Half-Indian elephant trainer crowned Miss Japan

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  • 27

    TheGodfather

    “We have problems, we’ve been struggling and it hurts. When I came back to Japan, everyone thought I was a germ”

    Keep going!!

  • -44

    Tanukiponpon

    I can't help but feel one "half" miss Japan is a great thing, but 2 of them, 2 years in a row? Some kind of agenda here ...

  • 15

    NihonRyu

    @Tanukiponpon: There is no agenda, mixed people are just better looking in general than either races IMO.

  • 43

    borscht

    The agenda? The people in charge of Miss Japan World want to win so they choose the most beautiful / aware / conversant JAPANESE person they can find. Always have, always will.

  • -32

    ThePBot

    Halfies are winning. She kind of looks Filipina tbh. The faces of those 2 women in the back are kind of funny, considering everything but oh well. Man, 2 Miss Japans in a row, combined with the realization of a dwindling population......the true and pure Yamato are being triggered right now.

  • 16

    Strangerland

    I can't help but feel one "half" miss Japan is a great thing, but 2 of them, 2 years in a row? Some kind of agenda here ...

    An agenda would be if they didn't choose her because she was half, since a half won last year.

    No agenda means picking the best person, regardless of nationality. Two years does not a trend make.

  • 14

    Alphaape

    “What’s the point of holding a pageant like this now? Zero national characteristics,” grumbled one Twitter user,

    I wonder if this user is one of those same people who will be on the side of the teachers who refuse to stand for the National Anthem or decry any other attempts to show Japanese National pride. It seems that some in Japan will say one thing, but then when something comes out a bit different, they get all up in arms.

    Good job to her and I hope that she does well.

  • -20

    garfield1275

    Beauty is just a perception and varies from culture to culture, race to race, year to year, nation to nation and people to people.

    So take it easy, a "pure" japanese contestant will win for next few years. These things do happen in a rigged business.

    Personally by Indian or Filipino standards she looks well below average. She must have done something good to attract judge's attention. But who am I to judge here.

    These beauty contests never benefitted anyone in anyway. So just read, smile and forget.

  • 14

    Hiro Ueda

    Yaaaaay! Good for you! its about time some of the close-minded xenophobic "native" japanese started to accept and realize that multiculturalism is here to stay...and ever expanding in the future...without these "haafu" individuals and foreigners, how does japan expect to fulfill the need of its aging population? and its social system?

  • 7

    MikeH

    She is not a haffu as Japanese a term that Japanese love to use... It's so racist to say half because if anything she has the trait of being a double. That makes her superior rather than inferior. We are all humans inside yet so much racism... So sad! By the way, the two Japanese women behind her in the photo look so grumpy that it brings out the ugliness in such beauty's as well... Lol

  • -13

    Outrider

    Tanuki, I agree.

  • 2

    Strangerland

    It's so racist to say half because if anything she has the trait of being a double.

    Growing up, people used to tell me they were half-German, half-Irish, or whatever.

    It's amazing that pretty much everyone I grew up with was a racist by your definition, and racist against themselves at that.

    Or, you could maybe look at it the other way, if your definition applies to way more people than actually makes sense, it would mean your definition is wrong.

    So which do you suppose it is, was pretty much everyone I grew up with racist, or is your defintion wrong?

  • 31

    cleo

    she looks well below average. She must have done something good to attract judge's attention. But who am I to judge here.

    What a nasty thing to say. She looks beautiful.

    she has the trait of being a double. That makes her superior rather than inferior. We are all humans inside

    A person's racial background, or mix of racial backgrounds, makes them neither inferior nor superior to anyone else. We are all humans inside.

    the two Japanese women behind her in the photo look so grumpy that it brings out the ugliness

    They don't look grumpy, they look disappointed, and no wonder - they just lost their chance at a shot at the Miss World title. They do not look ugly at all.

    Congratulations Ms. Yoshikawa, beauty contests aren't my idea of fun but it's your choice. Go for it. You have a lovely smile.

  • 4

    Kuribo1

    In all the schools I have ever taught with all the half Russian kids, half Filipino, half French, half Canadian etc. I have never once seen any of these kids treated as if they were a germ. Not once. I have seen from elementary through to highschool and while sometimes something is said along the lines of ohh look he/she is foreign too like me, they were never treated as. On human or outcasts. I honestly wonder if these people exaggerate a bit for the lime light.

  • 0

    Strangerland

    Cleo - I'd quote all your post to agree, but let's just say I agree with all your post.

    Anyone who doesn't think all of these girls are good looking is kidding themselves. And I'd like to see a picture of anyone who claims they aren't good looking.

  • -4

    oldman_13

    Outrage over Ariana being crowned as Miss Japan last year?

