The newest Miss Universe Japan isn't Japanese enough for some in her country thanks to her "hafu" ethnicity, meaning she's half Japanese and half African American. But Ariana Miyamoto is still carrying her head and crown high.
A native of Nagasaki, the 20-year-old is the daughter of a Japanese mother and black father. She has Japanese citizenship and speaks the language as fluently as any of her neighbors but that's not enough for some who've taken to the Internet to question her win.
"She has too much black blood in her to be Japanese," one critic posted online, according to Japan's RocketNews24.
"Even though she's Miss Universe Japan, her face is foreign no matter how you look at it!" another wrote on Twitter, according to a translation by the Washington Post.
According to the Daily News, Miyamoto's said in interviews that while she might not look traditionally Japanese, she was raised in her mother's country's traditions despite attending high school in America.
Miyamoto didn't initially want to joint the Miss Universe pageant for fear her "foreign" look would make her unpopular with the judges, but she looked to another biracial woman who beat the odds for comfort and encouragement, Mariah Carey.
"She went through a lot of difficulties before becoming a popular singing sensation," Miyamoto said of the pop diva. "She faced some racial hurdles, similar to myself, but she overcame them and became a top star."
Her own struggles aside, Miyamoto will still represent Japan at 2015's Miss Universe pageant next January, so she's clearly Japanese enough for the people who matter.
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