Gorgeous Miss Universe Japan has had trash thrown at her

7 April 2015 / 1 year 6 months ago

Ariana Miyamoto was born and raised in Japan and speaks fluent Japanese.

But 20-year-old found it tough growing up as only black girl in her class, reports AsianTown.

She says it was often punishing growing up as the only black girl in her class in the port town of Sasebo near Nagasaki, where the US has a naval base and where her African-American father met her Japanese mother.

However, during her television appearances, she had to apologetically explain to reporters that while she doesn't 'look Japanese' on the outside, on the inside there are 'many Japanese things about her'.

Ariana Miyamoto, 20, was crowned Miss Japan last month, but has faced horrific racial abuse growing up. 

Many in the country have expressed hostility to Ariana's title win as they expected the award to go to a 'pure' Japanese woman and not a 'hafu', meaning half Japanese, which has echoes of the discredited term 'half-caste'.

'Is it okay to choose a hafu to represent Japan?' one commenter typically wrote online after Ariana's win.

Ariana shares:

'I was called a n****r by some of my peers. Some of them threw trash and even a blackboard duster at me.

'I'm Japanese through and through, but in Japan if you look "foreign" you are often not accepted as Japanese. But I am Japanese - 100 percent.

'Skin colour bears no relationship to what a person is. It's just one of the differences like wearing blue clothes or wearing red clothes.'

'I have no objections against the word 'hafu' and I accept myself as being hafu. 'With so little multi-culturalism in Japan the term is somehow understandable, although it has made me wonder who I am at times.'

Ariana's father Bryant Stanfield, 43, said his face hurt from non-stop smiling since his daughter scooped the Miss Japan award from a line up of more 'typical' looking Japanese women earlier this month.

But he admits he's been dismayed by some of the racist comments her win has generated in Japan.

'Just get to know her. Just don't attack her. She will represent Japan very well,' he told.

'She's told me all about the bullying and how kids used to treat her; how they hated her (wavy) hair; threw things at her; even threw trash at her.

'All pretty despicable stuff. But I always told her, and her Mom said too, 'you gotta be tough'.'

The election of a black Miss Japan might be a step away from that misconception and Mr Stanfield agrees that the choice of his daughter represents some kind of progression in Japan.

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