". But he is not African as far as I know. He is a Black American, like I am a White American. But people seem to want to shy away from racial descriptions in the hope the terms will go away, even while in the midst of a racial discussion. Preposterous. We need clear terms to have this discussion, for crying out loud.

I will also touch on the term "haafu". The problem is, half what? Half Japanese? That's sort of impossible if we employ clear definitions. Arianna is half Black and half Asian (or thereabouts) but she is 100 percent Japanese. And those two things, race and nationality are the most significant things. But if we delve into the much murkier concept of being ethnically Japanese, well, we cannot even generate a fraction for that one because there is no clear definition of ethnicity. Ethnicity could be based on culture, ancestry, or nationality or any combo of them. If I had my way, the word become synonymous with culture and then everything would be clear.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@jerseyboy

Is it "dangerous fiction" or "propaganda" that the estimate is that 98.5% of Japan's population is ethnic Japanese?

Hi mate, what that statement is is factually incorrect. The 98.5% statistic is not the percentage of Japan's population that is ethnic Japanese; it's the percentage of Japan's population that are Japanese citizens. It has nothing to do with ethnicity; many Japanese nationals these days are of non-Japanese or mixed ethnicity. If anyone has any reliable stats for the ethnic make-up of Japan's population, please share because I'd like to see them - but the government doesn't collect such information, so I don't think those stats exist.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Calling somebody "Japanese", etc. can be confusing because it can be regarded as either referring to one's ethnicity or where they grew up. In Japan which is almost mono-racial, it is often thought of as ethnicity. In the UK which is increasingly multi-racial, it is often thought of as place of birth. For me though it is neither, as I have both big ties with the UK and Japan so feel like I am mixed British and Japanese, but I don't think most people think that way. I can only regard somebody who has lived their entire life in Japan as Japanese. Their ethnicity may differ, but I don't think it is right to be prejudiced based on this unless it is of factual reasons such as starring as a Japanese person in a historical movie.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yubaru said the Japanese are ethnocentric,

No I did not, so please refrain from saying such things. Reread what I wrote.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

tinawatanabe: "They may have different ideas that Japan desperately needs, or they may lack some knowledge about Japan due to living or interest in the other country."

She most definitely has ideas that Japan desperately needs, but the only reason they may differ slightly is because she is more aware of her nationality as Japanese, and more informed about Japanese culture and tradition than most Japanese are because she has been forced to be by others like yourself. She CHOSE to keep Japanese nationality above being an American, and she obviously loves the place and knows about it. Just because people are born here does not automatically entitle some sort of magical cultural being or complete knowledge of what being Japanese means, same as someone who has studied and becomes a citizen of a nation vs. someone who is born there. In her case it is doubly so because she was born and raised here.

I know more about Japanese culture than many Japanese do, and that fact makes some angry and who can only fob it off as, "You don't know because you're not truly Japanese" or some such rubbish, especially given that they all have Korean and Chinese blood mixed in. The woman is Japanese, plain and simple. That this is even a big deal proves that the idea of someone of mixed background is not yet accepted and that people need to be more open, and this woman is in a position to help with that illness.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I find it sad that she is not more attractive. If she were, her case would have a much greater positive impact. And I say this as a man very partial to Black woman and Asian women, and mixed is usually as good or better in my eyes.

Frankly, I think she hurts Japan's chances of winning, given her raw appearance and nothing to do with her racial make-up. Thinking that, its rather hard to appreciate her because her first job is to win. National and racial awareness comes second.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

Dammyg.

Same for any country.

Smithinjapan

You would be surprised at the rate of Japanese, Chinese, European , etc offsprings.

Japanese are not angry just trying to get on with their lives.

You don't know all that much about Japanese, they are still the ultimate source.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Yubaru, you said "Japanese like to think they are ethnocentric" above althogh they don't, so I figured you think Japanese are ethnocentric. If I was wrong, I'll correct it with apology. So, you don't think Japanese are ethnocentric?

But that was not my point. If you said "Japanese like to think they are ethnocentric", people accept it here, but if I say "Japanese are not ethnocentric", people say it's generalization. It happens a lot to me here in JT. Merely denying others comments are not generalization.

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

Tinawatanabe.

Most countries think they are ethnocentric, just look at Europe, mistake an Austrian for a German or similar = you will get an earfull.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Yoshitsune Thanks for posting that. Not being an expert, I can't easily tell what is nonsense, but Jerseyboy's comments certainly smelled bad. The idea of racial purity is a canard that infects people in many parts of the world and leads to much misery. Same goes for this modern idea of ethnic nationalism.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

it's easy to pay attention to the negative posters and ignore the millions upon millions of people who had no problem with her ethnicity. Even in a super multi-cultural place like Canada or America, there are still racists around. But it would do Japan good to be around people of different races more to understand them

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I agree most countries now have more of a mix than original ethnic groups.

Fun part is that the USA has the largest mix vs natives.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The truth is, here in japan "discrimination" is so strong. They always think that they were always on top, they are so high that's why they can't accept the reality of the world that everyone of us are created equal inspite of what is our race or where we came from. They always look the outside appearance & they never think that the real beauties comes from deep within.

-1 ( +3 / -3 )

It"S ME, If I hear the word "ethnocentric", it reminds me of Chinese. But you seem to insiniate Japanese too.. I think It is people's nature or personality that Japanese people care when associate with people, not the race or nationality. They're tired of being criticized by China/SK/USA, more and more J people are welcoming the other countries.

-15 ( +0 / -16 )

NIT in my experience and my friends plus many others. You insist on them being as such and not open minded yourself you will meet with the same.

Japan is very open to overseas ideas and cuisines, etc. Just take a walk down many Japanese roads and you will see it.

Japanese are open and willing to reach our, granted there are some die-hards as in any country.****

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It's ME: "You don't know all that much about Japanese, they are still the ultimate source."

Says who? Maybe I know more than you because I've learned a lot of it and acquired the rest through appreciation. And "ultimate source" of what? Besides xenophobia in relation to this woman?

