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Ariana Miyamoto: The Biracial Beauty

Japan has taken an important step to show a new definition of what it means to be Japanese.

By 1 min read 54

Just like many other Japanese, I was surprised to see the pictures of Ariana Miyamoto, a 20-year-old who was crowned Miss Japan 2015. Ms. Miyamoto is biracial and at close to six feet tall and dark-skinned, she contradicts the traditional Japanese beauty standards.

This has led to some Japanese to take to social media to criticize her that she shouldn’t represent Japan as she doesn’t look Japanese enough. In my opinion, this is ridiculous as Ms. Miyamoto is gorgeous and has the potential to succeed not only as a model in Japan but as a model in the West as well and she could be the first Japanese model to walk Victoria’s Secret runway.

Ms. Miyamoto has really challenged the definition that many have of what it means to be Japanese.

As a hafu myself, I feel somewhat emotional seeing this hafu model selected to represent Japan for the global Miss Universe pageant. Ms. Miyamoto is the very first hafu to win Miss Japan. Her mother is Japanese and her father is African American.

Many Japanese people believe that Miss Japanese should not be hafu and both parents should be Japanese to represent the country. In this extremely homogeneous society where 98.5% of the population are ethnically Japanese, Ms. Miyamoto has really challenged the definition that many have of what it means to be Japanese.

Japan has a long way to go in acknowledging and accepting the diversity but I feel hopeful that crowning Ariana Miyamoto is a huge step to new Japan. Japan has taken an important step to show a new definition of what it means to be Japanese to the world!

What do you think? Should she represent Japan at the Miss Universe pageant?

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  • Mujushin says:

    perhaps you dont realize how significant a hafu winning miss Japan is in their country.

  • Jerry Alan Carroll says:


  • Jerry Alan Carroll says:

    I have not heard one person have a negative comment on her winning. Sounds like you are taking a few comments and making a big deal out of it.

  • Autumn Fae says:

    There are tons of white/ japanese mix girls in the media and everyone embraces them as what they want the ideal beauty to be in Japan. So many Japanese people admire those mixes but can be nasty towards the black / japanese mixes because they see blacks as primitive and scary. i say who gives a fuck with japan being less than 2 percent of the world’s population. Their opinion is mattering less and less the more the world sees how bizarre their attitudes are towards foreigners and darker skin.

  • Gordon Graham says:

    Two pieces of advice. First, get a calendar guy! Second, “you’d better start swimming or sink like a stone…they times they are a changing”

  • Tunafish Ha says:

    We are all hafus. Me being full blooded Vietnamese yet I look Chinese. Im sure the Judges knew what they were doing when they selected her.

  • waz up says:

    crouching melato hidden japanese? lol. mix asian with black tend look like mixed without any asian lmao.

  • Macarons & Sakura Tea says:

    She looks stunning. Best of luck, Ariana.

  • Yumitolesson says:

    Well, the most important thing is to embrace this woman’s courage to come forward and really tell the world that she is japanese regardless of her non japanese looks. 1/30 children born in Japan is said to be ethnically mixed and it’s time to start reassessing the reality- it’s time to challenge what it means to be Japanese.

    • Gordon Graham says:

      Well said! Also, we need all the kids we can get. How fortunate we are to have an intelligent, beautiful Japanese woman like Ms.Miyamoto represent Japan!

  • SuSu says:

    Just a curious question, I noticed she does not use English in any of her interviews, even during her interviews with British and American media Houses. I was wondering if she is bilingual?

    • Yumitolesson says:

      I am not quite sure.. She went to a high school and stayed with her dad in the us but she said she was better at japanese.

  • Ariadna says:

    I just want to share with you my (short) story. I’m Spanish (ok, I rather to say I’m catalan, but now is not the right moment for an independence battle).
    All my family is Spanish since.. always? haha but my mom (and a lot of members of my family) are natural red heads. Here, in Spain, people use to have brown or dark hair, including me, or in some cases blonde hair. So when I introduce my mom to my friends, everyone is surprised and they ask me if I am half Irish or Scottish, even friends who had known me for years. When people ask that question, even knowing me (I look like an “stereotype Spanish girl”) I feel a kind of racism, but, in fact, I also feel like underestimated because in these situacions almost of them use to tell me how amazing would be if I were born as a red hair, and not with my “ordinary” brown color.
    Racism or discrimination is not always negative, in my case, it seems that people prefer to imagine me like a Northern European descendent LOL.
    What I’m trying to say is we don’t have to look just to the outside, the appereance, cause it is not identifying of our culture, religion, or the way we were educated. And if she feels japanese, she is japanese. Of course if she was raised in Japan she would feel like one of them. But you know what I mean? People belong to where their hearts belong, neither their skin colour, eyes, or hair.
    P.S. And I’ll definitely support Ariana Miyamoto because we both have the same name *.* hahahahaha (Mine is the catalan version).

