HomeCommunity IssuesUkrainian crowned Miss Japan in a controversial first.

Ukrainian crowned Miss Japan in a controversial first.

Even after a crowning achievement, long-time Japan resident Carolina Shiino says she has trouble being accepted as Japanese.

The internet lit up with detractors after the Ukrainian-born model who has lived in Japan since age 5 and speaks perfect Japanese was crowned Miss Japan.

“There have been racial barriers, and it has been challenging to be accepted as Japanese,” the BBC reported her as saying after her victory Monday.

“I think that Japanese people naturally (would) get the wrong message when a European looking person is called the most beautiful Japanese,” one person wrote on X.

“Even though she is ‘Miss Japan’, where is the Japanese essence?” said another commenter, according to The Telegraph.

Shiino was born in Ukraine to Ukrainian parents and is the first naturalized Japanese citizen to be crowned Miss Japan.

The controversy is similar to one about 10 years ago when a woman of both Black and Japanese descent won the pageant.

Ariana Miyamoto faced the same sort of backlash after she won.

Ai Wada who organizes a separate pageant defended the judge’s decision.

“She speaks and writes in beautiful and polite Japanese,” he said. “She is more Japanese than we are.”

“I’m filled with gratitude that I am recognized at this competition as a Japanese person,” she said.

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