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Osaka a role model, says former Miss Japan

26 Comments
By Alastair Himmer

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26 Comments
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The media has established the word half and now the population has become prejudice about mixed races imo.

They need to stop using that word and acknowledge their superiority upon them.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Yoshikawa's Bollywood looks

Lazy stereotyping at the very least.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Yoshikawa's Bollywood looks

Lazy stereotyping at the very least.

Looks like a Bollywood actress to me. South Asian-looking, elegant and beautiful. A bit like a beautiful or handsome American woman or man is described as having ‘Hollywood looks’.

Is the expression ‘Hollywood looks’ also on the pc hitlist these days?

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Is the expression ‘Hollywood looks’ also on the pc hitlist these days?

I'm not aware of any pc hitlists. Sounds like strawman stuff to me.

Context is everything, Jimizo.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

 Jun Hasegawa

I had to look up who she was. I think there are far better known and representative haafu in fashion, let alone Japanese entertainment. Anna Umemiya, for one.

If Naomi Osaka can break down barriers, that would be great, but it's not her job or responsibility to change other people's entrenched attitudes. The same hopes have been placed on others in the past, but the barriers are still there.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@toasted heretic

I’m just wondering if describing very attractive people with South Asian features as having ‘Bollywood looks’ is acceptable. You seemed to dislike the description.

How about ‘Hollywood looks’?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

"The way she speaks, and her humbleness, are so Japanese," said the 24-year-old.

Wouldn't say she sounds/acts 'so' Japanese tbh. Osaka has a blase, laid-back (even lethargic at times), nasal drawl when she speaks English i.e not your typical/quintessential 20yo J girl. She also doesn't have the 'ganbare attitude' nor seem to care about what others think of her, which is fine with me yet quite un-japanese.

Never been a fan of the 'role model' thing either (especially sports stars).

9 ( +10 / -1 )

The word "hafu" is a racial slur. Japanese people should stop using it.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

@A.M., you're spot on. The word 'haafu' is nothing but racist. And as Miss Yoshikawa said, it starts very early in life. The only way to stop it is to start with children, but I really doubt that the Japanese education system, as entrenched as it is, will do the right thing.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I hate the word ''hafu'', because yes, I'm one myself. Let's just acknowledge our biracial superiority. Yu Darvish, Naomi Osaka, Priyanka Yoshikawa, Sani Brown, et al. Miscengenation clearly works. Japan, welcome to the 21世紀.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

American woman or man is described as having ‘Hollywood looks’.

If you grew up in the 50's or 60's I might agree, but today....nah, few people use it.

Lazy stereotyping at the very least.

Yeah it IS lazy! It's like me calling some good looking Japanese female as having "geisha" quality looks!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Ha! Judging from the cruel comments she and Miyamoto got, I doubt very much things will change.

Then again, Osaka has done what Nishikori can only dream of. The Japanese can either accept her, or she can say bye bye and play for USA.

Looks like a Bollywood actress to me.

Ha, and double ha! Someone with her looks in India would be called ch**k and also be on the receiving end of racist abuse. There are plenty of people who hail from Assam and other places in north-east India who look like her. And yet as soon as they move to Delhi, it's as if they're foreigners. And they're treated as such.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Stop using the word 'hafu', a horrible, hateful, pejorative word. The media can start. If you really need to highlight a person's racial or cultural heritage (and there is usually very little reason to do so) try mixed race, bi-cultural or whatever. Or, in the cases mentioned in the article, just say 'Japanese'.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

“She is tri-racial (Japan, United States and Haiti), a world athlete.”

United States is a race? Haiti is a race? Japan is a race? Is that really what Matsuoka said, or just a very bad translation?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

In my multicultural elementary school class, we did not think about how different people were but learned to appreciate how valuable differences are-in viewpoints, in food, in experiences. Same too with the ESL classes my friend's children spent this past summer attending. In Japan, especially schools, differences between are considered strange not interesting. That is the heart of the issue, isn't it? And has to stop teachers and parents, and ...... At the sushi shop, we pay a lot for unique items. The same goes for people, doesn't it?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

In a country where very few people are of mixed race, being mixed race is unusual, so naturally attracts attention, but this is no excuse for treating people of mixed race as foreigners.

If you haven't seen it - check out the documentary 'Haafu' that was released a few years ago, describing what it is like to be mixed race in Japan.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

All prominent people are role models whether they like it or not. Some obviously have more of an impact than others. I think that unfortunately Osaka’s humble attitude and demeanor are not well suited for modern society. I hope that people will take her by the example she sets. Actions can at times speak louder than words even in these hyper-selfish times.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So that’s Miss Japan. She looks nice.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@AM I'm not sure "hafu" is a derogatory word. I'm half-Japanese, but never thought the word meant anything more than being mixed race, with one side being of Japanese origin. Many people in my shoes embrace the word to identify themselves. As for me, I don't dwell on it, but respect my Japanese origins as it does define who I am. To be honest, as much as I embrace my Japanese side, I actually like being the "gaijin" while living in Japan because it allows me to side-step all the tedious Japanese social norms.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Jun Hasegawa

I had to look up who she was. I think there are far better known and representative haafu in fashion, let alone Japanese entertainment. Anna Umemiya, for one.

Anna Umemiya is older. Jun Hasegawa is much more famous among young people, I think.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When I was growing up, we weren’t even called “haafu “. It was “ainoko “, which is pretty horrible even back then. So for me, “haafu” isn’t that bad, given what we were called before, and technically “haafu” is somewhat accurate.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"If you think you're Japanese, you're Japanese." Wow and so many people have been going about it the hard way, through immigration etcetera

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"If you think you're Japanese, you're Japanese." Wow and so many people have been going about it the hard way, through immigration etcetera

"Japanese" is a particularly slippery term, as it can refer to language, culture, citizenship and/or ethnicity. You are talking about citizenship. She is talking about identity, which would be culture.

When it comes down to it, there is no checklist where if you reach X number of points, one is Japanese, and as such, no one gets to define what is or isn't Japanese. All people get to define is what is or isn't Japanese to themselves. They then apply that definition to other people. For example, some people don't call Osaka Japanese, because she doesn't meet their internal definition of what it means to be Japanese.

But, since there is no official determination of what is or isn't Japanese, it means that any definition of 'Japanese' is individual, and therefore all without consensus, each individual opinion is just as valid as any other. Therefore, if one defines themselves as Japanese based on their personal definition of what that means, then they are Japanese. You may not agree, but your one opinion doesn't cancel out theirs.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

“If you think you're Japanese, you're Japanese."

Imagine if the Ministry of Justice adopted that attitude!

No more forced deportations or lengthy incarcerations....

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Imagine if the Ministry of Justice adopted that attitude!

You're referring to the meaning of Japanese as 'citizenship' in this case. That wouldn't be the same meaning of Japanese that she was referring to.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japanese entertainment. Anna Umemiya, for one.

That too is a personal opinion, as I know plenty that think she aint what she used to be!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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