If you need more proof about ethnocentric its, look at the people lamenting this Japanese woman being chosen as a representative based on her background. The same people, if she had chosen American nationality and won Miss USA would be BRAGGING about her background.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

"They're tired of being criticized by China/SK/USA"

I don't think people in the U.S. pay much attention honestly. But I do think it's popular to criticize Japan in China and SK, at least the media amplifies this. But that works both ways. I don't know if 127 million people are tired of it but I do think the bickering is unproductive. I don't know where you get the idea that the U.S. is in this. Abe and the LDP, the more "nationalist" party, seemed to make a big deal out of saying the interlude with the DPJ hurt Japan's precious relationship with the U.S. The current leadership are about as pro-American as any political party can be outside the U.S. But maybe you just feel Japan is the victim of everyone. Japan is one of the richest countries on the planet. I'm not seeing it as a victim.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Arianna pulls no punches in this Daily Mail UK article where she refers to 'a spasmodic of racial abuse' growing up in Nagasaki. And it also points to the absurdity of her needing to justify herself in her promotional video for the pageant. After reading this, I was firstly amazed to find myself congratulating the Daily Mail, maybe for the first time ever for a good article, and secondly, relieved to read something that comes from outside the poisonous construct that is the typical nihonjinron debate on Japaneseness here in Japan. Give it a look -

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3021032/First-mixed-race-Miss-Japan-Ariana-Myamoto-hits-spasmodic-vomit-racial-abuse-suffered-father-African-American.html

2 ( +3 / -1 )

“That big mouth, that gaudy face. This is Miss Japan?” one social media commenter wrote. Another said she resembled an ant."

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, totally moronic comments, lol

4 ( +5 / -1 )

'Japan is very open to overseas ideas and cuisines, etc. Just take a walk down many Japanese roads and you will see it.

Japanese are open and willing to reach our, granted there are some die-hards as in any country.****'

At my place of work and at other companies I've worked with, I've lost count of the number of the number of times I've heard from Japanese staff about the need for Japan to engage with the outside world more actively. I'm sure an Italian could do good business selling delicious cuisine to Japanese people but I doubt that person would have as many people queuing up to rent that person an apartment. I've lived and worked here for 15 years and have a lot of affection for the place but when it comes to dealing with foreigners, Japan in general is just not good at it. I can't recall one Japanese person with experience of living overseas or doing business abroad tell me they think dealing with foreigners is a Japanese strength.

When I hear that from many Japanese people with long experience of dealing with foreigners and living abroad, I tend to think there might be something in it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@jazz350

On a separate issue, how can she be a "dual citizen" ? I thought that Japan does not allow this and one must renounce one's original citizenship before obtaining a Japanese passport.

Passport schmassport.

Yubaru's information in his reply to you is correct. What you think is what a lot of people think, but if you check reliable enough sources, you'll find otherwise. Dual nationality is permitted for two reasons: Japan cannot easily prevent it, and Japan is not in the habit of stripping Japanese citizens (this includes people with dual nationality) of their Japanese citizenship. It then remains up to the individual to handle their own nationality status, and many choose to retain their dual nationality.

The last time I saw this question raised was in relation to the Reeds (ice skaters competing for Japan). It's going to continue coming up as dual nationals increase in number and/or prominence. I think those of us who have a stake in it, or merely an interest, have something of an obligation to learn fully about the issue.

Incidentally, in your comment, you refer to "original citizenship". I don't find that term very useful - what would it mean? Country of birth? A dual national often has their birth registered (and nationality established) with two countries in infancy. There may be a matter of days or weeks separating one registration of nationality from the other.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I wish the very beautiful lady all the luck in the world, but I dont think theres much hope for Japan. I would like to see more people like her in Japan; I dont think the sky will fall down but things will definetly have to change at a core level and thats where the issue lies.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Nationality and haafuness aside, she is, at least in my opinion, absolutely gorgeous. If you do a google image search, lots of photos from the Japanese pageant come up and she is by far the best looking of the girls. Head and shoulders (how do you like that pun?) above the other lasses. My wife is Japanese and I love the Japanese look, and this girl has that and brings even more to it. Good luck in life Miss Japan!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Looks alone don't matter as she also needs to be an Ambassador for a year.

Hence brain,outlook etc also matter, unless you think they are selected at the pegeaunt only and not weeded before hand.

The show us just the public event.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I have met and known quite a few mixed race children, growing up here in California, and I have found that they tend to be very good looking. I am in a mixed race marriage myself, and our kids look great.

I apologize for what I am about to say, as some may take it as racist, but I have met a number of children of intermarriages of African-American servicemen with Korean or Japanese women, and I have been amazed at how beautiful they are. IMO, there seems to be a mechanism at work that takes the best looking features of each race, and combines them in the off-spring.

OK, let the hate mail begin.

3 ( +3 / -2 )

I live in Japan and yes there is a natural curiosity about origin & skin yet there is a fair amount of (ethno-diversity) among the many peoples of Japan who arrived to colonize these islands thousands of years ago. Wide noses & large lips are already present in the gene-pool. Not everyone looks like a European magazine cover model and frankly, I am glad of that. I attended (very homogenous) schools in America and you would have though that an alien had landed from outer-space. Japan is better in terms of getting along with people of different culture or appearance but has yet to accept it's own diversity of beauty among it people.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

tinawatanabe, I think you are generslizing. seconfly japanese are not so accepting that isxehy the culture here suppresses individuality snd ehy you g jspanese are more rebellious than ever before, they are tired of the inflexible system. As for foreigners being iverly criticsl of Japan? nope most foreign nations accept and welcome japanese with open as and are very receptive to hearing about Jspanese culture, however Jspanese are overly sensitive snd often cannot take constructive criticism, instead of understanding tgese types of jspanese attack foreigners as bad unwanted people bothering Japan. the first step i would like to see is the laws being endorced in regards to penslties against discrimination, especially in emoyment. There is an equality law which however is unenforced, meaning no penalties are handed out. Until these areas improve Japan has to realise that as part of the world yes they too will be judged. I congratulate Ariana btw, incidentally whilst on the train when her victory was Published in the psper, most japanese were commenting negatively about her. This summed up Japan for me.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Not sure that I want to so this, given how people are reacting to each other on here, but I can somewhat understand where @tina is coming from - somewhat.

I think that there is definitely a tendency amongst the gaijin posters on here and (in MY EXPERIENCE in the real world) to make somewhat blanket statements about how Japan needs to change and become more like country A,B or C. As a permanent resident here there are definitely things that I'd like to see change (I'd like to be able to vote in elections, for example, since I pay taxes and am here permanently, among other things. Having said that, I won't hold my breath waiting for the opportunity).

I think it is pretty spectacular that this young lady has become Miss Japan - and it says a lot about just how far this extremely conservative country has come. Having said that, the negative reactions to her having been chosen are inexcusable - especially if they are based on her "race" - which is ultimately JAPANESE!!

Japan has (just like most other countries in the world), always had people that they've been prejudiced against - Ainu, Burakumin, Zainichi and yes, gaijin and haafu. But as I posted earlier - it's not like the U.S. (or France, or Germany, etc..) has exactly solved it's problems with race either. People who live in glass houses and all that. I think that - and yes this is a generalization - but I think that the Japanese attitudes towards accepting outsiders is slowly evolving - obviously not fast enough for some, based on the posts here, and too fast for others. All change involves a certain amount of friction, and I think that is what is happening on here. But that friction is ultimately the grist that is needed to polish something up and create something new. Hopefully the friction around this issue will do just that and create some positive, meaningful dialogue.