  • Yumitolesson says:

    She is gorgeous. I hope she will get a lot of opportunities..I can see her modeling.

  • Yumitolesson says:

    yes it is nationality. 🙂

  • Jenn Webber says:

    I still cannot verify any truth behind her being disqualified. I think that she is well deserving of the title and should be a representative of Japan. Japan chose her, how can the Miss Universe organization argue with that? Hopefully this article is not the truth and she will be given the opportunity to compete. http://adobochronicles.com/2015/03/15/donald-trump-disqualifies-miss-japan-miss-philippines-from-competing-in-the-2015-miss-universe-pageant/

    • Tess de la Serna says:

      I am so disappointed with the decision. He disqualified both Ms. Japan and Ms. Philippines because they were biracial! If so, they should disqualify all the Miss Philippines before because they were mixed with Spanish race! This is what being a Filipino is — a mixture of race. This is bigotry in another form.

    • Yumitolesson says:

      Hi Jen, I am totally supportive of Ms. Miyamoto, and agree with you wholeheartedly that she is well deserving of the title. Not only that she is gorgeous, she decided to go through this because she wanted to change and challenge what it means to be Japanese. She is the new face of modern Japan.

  • Diego Garcia says:

    Look at the history of Japan. Who really is “Authentic” Japanese. The lineage of Japanese emperors either come from Korea or China. As an European who just landed here I think that now is the perfect time to distinct Japan from the rest of Asia. Ever since the Edo period Japan has looked towards the West. The Netherlands & Portugal were the only 2 countries that did business with Japan during that time and from that moment on Japan starting to change. However, somewhere this change was put on a long hold. The fact that Ariana who happens to be dark-skinned even became Miss Japan says a lot that Japan in general does embrace a multicultural society. Today I started teaching at local Primary School and I said to one of the other teachers that back when I was the children’s age, in my class I was the only one with dark hair and brown eyes, as everyone else I grew up with was light skin and had light colour eyes. The children at the school I am teaching could all be little brothers or sisters of me.

    • Yumitolesson says:

      Miss Universe Japan has selected Ms. Miyamoto carefully and I am so happy that she was selected to represent the country. I am really hoping that she will win the 2015 Miss Universe contest..

  • Jody Franks says:

    After all, Japan is a testing ground for our mental, emotional, and spiritual fiber. It isn’t easy to be a mixed/colored child in Japan…Ariana a is beautiful lass, and I congratulate her for this achievement. Japan has really displayed the principle of awareness, and it is an important step taken by Japan to present/produce Ariana to the world. To those who believe/think that Miss Japan shouldn’t be mixed, but 100% Japanese,…it’s ludicrous and ignorance of the fact.

    • Yumitolesson says:

      Yes it is ridiculous. It is pretty hard for mixed children to attend Japanese schools..let alone public school. Ariana was bullied in Japanese public school and decided to apply for Miss Universe Japan even thought she doubted she was going to be given a chance because of her race. I really hope Japanese people who are criticizing her to be more accepting of her. She grew up in Japan. Her mother is Japanese, thus she is Japanese. 🙂

  • Angel Heard says:

    She is considered dark skinned??? Obviously you haven’t liiked around your own country. My daughter is mixed also, and I’ve seen people far darker than she is. Does her skin tone dictate how “Japanese” she is? She was born and raised in Japan so like my daughter, she IS Japanese. However, my daughter is American also. I consider her a perfect blend of Japanese AND American; she would not be here otherwise.

    • Yumitolesson says:

      Ariana is considered dark skinned based IN JAPAN. Like I said in my article, I am really happy that Ariana is going to be representing my country and I hope Japan will be more accepting of mixed race people. She grew up in Japan. Her Japanese is perfect, thus she is Japanese.

  • Jonathan Jensen says:

    The genetic lineage of Japanese mostly is Jomon,Yayoi,Chinese,and Korean.

    • Gordon Graham says:

      Actually, human life originated from Africa, so keep extending that “line” back…

    • Children Of Nephilim says:

      having these bloodlines doesn’t mean squat. Japanese and the other bloodlines do not make a race/ethnicity (if you think so, then you don’t know what “race” means.

      Anyway, In that case you can throw African in there too since Ariana IS Japanese!

