This is a trailer for a movie on how mixed race people are treated in Japan…
This introduction by the authors –
The film is available on VIMEO
To highlight some of the discrimination against mixed race folks and foreigners, there is the case of the first mixed race Miss Japan –
First ever mixed race Miss Japan forced to defend herself after being abused for ‘not being Japanese enough’ because father is African-American
- Ariana Miyamoto was born and raised in Nagasaki, and is fluent Japanese
- Mixed race beauty queen born to American father and Japanese mother
- She has been selected to represent Japan in the Miss Universe pageant
- But her selection has prompted a storm of criticism in Japanese media
- 20-year-old has been forced to insist that she is ‘Japanese on the inside’
The first ever mixed race Miss Japan has been forced to defend herself against accusations that she ‘isn’t Japanese enough’ because her father is African-American.
Ariana Miyamoto was born and raised in Nagasaki, speaks fluent Japanese, and has been chosen to represent Japan in the Miss Universe pageant.
But the 20-year-old beauty queen used her first television appearance after her selection 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’.
She has faced a storm of criticism that she is ‘not Japanese enough’ to represent the country because although her mother is Japanese, her father is American.
In Japan, Miyamoto is called a ‘hafu’, a Japanese term used to refer to someone who is biracial.
There is a feeling in the country, one of the least ethnically diverse in the world, that mixed-race people are not fully Japanese.
Website Byokan Sunday and Naver Matome report that Twitter users have posted comments such as: ‘Is it okay to select a hafu to represent Japan?’ and ‘Because this is Miss Universe Japan, don’t you think hafu are a no-no?’
Others commented that she didn’t ‘look Japanese’, her face was ‘too gaijin’, meaning literally ‘outside person’, or that the country deserved a ‘pure-blooded Japanese’ beauty.
Elsewhere online, one person commented, ‘It makes me uncomfortable to say she’s representing Japan.’
Miyamoto, grew up in Japan in Sasebo, Nagasaki, close to a major American naval base, but later moved to the United States for high school,
When she returned home to Japan, after a part-time bartending job, she decided to become a model and try her hand at pageantry – not expecting to get far due to her ‘foreigner look’.
Her selection as the first-ever biracial Miss Universe Japan comes at a time when Japanese attitudes about race are beginning to change, NBC reports.
The vast majority of Japan is made up of homogeneous people.
It is one of the least ethnically diverse countries on earth, proudly counting more than 98 percent of the population as Japanese nationals.
Megumi Nishikura, whose film, Hafu: The Mixed-Race Experience in Japan, looks at the lives of multiracial Japanese citizens, highlights the fact that 20,000 half-Japanese people, including both multiethnic and multiracial people, are born in Japan each year.
Nishikura told NBC that Miyamoto’s selection as Miss Universe Japan ‘is a huge step forward in expanding the definition of what it means to be Japanese. The controversy that has erupted over her selection is a great opportunity for us Japanese to examine how far we have come from our self-perpetuated myth of homogeneity while at the same time it shows us how much further we have to go’.
Miyamoto is aware of the struggles she faces as a ‘hafu’ beauty queen representing Japan.
In interviews she has called Mariah Carey a major inspiration because of ther multiracial background, according to RocketNews24.
‘She went through a lot of difficulties before becoming a popular singing sensation,’ Miyamoto said.
‘She faced some racial hurdles, similar to myself, but she overcame them and became a top star, so she’s been a big influence on me.’