@Tina made some valid (if somewhat vague) points. How about if instead of jumping down her throat about being wrong you try engaging with her. From what I read she doesn't come across as a xenophobic far right wing nationalist - she'd probably have a conversation with you about this, given the chance.

I am a Japanophile, so feel free to excoriate me for loving the country I chose to spend the rest of my life in. I recognize the problems surrounding haafu - I'm going to be dealing with them for the rest of my life, but HOPEFULLY my kids will be more readily accepted than this young lady was.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

As someone tgats been in Japan for 23 years and gave multiracial children, my opinion about Tinas comments are valid. Germany, US, britain etc went far in resolving racial issues by at least placing laws penalising discrimination. I think Jamaica like Japan needs to improve in this area. And I have qualms about saying so.

1 ( +4 / -2 )

You were, in your attack against 'ethnic privilege', speaking with ethnic privilege.

I didn't see things that way how I had this privilege. Thank you for making me feel better about myself! by realizing how I belong to a group that has more advantage over others.

I guess bigotry is only apparent when you are the victim.

0 ( +1 / -0 )

Personally I think she is good looking but the Miss contenantsts have become a stamp them out of the mold, my country still has no contenders.

In short they look all the same with many Hispanic/africanwomen taking it over the last few years(mixed Or nor).

Hope she does well if she wins it and over her reign.

Remember this is an US competition.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I am a Japanophile, so feel free to excoriate me for loving the country I chose to spend the rest of my life in. I recognize the problems surrounding haafu - I'm going to be dealing with them for the rest of my life, but HOPEFULLY my kids will be more readily accepted than this young lady was.

Me thinks you misunderstand what the definition of a Japanophile is. Loving the country, is one thing, however if you are blind to it's weak points, or places where it should improve, and justify the actions as being "japanese", then I would classify you as such.

Being a Japanophile means that you are blind to the realities of the world around you, and from the comments you have made here makes me believe that you are not one, not at all.

Japan like any other country, has it's good points and bad one's, recognizing the bad one's and working to improve or change is what will make Japan an even better one.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Yoshiki you have to be kidding me.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, totally moronic comments, lol

Well, if you say that then why not just declare all perceptions of beauty or lack thereof as moronic no matter positive or negative?

Some people like her look and some people don't. Its not necessarily racism. For example, I don't like her look, but I very much like Danai Gurira.

I state again that I don't think she is beautiful and as such, I don't think she has much chance of winning even if she was Miss America.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@1glenn,

very true and Ive noticed that many exotic looking mixed Japanese are 1/2 Italian Spanish or Irish. The young talent lady Laura is 1/2 Bangladesh and also has a very exotic look.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Yubaru - I've got a Masters in English. Trust me, I understand the definition of "Japanophile." I've been accused in the past on this site for not being critical enough of Japan. Someone recently accused me of living in the "Brigadoon" part of Japan. I see it's bad points, but I also see all of its good ones. Choosing to focus on the positive doesn't make me blind to the negative.

To be succinct, the one area where I am in agreement with @tina is that I'm not necessarily certain that Japan needs to be more like any other country. Are there problems here? Yes, but a bunch of foreigners being pedants and criticizing Japan and the Japanese way of doing things in the comment section of Japan Today isn't helping. Japan will change where and when and as much as it needs to - pointing out every little thing that we all personally find annoying about living here may be cathartic on a personal level, but it only reinforces the stereotype that "the Japanese" and "Japanophiles" hold about foreigners; namely that we want Japan to be just like wherever it is we came from.

-2 ( +3 / -4 )

Have they found the gun yet, that she was holding to the heads of the panel of Japanese judges? The judges freely made their choice, so why is this young lady being verbally abused at all angles? Still, she must have been somewhat mentally prepared for this. It's somewhat sad though, that whenever she speaks she has to keep defending her nationality, and justifying her motives for entering the contest. Ariana, the haters gonna hate hate hate. It's a disEase. Shake them off.

Ironically, she won out of a field of 69 or so beautiful contestants, and then we have some commenters here professing to pass more beautiful ladies on the streets every day. You ever seen some of these 'beautiful' women you pass on the streets, after the makeup is gone? I have. Not a pretty sight.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I don't think any individual racist or xenophobe will ever change their mind by watching a beauty contest. Cultures change over time simply because peoples' prejudices go to the grave with them. It's just a matter of educating the next generation properly and waiting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

but it only reinforces the stereotype that "the Japanese" and "Japanophiles" hold about foreigners; namely that we want Japan to be just like wherever it is we came from.

I only quoted this part of a well written post.....my apologizes.

Japan is what it is, no better nor worse than other places on this planet. What bugs me is the folks who have the "Nathan Algren" syndrome and wear rose colored glasses and refuse to accept the "bad" points of this country.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

What bugs me is the folks who have the "Nathan Algren" syndrome and wear rose colored glasses and refuse to accept the "bad" points of this country.

They are just as annoying as those who can't accept that the country is any good. Different sides of the coin.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hi mate, what that statement is is factually incorrect. The 98.5% statistic is not the percentage of Japan's population that is ethnic Japanese; it's the percentage of Japan's population that are Japanese citizens.

Yoshitsune -- Wrong "mate", since there are very few naturalized citizens in Japan.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Yes there are, there are a lot of naturalized Chinese and Koreans. Yoshitsune is correct, there aren't numbers broken down by ethnicity/race. Only by Japanese citizenship or not.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I read another article that said more about Ariana's personal history. Her parents split young, so she was raised in a 100% Japanese home, attending Japanese schools and she only went to the US for two years of high school to learn English. This young lady is Japanese, and it is insulting (as others said) for any article to point out her level of fluency. People should be bright enough to figure out someone who lived in a country for 18 out of 20 years of life, and raised in a single language home speaks the local language.

tinawatanabe - good job bringing China into a discussion that has nothing to do with it. Japan is ethnocentric, by the way.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

'I don't think any individual racist or xenophobe will ever change their mind by watching a beauty contest. Cultures change over time simply because peoples' prejudices go to the grave with them. It's just a matter of educating the next generation properly and waiting.'

I don't know much about modern Japanese education but the last time I watched Japanese television ( a few years ago ) it was full of reinforcements of the idea of foreigners as 'other'. Has anything changed in that time? In my experience it tends to be people ( not all ) who have lived or studied abroad or have worked in an international setting who tend to be the most accepting, regardless of generation.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Gosh, I really wish she makes the top 3...the looks on the faces of the J net bigots would be priceless.

Btw, joke of the day award goes to - " Japanophiles don"t defend bigoted statements, even though J-haters seem to defend theirs ".