  • Jonathan Jensen says:

    To be Japanese in my opinion, you have to have what most Japanese genetics comprise of, and that is Jomon,Yayoi,Korean,and Chinese.

    • Gordon Graham says:

      Your opinion is not a criterion for being Japanese. Ms.Miyamoto is most certainly Japanese. And a beautiful, intelligent Japanese at that!

    • Yumitolesson says:

      She doesn’t look Japanese but that’s the point. Japan will be hosting the olympics in 2020 and I hope Japanese society will become more accepting of mixed race people.

    • CrimsonTears says:

      The Japanese are not a race, it is essentially the same as being an American: Just borders and nothing to do with genetics.

      • Angel Heard says:

        But her genes ARE Japanese.

      • Children Of Nephilim says:

        ^^^ this.

        @disqus_1FHUW6tE3n:disqus Jonathan. As I stated below, having these bloodlines doesn’t mean squat. Japanese and the other bloodlines do not make a race! In that case you can throw African in there too since Ariana IS Japanese!

  • Alejandro Ridruejo says:

    She is wonderful. I definitley love her smile. I think japanese women are really beautiful, gorgeous, incredible and also unknown and misterious for european men. Personally I could not stop looking at them. But who I like most, who I think they are even absolutely gorgeous are precisely biracial japanese women, or hafu girls. They represent exoticness and beyond.
    Just exactly like you, Yumi Nakata. Do not forget you are also especially beautiful.
    Biracial people may set the future of humankind. It’s a big step for japanese society.God bless Japan!

    • Yumitolesson says:

      Thank you. Like Ariana, my childhood especially in school was pretty tough but obviously Japan is changing.

  • jjajja says:

    She’s beautiful…

    I’ve been to Japan before and based on my own observation, I noticed that the Japanese people really strict about their “japanese”….
    Look what happened to Ainu people… sigh..

  • maulinator says:

    No nationalities are defined by race. You are Japanese if you have or are eligible to get Japanese passport. I do not need to say this but people who say someone should look Japanese to be Miss Japan are clearly racists. While there will always be racists; look at the US when the Filipina woman became the second Asian Miss America a couple of years ago and a selection like this is controversial to these racists, it is a good thing. Let people slowly get used to seeing more diversity and understand that to be Japanese you basically need the passport and nothing else.

    • Yumitolesson says:

      It is true..nationalities are not defined by race and Arian is Japanese because she grew up in Japan and hold dual citizenships. She is probably more Japanese than many Japanese women. 🙂 America has its own serious issues related to racial discrimination. Asians..even if we are born and raised here, we are considered “Asian-American”

  • tonkotsu says:

    She’s beautiful, and deserves the praise, but to say she “looks Japanese” is naive.

  • Harry Hirsch says:

    Gorgeous beyond reproach. とても綺麗です!

  • Joshua says:

    Yeah why not? For me is doesn’t matter. But the world think Japan is to caveman to not accept her and that can become investor NOT invest in Japan so that will be a great problem to Japan to gain again the economy of the world, in the other hand she could be used as a pawn to showed to the world Japan is have equal opportunities to everybody and that can offer consumer and investors confidence to invest in Japan.

  • noob168 says:

    98.5% statistic actually means Japanese nationality not ethnicity. And yes, I know it’s kind of hard to take me seriously because of my name and profile picture…

  • Tess de la Serna says:

    I thought at first she is a Filipina (Philippine woman). Ms. Miyamoto should represent Japan. If she was born and brought up there, then she is Japanese. There is no such thing as a pure Japanese, Chinese or American. My husband an American has Danish, English, and maybe Dutch. I have Spanish, Japanese, Chinese and Malay. All Filipinos are mixed (except the natives) – Chinese, Spanish and Malay and few have Japanese ancestors. As a matter of fact, to say, “I am a Filipino” means I am a descendant of Chinese, Spanish and Malay.

    • Yumitolesson says:

      I know a lot of Filipinos in California..I love your culture and really like the people who are so easygoing, friendly and accepting of others. 🙂

    • Jonathan Jensen says:

      Filipinos look like Chindians, in my opinion this is not an accident. Essentially we are like the Tiawanese aborigines who had migrated to the Philippines.

    • MMrm says:

      Not to mention the thousands of kopinos too.
      Like you, I also thought she was a pinay. I was about to tell my friends in pinas that yet another pinay beauty is taking part in a beauty pageant but is representing Japan instead. Fortunately, I came here to read first jejeje

      • Yumitolesson says:

        She is so beautiful and I became a bit emotional when I learned about this. 🙂



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