Tokyo: Priyanka Yoshikawa, a 22 year old from Japan was crowned Miss Japan on Monday.
Priyanka, the new face of racial equality in the country, was born to an Indian father and a Japanese mother. Last year, Ariana Miyamoto faced ugly backlash after becoming the first black woman to win the crown. Critics hurled abuses like “haafu” meaning mixed race in Japanese and claimed that a pure Japanese could have been the legit winner.
Priyanka was quoted as saying, “We are Japanese. Yes, I’m half Indian and people are asking me about my ‘purity’ — yes, my dad is an Indian and I’m proud of it, I’m proud that I have Indian in me. But that does not mean I’m not Japanese.”
Priyanka wants to break cultural barriers and change people’s perception about ethnic identity. She also thanked Indians for their congratulatory messages, despite being a Japanese. Although, social media, saw some residents condemning the move to crown her Miss Japan, terming her a winner with ‘zero national characteristics’.
Yoshikawa is a licensed elephant trainer and will represent Japan in the Miss World pageant in December.