ROFL, thanks for that gem ossan, you,ve been away too long ;)

2 ( +4 / -2 )

All the more power to Ariana for actually entering the contest in spite of her negative experiences as a child here in Japan, and it would be incredible if she actually was chosen as Miss Universe, in spite of my misgivings about that kind of competition. It could well do more for acceptance of mixed-race people, and especially children, than any number of 'administrative guidelines' or even legislative actions. But even so, it's going to be an uphill struggle as can be seen from what the writers of the article, who presumably are in favor of greater tolerance, have to say about Ariana. After telling us that she was "born and brought up" in Japan, they continue with "'He always felt unaccepted by Japanese ... and that made him unable to accept himself,' she added, in perfect Japanese." Huh? Why mention that her Japanese is perfect? Only one reason I can think of. As I said, it's going to be an uphill battle.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I believe that she is being used as a political tool. 'The powers that be' would like to influence the Japanese people's perception on foreigners so that they could finally increase immigration.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

She is a beautiful woman and worthy of the win. At this point in time she'll probably be treated somewhat differently because of the "half" distinction but I believe Japan will slowly change. It will take time... heck... the country is still roughly 96% Japanese and there was the Sakoku along with a deeply ingrained culture. A hundred years from now... when the high numbers of foreigners might be resented.. they'll wish they'd lived in Japan when.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Racial/haafu issues aside, she seems very average-looking. I see women everyday who are more beautiful than her.

I actually think she is kind of hot. But I could say I see better looking women at train stations or on the street than I see on TV, music groups or modeling shows here.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What bugs me is the folks who have the "Nathan Algren" syndrome and wear rose colored glasses and refuse to accept the "bad" points of this country.

They are just as annoying as those who can't accept that the country is any good. Different sides of the coin.

The problem is that there is no middle ground here. Sure there are the rosy-glasses cheerleaders for Japan. Those who attempt to rationally discuss an issue that is not one of Japan's fictionalized and accepted ideas of itself or reveal that there are severe, systemic problems in this nation are labeled as 'annoying' because 'they can't accept that the country is any good."

Every nation and culture has its noble and its ignoble aspects. At least in Canada we can discuss ours (hidden racism, the problems of multiculturalism, the heinous blights on our historical record, the wider swing to the right and so on) without being dismissed as being two sides of a very skinny coin. There is a wider continuum.

However, the lines revealed as Japanese and non-Japanese discuss the problem of a Japanese citizen who wins a contest to represent her country clearly point out that critical thought about racism is uncomfortable for many Japanese people. The cultural norm in Japan is to find the comfortable spot and stay there; however, there is no comfort zone in racism. You can't justify a rosy view, you can't defend it, and as a society the majority still doesn't want to address or change it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The problem is that there is no middle ground here.

Sure there is. I know this because I alternately get called a Japanophile, and a Japan hater, depending on the topic being discussed. That's because I criticize that which is wrong about Japan, while praising that which is right. The problem is the people who are so pro-Japan, that they cannot accept any criticism of Japan, and those who are so anti-Japan, that they cannot accept any praise of it. There are others like me on this site as well. A middle ground does exist.

Those who attempt to rationally discuss an issue that is not one of Japan's fictionalized and accepted ideas of itself or reveal that there are severe, systemic problems in this nation are labeled as 'annoying' because 'they can't accept that the country is any good."

You quoted parts of my comments there, but you misrepresented what I said. To re-state:

They are just as annoying as those who can't accept that the country is any good.

I wasn't saying that those who speak bad of Japan are 'annoying' and 'can't accept that Japan is any good' (else I'd be speaking of myself), I said those that 'can't accept that the country is any good are annoying'. It's quite a difference.

the lines revealed as Japanese and non-Japanese discuss the problem of a Japanese citizen who wins a contest to represent her country clearly point out that critical thought about racism is uncomfortable for many Japanese people.

How many is 'many'? I ask, because a lot of people seem to take the comments of netizens to be representative of the population as a whole, which I don't buy.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@Strangerland

Hang in there, mate. Your posts are always intelligent and worth reading....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thanks Luca!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Being a Japanophile means that you are blind to the realities of the world around you

No it doesn't.

-phile |fʌɪl| comb. form denoting fondness for a specified thing: bibliophile | Francophile. ORIGIN from Greek philos ‘loving.’

I'm quite happy to call myself a Japanophile, I love this country, I've made it my home, some of my absolute most favourite people and my significant other are Japanese. That's not to say I don't see the things that could do with improvement.

Like Strangerland, I feel that if you get called Japanophile and Japan hater in roughly equal amounts, you've probably got a reasonably well-balanced view of things. A bit like the BBC being accused of bias by both Labour and the Tories.

JT obviously enjoyed all the hits and comments this topic got the last time they put it up, which is why we've got it again I suppose. yawn

I wish I could give Mr Knight's post multiple thumbs-ups. The girl's spent her whole life living in Japan in a Japanese family, speaking Japanese and attending Japanese school. Yet the writers of this article somehow expect her to speak - what? Pidgin Japanese? Demeaning, insulting and unwarranted.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

@jerseyboy

Wrong "mate", since there are very few naturalized citizens in Japan

I am factually correct in stating that the Japanese census records nationality and not ethnicity. Why is that distinction important? Well, regarding your statement that there are very few naturalised citizens, the number is in the hundreds of thousands with approx. 15,000 more naturalising per year. That is not an insignificant number, but in the census they are hidden away within the 98.5% (as are mixed-race Japanese). If the census were to ask about ethnicity, it would not return the result that Japan's population is 98.5% ethnic Japanese; with the foreign population, the naturalised ethnic-non-Japanese population, and the mixed race population, it would probably be around 95 or 96%. Not an enormous difference, granted; but, I would say, of enough significance to discredit claims that Japan is homogenous. It might be a bit strong to say the 98.5% stat is "dangerous fiction", but it is certainly a little misleading.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"It might be a bit strong to say the 98.5% stat is "dangerous fiction", but it is certainly a little misleading."

Oh Come on. The fiction is the belief that the nation represents ethnic purity. Nationalism absolutely is a dangerous fiction. In fact, one of the most dangerous in that it threatens the future of humanity.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Go girl. In the eyes of many, you're already a winner!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@shallots

Agreed. What I meant is that the 98.5% statistic itself isn't fiction; it's fact. The problem is that it's a fact which is (mis)presented & (mis)interpreted as being a different fact!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

CNN posted an interesting segment about Ariana. It is good to see her getting quite a lot of international coverage.

