Miss Priyanka Yoshikawa has been crowned Miss World Japan for the year 2016 and she will be representing the nation in the Miss World pageant later this year.
Priyanka is a Hāfu, i.e. ethnically Half-Japanese. Her father is an Indian and her mother a Japanese and this has sparked a debate in the island nation over whether a Hāfu can actually represent the Japanese culture correctly. Surprised? Read on.
This is the second consecutive year when a Hāfu has won the coveted title of Miss Japan. Last year, Miss Ariana Miyamoto, a half-African American half-Japanese won the pageant and was the first Japanese to crack the top 10 in the 7 years prior.
But as with Ariana, Priyanka too is facing the ire of many a Japanese who feel that they are not “pure” enough. Many have voiced their opinion on where-else-but-Twitter and some of them are quite strong. Surprisingly, many of them are leading Japanese publications and not just individuals.
Translation: “I won’t say that we shouldn’t select a hāfu, and she’s suitable for Japan to make an appeal that we don’t discriminate people. But I want them to select someone who’s seen as beautiful by everybody.”
However, there are also voices of reason which believe that she is Japanese after all and that is the most important part.
Title image: IBN