The winner of the Miss Japan beauty pageant is causing controversy. For the first time in its history the jury nominated a natural Japanese woman as beauty queen, and that doesn’t make a lot of people happy.
Karolina Shino is a naturalized Japanese model of Ukrainian parents. Her Western roots and physical characteristics have sparked controversy over whether or not she should have won a beauty pageant, in which participants’ physical attributes are evaluated.
The 26-year-old model was crowned Miss Japan on January 22 by a panel of 30 judges who voted on the “Japanese beauty” of 12 aspiring finalists, taking into account three aspects: inner, physical and behavioral.
Technically Shino meets the requirements to participate in the competition. The woman arrived in Japan when she was 5 years old and obtained Japanese nationality through naturalization in 2020.
Competition Miss Japan Contest Any single woman between the ages of 17 and 26 who has Japanese nationality is allowed to participate.
Reactions to Shino’s win
Some of the comments against Shino’s coronation revolved around his nationality, while others pointed to his physical characteristics, which are not characteristic of a large portion of the Japanese population.
When news of the Ukrainian model’s appointment started spreading, one social media user wrote, “What is the thing about Miss Japan among Japanese people?”
Other comments said, “This person isn’t even half Japanese, her parents are Ukrainian and she was born in Ukraine. Is this Miss Japan? Separate ‘discrimination’ from ‘discrimination’. Japan United States There is no country like America.”
Historian Hiro Yamashita shared his opinion about Shino’s victory this Wednesday on his profile on X (formerly Twitter).
“Racial discrimination should never be tolerated, but if we are going to compete for appearance under the concept of Miss Japan, I personally believe it should be under the Japanese beauty standard. “Against Carolina Shino’s physique, a pure-blooded Japanese has no chance of winning according to modern beauty standards,” he commented.
While there are other users who defend Shino’s victory. “What’s wrong with a Japanese person being chosen Miss Japan?”. Some people commented on the fact that the model is naturally built, so she would not break any rules of the competition.
Another user posted, “There are a lot of Japanese people who don’t value Japan, so what’s wrong with appreciating the country you’ve lived in since childhood, accepting the challenge as a Japanese and winning Miss Japan.” win?”
For her part, the model said in her crown acceptance speech that her win “feels like a dream.”
In her first statement after being chosen Miss Japan, Shino said, “The moment I heard my name, I couldn’t stop crying.” It is a victory for which he is very grateful for making him feel “fully recognized as a Japanese”.
This is not the first controversial win at a beauty pageant in Japan
Model Ariana Miyamoto’s victory at the 2015 edition of Miss Universe Japan sparked a similar debate. Miyamoto, whose mother was Japanese and father African-American, caused sensation and controversy because of his mixed race, and was the subject of harassment by some groups in the country, one of the most racially homogeneous groups in the world.
The second case was Maribelen Sakamoto, born to a Peruvian father and Japanese mother. The woman was selected as Miss Universe Japan in 2022 out of ten finalists.
Born in Tokyo, a graduate of Seisen University and a professional in the food industry, Marybellen charmed the jury with her spontaneity.
“I’ve never been to Peru, but I grew up in a household where Spanish was always spoken and where my father cooked Peruvian food. “My mother is Japanese, very correct and strict,” she told the press a few days after receiving the crown.
While the controversy continues, Miss Japan pageant organizer Ai Wada told the BBC that the judges had chosen Shino as the winner with “full confidence”.
“He speaks and writes in beautiful, polite Japanese,” Wada said. “He’s more Japanese than us.”
Shino commented on Instagram last year that she “may not look Japanese”, but clarified that in her mind she “has become Japanese” because she grew up in Japan.
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