Here is the link (2'15"): http://www.cnn.co.jp/video/14194.html

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am factually correct in stating that the Japanese census records nationality and not ethnicity. Why is that distinction important? Well, regarding your statement that there are very few naturalised citizens, the number is in the hundreds of thousands with approx. 15,000 more naturalising per year. That is not an insignificant number, but in the census they are hidden away within the 98.5% (as are mixed-race Japanese). If the census were to ask about ethnicity, it would not return the result that Japan's population is 98.5% ethnic Japanese; with the foreign population, the naturalised ethnic-non-Japanese population, and the mixed race population, it would probably be around 95 or 96%. Not an enormous difference, granted; but, I would say, of enough significance to discredit claims that Japan is homogenous. It might be a bit strong to say the 98.5% stat is "dangerous fiction", but it is certainly a little misleading.

Yshitsune -- You are kidding right. First off, you are correct, the 98.5% of the population of Japan is "ethnic Japanese". But, you so am I, in that, by your own numbers, the fact is the number of naturalized citizens is very low, so population and citizenship are nearly the same. In fact, 15,000 people per year represents less than .01% of the population. Seriously, how can you possibly say this is not an "insignificant number? It would take 100 years just to make up 1% of the citizens. (The U.S. number for 2014 was about 650,000 for comparison, or about 43 times as many, in a population of just over 2.5 times the size.) Please! And, even if your guess of 95% or 96% of the citizens being "ethnic Japanese" is correct, it certainly does qualify as homogenous, and it is foolish for you to state otherwise. Since when is 4% of anything significant? Besides, if it were significant, we would not even be having this debate -- in the 21st century. Nice try, but oyur own numbers show how badly you and the other Japanophiles are clutching at straws on this one.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Yoshitsune -- Wrong "mate", since there are very few naturalized citizens in Japan.

Naturalization is somewhat irrelevant considering that if you are born to a parent of Japanese citizen in Japan, most if not all hauuf's and Miss Miyamoto types are included in the 98.5%. They are, as Yoshitune, stated "hidden".

3 ( +5 / -2 )

What the small minded muppets really mean when they say she doesn't look Japanese enough, is that she doesn't look east Asian enough because let's face it and burst their superiority bubble, past Miss Japans look like they could be Miss China or Miss Korea, Just in the same way that, to look at, I could be French, American, German, English etc.....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

First of all, she is not good looking enough by any standard to be Miss Japan. This "Miss Japan" thing should be about a woman who represents Japan, ethnically, culturally and genetically and not some issue about someone who is part Japanese trying to break the system and destroy the very fabric of what makes Japan unique.

-17 ( +3 / -20 )

@Yoshitsune Thanks for your sensible posts.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

She is pretty but if I go outside my office I'll see far prettier within minutes. If it's all about the inner beauty then let's see some plain looking girls with brains and opinions. Calling this a beauty contest is like going to a supercar show and there being not one Lambo or Ferrari to be see.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Claiming she is pretty or not is pointless. Beauty is subjective - as can be seen in this thread from the fact that some people say she is hot, and some say she is not. What does it matter? The fact is that the judges thought she was beautiful enough and well spoken enough to represent Japan, and that's all that really matters.

That said, she's hot.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

are we not all merely a by-product of our suns formation? humans are stupid. its like the different coloured hairs on a zebra arguing. haha

4 ( +4 / -0 )

She is pretty but if I go outside my office I'll see far prettier within minutes.

They probably have the body type of a small child and walk like a penguin though.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

First of all, she is not good looking enough by any standard to be Miss Japan.

She is too good to be Miss Green Plant Any Country. The pageants shouldn't even exist in the first place. But I encourage her because she uses this circus to convey an interesting message.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They probably have the body type of a small child

This makes no logical sense. Your use of the word 'probably' indicates that a majority would have the body of a small child. But if the majority of them have this body, then it's not the body of a small child, it's the body of a grown woman.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@jerseyboy

You are kidding right

No, I am not.

First off, you are correct, the 98.5% of the population of Japan is "ethnic Japanese".

No, it is not. That isn't what I said, and you know it isn't. 98.5% of the population of Japan are Japanese citizens. That is not the same thing as 98.5% of the population of Japan being ethnic Japanese. You statement absolutely proves the point that I'm making - that the 98.5% statistic is presented by certain people as telling us something other than what it actually does.

15,000 people per year represents less than .01% of the population. Seriously, how can you possibly say this is not an "insignificant number? It would take 100 years just to make up 1% of the citizens.

The total is in the hundreds of thousands; around 0.5% of the population.

even if your guess of 95% or 96% of the citizens being "ethnic Japanese" is correct.... Since when is 4% of anything significant?

You may not consider that to be significant. But when you are claiming that Japan has only 1.5% of its population as non-Japanese, an extra 0.5% increases that by a third. Include mixed race citizens, and it goes up by another couple of percentage points. 5% is a lot more than 1.5%. When we are talking about a population of 125 million, 5% is a significant number of people. In fact, there are also the Ryukyuan (and Ainu) people. An ethnic breakdown looks something like this:

1.5% Foreign citizens 0.5% Naturalised citizens of non-Japanese ethnicity 2%? Mixed race Japanese (haafu) 1.3% Ryukyuan 95% Ethnic Japanese

it certainly does qualify as homogenous, and it is foolish for you to state otherwise

No it doesn't. Not any more. It is misleading to claim that it does, and needlessly insulting to call me foolish.

Besides, if it were significant, we would not even be having this debate -- in the 21st century. Nice try, but oyur own numbers show how badly you and the other Japanophiles are clutching at straws on this one

The reason we are having this debate is because there are people who wish to maintain the myth of Japan's ethnic homogeneity. I am arguing against these attempts; ignoring the implied insult, how exactly does that make me a Japanophile? It seems to me that the Japanophile position would be to try to maintain the myth of homogeneity, as you are doing. Which is somewhat baffling, as I note from your other posts on this thread that you are critical of the racism directed against Ariana and do not seem in anyway to be a Japanese nationalist; so why do you wish to argue in favour of their position regarding Japan's so-called homogeneity?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

'destroy the very fabric of what makes Japan unique.'

What is it in your eyes that makes Japan 'unique'? Discredited nonsense about racial purity? I've come across nationalists with sinister fantasies of purity in many countries claiming this is what makes them 'unique'.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

First of all, she is not good looking enough by any standard to be Miss Japan.

First of all you need to read up a little about these beauty pageants. It is just not about a beautiful face, its how you carry yourself, how you speak, your body etc etc. I checked out the event video and she definitely did well in all of the events.

destroy the very fabric of what makes Japan unique.

Would you have made the same statement if she was part Caucasian?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@hawkeye

This "Miss Japan" thing should be about a woman who represents Japan, ethnically, culturally and genetically

Miss Universe has been around for over half a century; it is an accurate representation of Japan's population for one out of its 60-odd entrants during that time to be mixed race.

destroy the very fabric of what makes Japan unique

She isn't destroying anything. She's representing her country whether you like it or not.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

She is Japanese. End of discussion.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Ariana also holds a 5th degree in Japanese calligraphy and she looks dynamite in a bikini!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There is no such thing as the Japanese race or any other race other than the 'human race'- why do so many people mix up race and nationality is beyond me....

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There is no such thing as the Japanese race or any other race other than the 'human race'

Ignoring the fact that there are indeed other races, what's been talked about in this thread is ethnicity more than race.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This makes no logical sense. Your use of the word 'probably' indicates that a majority would have the body of a small child. But if the majority of them have this body, then it's not the body of a small child, it's the body of a grown woman.

By your logic, it would be the body of a small child AND a grown woman, in Japan anyway. Obviously I exaggerated a bit, but my point is while many Japanese women have pretty faces, most of their bodies aren't dynamic enough for an international competition. Then again, I hear most of these women end up doing some sort of surgery anyway...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I have a question maybe someone can answer? Is Yu Darvish Japanese or Iranian? His mother is japanese is father is iranian but most if not all Japanese were quick to claim him or should I say "ACCEPT" him as Japanese because he represented the country for the World Baseball Tournament. Now what is the difference in Ariana Miyamoto ok her mom is japanese and her father is african american. With that say I am willing to best Ariana Miyamoto will win on the "WORLD STAGE" and in the end ALL OF JAPAN WILL CLAIM HER AS THEIR OWN, just as they did Yu Darvish before he became a high school baseball star he had the same problems as being call "HALF" as Ariana Miyamoto . On the world stage this young lady will make her mark if the judges in japan did not see her any different she wouldn't have made it that far to be giving the title considering the politics surrounding the pageants. Japan is all about saving face and projecting an image and those who want to make change is doing this for a reason. I predict Ariana Miyamoto will win the world title and all of Japan will be watching!!!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It sounds pessimistic, but I am convinced she is fighting for a lost cause... at best she might just be considered an exception from the general trend against haafus and gaijins. You can't beat hundreds of years of isolationism with just one person - even with "open" borders, there is still a strong culture opposing foreigners and anyone having least knowledge about modern culture of Japan can sense this - and I'm not talking about the metropolitan, cosmopolitan culture, free of national identifications - this is a completely different matter. The essence of national culture lies not in the cosmoplitan world of big cities but in the rural areas.

You might say as a counter argument that words like "haafu" and "gaijin" are neutral - but I disagree. It's just the most cultural and subtle way of telling someone "You don't belong here." "It's not your place." "You're a threat to us." "You have nothing to say here."

5 ( +5 / -0 )

You know, if she actually wins Miss Universe, all of a sudden she'll be Japanese enough for everybody, that's for sure! LOL yeah bit like baseballs Darvish (halfu Iranian) , hammerthrower Kohji Murofushi (halfu Romanian) and Sumos Taiho ( halfu Ukrainian) so there achievements should only be halfu claimed by Japan.

3 ( +5 / -1 )

I wish Ariana Miyamoto good luck on this.

I'm with her all the way!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

represents Japan, ethnically, culturally and genetically genetically what does that even mean, go back around 3000~4000 yrs and Japan so called genetics where the same various places throughout asia, go back around 100,000~150,000 yrs and those Japanese genetics were the same as the Hans tribes of Africa. I get tired of this pure blood Japanese this, Japanese race that. there is not such thing!. there is a Japanese culture with mixed genetics , and the Asian race which Japanese are apart of. To think that a Japanese Adam and Eve magically sprung from the crater of Mt Fuji is just plain delusional.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

She's such a gorgeous, talented and sweet person. I wish her all the luck in the world for her career.

Winning the competition would surely be the most elegant way to wiggle her well-manicured middle finger in the face of the haters. You go, Ariana!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

She is an example for all of us, long term foreigner residents with or without families and children in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Strangerland What are you saying? There is more than one race on earth? Do you have access to some esoteric facts? Really, I've yet to meet any, other than humans on this planet. The very reason that Ms Miyamoto exists is because her father and mother are humans. Ethnicity is another question - on that I agree.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Strangerland What are you saying? There is more than one race on earth?

Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying.

Really, I've yet to meet any, other than humans on this planet.

Good for you. I've met plenty of black, white, and Asian people on this planet. Seen it with my own two eyes I have.

Now, you can try to bury your head in the sand as to the existence of race, but that doesn't make it go away. And it doesn't advance things whatsoever. White Americans have been trying to hide from the existence of race ever since slavery ended, and look how well that has worked.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

When you go to a Japanese restaurant and the chef, servers and staff are all Latino or Korean, it takes away from the experience just like when Miss Japan does not look Japanese at least to me. Someone who does not look like and duck and walk like a duck is not a duck. You may as well get rid of any cultural or ethnic festivals or events based on the majority of posters here and homogenize the world and how boring a place that would be.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

When you go to a Japanese restaurant and the chef, servers and staff are all Latino or Korean, it takes away from the experience just like when Miss Japan does not look Japanese

It's a false equivalency. In your first example, the staff is not Japanese by any definition - ethnically, culturally, or by citizenship. Ariana is Japanese by culture, ethnicity, and citizenship. So your comparison makes no sense.

Someone who does not look like and duck and walk like a duck is not a duck.

She walks like a duck and talks like a duck. As for looking like one - you hold outdated notions of what it means to look Japanese. That's your problem, not hers.

You may as well get rid of any cultural or ethnic festivals or events based on the majority of posters here and homogenize the world and how boring a place that would be.

Nothing you posted leads to that conclusion.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

She doesn't look like a duck at all. She looks like a pretty lady. 失礼しちゃうな。

3 ( +2 / -0 )

the people who doesn't know her of course will not know if she is Japanese or not until she confirms, so to react negatively because she is handed an english menu is I think is being too sensitive.

Not only multi racial kids experience bullying in Japan, even the pure Japanese are having the same issue and that is a problem everywhere. Believe me compare to the country where I came from, Japan treats the multi racials better (especially for people with darker skin)

Plus the truth is wether she likes it or not, part of her is American, so if she only wants to be recognized as Japanese does it mean she denies and she doesn't want people to recognize her american side , wouldn't that be unfair on her father's side?

As for negative bashers, indeed there are few narrow minded people but I don't think they represent the whole Japan! The fact that she is crowned MISS JAPAN means that she is fully accepted by the Japanese people.

My whole point is, I don't see Japan treating multi racial unfairly, bullying and narrow minds are everywhere not only Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Not sure why there is even a discussion. She has Japanese citizenship so case closed to the 'you have to look Japanese to be Japanese.' It`s these types of articles that let out the true colours of a large number of Japanese. Silly.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Awesome!! Do it!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

so what? the people who doesnt know her at all MUST recognize right away that she is Japanese? and a failure to that means they are being disrespectful to multi racial people?

Ask yourselves, let's say that the lady on the picture above is not the popular MISS JAPAN and you see her in a coffee shop, can you immediately tell that she is Japanese or not?

H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y

0 ( +2 / -2 )

the truth is wether she likes it or not, part of her is American, so if she only wants to be recognized as Japanese does it mean she denies and she doesn't want people to recognize her american side , wouldn't that be unfair on her father's side?

Considering he left when she was a kid, and hasn't been part of her life, I'm guessing she doesn't really care that much about being unfair to her father's side.

The fact that she is crowned MISS JAPAN means that she is fully accepted by the Japanese people.

Well, not exactly. She was accepted by the judges of the pageant. Those judges are not elected representatives of the people, nor even necessarily an accurate representation of the people. (Though I'm glad they made the decision they did).

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Multiracial Miss Japan hopes to change homeland's thinking on identity

I wish her luck with this. She could help get rid of the word "haafu" for starters.

a dual Japanese and U.S. national, told Reuters.

Japan doesn't permit dual nationality from 20 onwards. I doubt there's an exception in her case.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Japan doesn't permit dual nationality from 20 onwards. I doubt there's an exception in her case.

That's already been addressed multiple times in this thread.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

strangerland

Considering he left when she was a kid, and hasn't been part of her life, I'm guessing she doesn't really care that much about being unfair to her father's side.

well people who will meet her for the first time or the ones who will see her in shops will not know her lifestory

Well, not exactly. She was accepted by the judges of the pageant. Those judges are not elected representatives of the people, nor even necessarily an accurate representation of the people. (Though I'm glad they made the decision they did).

Well I don't see people protesting in the streets or even a single petition to disqualify her, No Major movements by the Japanese people to uncrown her, I don't even hear Japanese people talking about her being the Miss Japan is unaccpetable. So do Japanese people really not accepting her? or some are just being too sensitive with the negative comments of handful narrow minded bashers and assume that they represent the whole country?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This surprising article - and even more surprising comments - illuminates both evolving definitions of identity and some persistent racial concepts. I am beginning to understand why immigration remains more controlled in Japan than most other advanced democratic countries.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

tinawatanabe "If I hear the word "ethnocentric", it reminds me of Chinese. "

Which "Chinese" are you referring to Tina? China has 56 different ethnic groups.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

noypikantoku

Well I don't see people protesting in the streets or even a single petition to disqualify her, No Major movements by the Japanese people to uncrown her, I don't even hear Japanese people talking about her being the Miss Japan is unaccpetable. So do Japanese people really not accepting her? or some are just being too sensitive with the negative comments of handful narrow minded bashers and assume that they represent the whole country?

Good point. Well I'm sure there are some Japanese people talking about this however I see awfully A LOT MORE non-japanese people talking about this. Really, the Japanese people who are complaining about her not being 100% Japanese isn't the majority, the media talks like most Japanese people are against her representing Japan but that's really not the case.

If some people are saying Japanese are against this whole thing based on yahoo japan comments or other stuff like that, you know those comments do not represent the majority of the Japanese people. those people who complain have way too much time to spare and they're probably bored.

If someone else (a 100% Japanese person) was chosen, I'm sure there are still tons of people who would complain like how she isn't pretty or she isn't qualified.. There are always complainers no matter what.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Good point. Well I'm sure there are some Japanese people talking about this however I see awfully A LOT MORE non-japanese people talking about this. Really, the Japanese people who are complaining about her not being 100% Japanese isn't the majority,

Actually thats probably not true. If know anything about Japan culture, politics etc, you would know that many Japanese keep their opinions to themselves; it doesnt, however, mean they dont have an opinion. I think many Japanese hold the view of the "minority" that you refer too, they just dont express it.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If know anything about Japan culture, politics etc

I was born and raised in Japan.... just like Ariana ;)

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I think many Japanese hold the view of the "minority" that you refer too, they just dont express it.

If they aren't expressing it, then how do you know what they feel?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As I sit here looking at a Japanese govermnment approved statement in an English Japanese dictionary given to me in Japan........it says..."there is no single Japanese race. Science reveals the people of Japan to be a mixture of peoples from Southeast Asia, the Korean peninsula and the Ainu race." Now as we know that we also have to add in millions of Ryku islanders and other pacifics who were absorbed....the Chinese/Mongol connection through the Korean penninsula as well as others....it is easy to say she is Japanese and thats it. She has other blood in her but if we were to take a million Japanese and test DNA...not all of them will have Yamato lineage or are from the Jomon people who were here first. Some may have more parts of their DNA of Mongols...some this, that, or the other thing.

Part of the problem is that Japanese people (in general) are taught that they are all the same and that there is a purity to being Japanese. I wish someone in the Japanese Heirarchy like the royals would make a statement contrary to this nonsence. As for the 98.5% that number is an outright government misleading quote spread like a virus. There are millions who are counted among that number who were not born as Japanese citizens and many who have less Japanese blood born to a Japanese mother. To promote this number as "racially" Japanese as I have seen done by many officials in discussions of immigration is a falsehood. People I met who were ethnically Koreans who changed their identities to Japanese names to hide and get passports and blend in hipped me to the "scoop". I then learned of many who were haafu or mixed who looked japanese enough to "pass". This whole Miss Japan thing is needed to help move the country forward. In this new millenium..no country will be immune to the effects of multi-culturism..multi ethnics and so forth. With every passing year it becomes more of the norm worldwide. People are crossing borders in record numbers. No one is trying to force Japan to change......it is happening whether they want it or not. the old guard is dying off and younger generations of humans lean more toward acceptance. Thank God...(or 7th dimensional beings looking down of us like in the movie Interstellar.)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

fishy

If someone else (a 100% Japanese person) was chosen, I'm sure there are still tons of people who would complain like how she isn't pretty or she isn't qualified.. There are always complainers no matter what.

Very well said!

5petals

they just dont express it.

or it's because Majority of Japanese people don't see any issues at all and only few are making an issue and being paranoid about it?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@noypikantoku

@strangerland

if she only wants to be recognized as Japanese does it mean she denies and she doesn't want people to recognize her american side , wouldn't that be unfair on her father's side?

Considering he left when she was a kid, and hasn't been part of her life, I'm guessing she doesn't really care that much about being unfair to her father's side

Afternoon gents, just been reading your exchange re Ariana's relationship with her father and her American side. It isn't really discussed in this JT article beyond stating that she attended high school in the States, but articles elsewhere give further detail; while studying in the States she lived with her father, and she does apparently embrace her American side as well as her Japanese side. Just wanted to share that info as it's relevant to the points you were both making.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yoshitsune

true :) In an interview when asked by a reporter about her experience of "ryuugaku" (studying abroad), she responded by saying it wasn't really "ryuugaku" but because her father is American she said she simply went to live with her father during the high school years.

Yes the father might have left the country but didn't mean he left from her world.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thanks for the correction Yoshitsune.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Here we go again??? The people that are "alarmed" and "concerned" with the racial situation in Japan... in my eyes are the more prone or are the nearest to be racists...

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Children aren't born racist. Their mothers likely instill it in those children that are.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@christopher glen

Japan doesn't permit dual nationality from 20 onwards.

I'm not even going to bother going over ground I've already covered in an earlier comment in this thread, but I will hook you up with the Ministry of Justice. The age by which a dual national must make a choice of nationality (and you really should look into what that actually involves unless you, like so many others, simply prefer to be both confused and incorrect) is 22. Miyamoto is 20.

http://www.moj.go.jp/ENGLISH/information/tcon-01.html

1 ( +1 / -0 )

many nationalist think that being of certain nationality is somehow magically imprinted in your genes/DNA when actually its many mixed genes of different races over 1000s of years that makes a nationality/nationalities. when you mention to Japanese that the Sumo great Taiho is actually halfu, most are shocked. He was about as Japanese as they come and his father was Ukrainian. Ariana Miyamoto should not be treated any different, and she has the added bonus of having an American father. Many seem to think that being of mixed race is not desirable when in actual fact it has many more advantages than they would know or accept.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

she has the added bonus of having an American father.

An added bonus until tax season.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

An added bonus until tax season. LOL well if it come to much of a burden, she can always give up her American citizenship if she hasnt already. yeah that truely suxs having to lodge and pay American taxes even if your not living there. as the saying goes "only in America"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Call me whatever you Japan-bashers want to, but this is more of a PR stunt than anything else. I've been discriminated against for having girlfriends outside of my race and having a disability, but the best thing to do is move on.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

HawkeyeApr. 07, 2015 - 08:58AM JST

Someone who does not look like and duck and walk like a duck is not a duck.

I can't tell you how different species of ducks there are, but if you check wiki or something, you'll surely find that there are countless. And they all look different, and live prominently in different parts of the world, yet, they are considered ducks??? go figure!

I hope you can look at someone like Ariana Miyamoto in the eye and tell her that she is not Japanese because she doesn't "look" Japanese.

And I hope that someday you will realize that humans are capable of judging something or someone for more than visual appearance alone.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@noypikantoku

Ask yourselves, let's say that the lady on the picture above is not the popular MISS JAPAN and you see her in a coffee shop, can you immediately tell that she is Japanese or not?

Nobody can. Including foreigners who point fingers at Japan and waffle on about stereotypes.

H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y

Exactly.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The famous american Cal Ripken broke the baseball Iron Man record for most consecutive games. That man is Sachio Kinusaga. He is a "haafu" with a black father but I had no idea and many of my students did not. It seems if japanese people want to they can deal with it. Especially when they want to champion an achievement. Some of the old timers new but left it out conveniently. This girl will be OK. And she will be an inspiration to younger generation girls that they can stand tall too.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sachio_Kinugasa

http://weareallmixedup.tumblr.com/post/53810157970/multiracial-june-flashback-sachio-kinugasa

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A breath of fresh air, an angel even. Can you make 1 million copies of yourself and spread them all through Japan. I might see you on the street and say hello and you might smile and say hello back. How wonderful it would be. By the way I think she is very attractive.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

What we see here is a clash between pre-State and post-State notions of identity and nationality. The idea that a legal recognition by a State and a set of functional qualifications, represented in an official document and the ability to both speak the language fluently and master the society's customs, is enough to grant its holder "nationality" of a certain country, that in order to become Japanese it's enough to get a Japanese citizenship, speak Japanese and learn to use chopsticks, is post-State. But for most societies nationality transcends merely (again) legal and functional qualifications and includes ethnicity. You may call it outdated and racist, but it is what it is, and last time I checked there isn't a fixed, proper criterion for identity and nationality, nor it belongs to the West the sole right to decide it.

There was this debate on a South African talk show where Black South Africans basically told a White South African who was complaining about attacks on White farmers, that she should instead be grateful they haven't kicked her out of the country, no matter her citizenship or her family's history in the country, because South Africa is for Black Africans. In South America, people often complain that most of the prominent figures, including many presidents, are descendants of immigrants (French, German, American, Lebanese, Syrian, Japanese, Swedish) who came to the country in as late as the 1st half of the XX. They can't help but feel like the country has been overtook by foreigners. So these previous examples show that many people still link ethnicity to nationality.

No let's imagine if a girl called Svetlana Mbanga, who is a blonde with blue eyes and practically indistinguishable from any other girl in Moscow, is elected Miss Kenya. I don't think Kenyans would be very pleased. And I wonder if the PC army would criticize the Kenyans for that reaction as much as they have the Japanese.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

She's getting a lot of media coverage, and I like her more and more. Nice girl! Don't worry, if she won the Miss Universe, Japanese will all love her.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@lasolitaria.....Is it the same thing? A blonde blue eyed immigrant with no Kenyan blood? We are talking about a girl with a Japanese mother. We understand the Japanese reaction up to a point...........But there have been years of putting down of groups mixed into Japanese like the Ryukuans/Koreans/Ainu/westerners..etc. Not someone who moved there but one who's lineage goes through Japanese DNA. In African countries...many who have been colonised in the past forcibly...and told they were ugly...to have a blonde blue eyed immigrant representing them would cause some consternation. Understandably. But we as a human race have a long way to go. I for one don't expect the Japanese to be where other places are on the "mixing" scale........but it is good to see there are some people in Japan who are letting nature take its course.

We are all one race...this young Japanese-black girl won't change Japan but it will wake some people to the realities of a future world. And as long as we can keep from the destroying what resources we have left, we will be ok.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

when you mention to Japanese that the Sumo great Taiho is actually halfu, most are shocked. ,etc. ,etc.

Although there is a lot of knowledge known in this country, there is great ignorance with so many. In addition, so many are "unaware that they are unaware". It reminds me of when Jeff Goldblum said the scientists were "thintelligent" at Jurassic Park. Well, hopefully this is a chance for people to learn. Maybe she will make many issues known that had been ignored before. Some will continue to be "willfully ignorant", but perhaps most will come to understand.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@virgo Didn't you see that I gave Svetlana a typical African last name (maybe not exactly Kenyan, but the point still gets across), thus implying that one of her parents is Kenyan? Like her, Ariana has Japanese blood but she's not representative of the Japanese. So yes, it is the same thing, but apparently the complaints of the Japanese are unjustified and dismissed because they aren't some poor oppressed 3rd World country.

I completely promote miscegenation but the fact stands that Japan is not a miscegenated country. In fact, we're still far from a world where everybody looks Brazliian.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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