    There were plenty of Japanese people that didn't mind or didn't even care about Ariana's half black heritage. But predictably, the world media was the one that incessantly fixated on this issue, because it fits their preconceived narrative and notion that 'all' Japanese are racist xenophobes. Therefore, the media was the ones that focused solely on those Japanese who had negative opinions on this, instead of being open minded.

    Does the world media think it would be any different if a person of a different race or combination thereof was chosen to represent other nations in the world? When's the last time anyone saw a half black or mixed Miss Korea or Miss China? Yet, instead of lauding the Japanese for being open minded, instead, the media and world continues to focus on the negative.

    Japan can never win in the eyes of the world and the media.

  • 31

    Garthgoyle

    She's not hafu, she's Japanese. Japanese is not a race, it's a nationality.

  • 5

    Strangerland

    She's not hafu, she's Japanese. Japanese is not a race, it's a nationality.

    German is not a race either, but people say they are half-German.

    You're right, she is Japanese. She is also Indian.

  • -4

    Fred Wallace

    I honestly wonder if these people exaggerate a bit for the lime light.

    I guess you've been to ALL schools in Japan huh?

  • -2

    Tony Alderman

    All great and good, but no Japanese person will ever consider her to be "Japanese". Personally, I think she is beautiful.

  • 5

    Strangerland

    no Japanese person will ever consider her to be "Japanese".

    Comments like that are just as discriminatory as that which you profess to be condemning.

    People online always make statements like this, but I don't find them to be born of reality, simply more repetition of fallacies already spouted on the internet.

  • 7

    Wrembreck

    I refer to myself as half-German, because growing up we needed to specify this when we were starting and changing schools in different countries. This had nothing to do with racism, simply the schools wanted to know our mother tongue and what exposure we had to English etc.

  • 3

    Moonraker

    I don't think there is particular objection to be called half Japanese or half German or whatever when ethnicity needs to be defined perhaps in the context of a multicultural society but the objection might exist to be referred to just as "a haafu;" that's to say, as a noun always with reference to one's Japaneseness, with the implication it is not fully Japanese in a society in which many regard ethnic purity as defining. Though some, perhaps through strength of character or not having been made too self conscious about it, might be able to appropriate the word "haafu" and make it work for them. But I am not half Japanese so I cannot say for sure and would like to hear such a person's point of view.

  • 3

    timtak

    There is research showing that Japanese think that Japanese looks are unattractive (Kowner, 2004 http://goo.gl/gMignP). I would say that majority of fashion models are or look haaf, very much in contrast to ideals of the Edo period (http://goo.gl/Do0O94) when the Japanese still thought that Europeans looked grotesque (http://goo.gl/pkPzML).

  • -12

    Outrider

    let me guess - she will want to teach the world about japan , oh, and world peace of course.

  • 24

    Frank Thornton

    “It’s like we’re saying a pure Japanese face can’t be a winner.”

    You would be surprised at how some of the younger generation in Japan actually feel. In one of my classes a couple of weeks ago, we were having a discussion about the "haafu" medalists in this past Rio Olympics. My question was "Last year's Miss Japan, this year's Rio Olympics, what do you think about the increase of multicultural people representing Japan?" In a class of about 10 men in their mid to late 20's, four said that they should NOT be allowed to represent Japan. I asked "Even if they are Japanese national?. What other requirement should there be?" Answer: "They should have to be pure blooded". Sort of a Harry Potter "mudblood" thing I guess...

  • 13

    Outrider

    Frank, doesnt surprise me. thats the reality though many choose not to see it.

  • 0

    choiwaruoyaji

    Half-Indian, half-Japanese... what an awesomely exotic mix!

    Personally speaking, mature women are more my cup of tea, but by any measure Priyanka is fit as hell.

  • 14

    Wrembreck

    @ Frank, I've heard something similar. The opinions I heard were that you can't measure Japanese athletic ability and prowess if the person is mixed. Perhaps the non-Japanese part is the winning part, so it is not a clear win for Japan. Nonsense thinking.

  • 4

    Dennis Bauer

    Half Indian elephant ... Trainer? nice wording.

  • -4

    proteus7

    I'm not saying that this young lady and Ms. Miyamoto were not deserving of their wins. Quite the opposite.

    But, fairness has never been high on the agenda when it comes to mixed race or non-white foreigners in Japan.

    I also agree with Tanuki, Japan seems to be going out of its' way to appear "ethnically" diverse and racially tolerant.

  • 3

    paulinusa

    Google some other photos. This one isn't the most flattering.

  • -7

    Strangerland

    the objection might exist to be referred to just as "a haafu;" that's to say, as a noun always with reference to one's Japaneseness, with the implication it is not fully Japanese in a society in which many regard ethnic purity as defining.

    I disagree. Japan being a high-context society, being half-Japanese is implied (when a person is a mix of two other non-Japanese ethnicities, both are explicitly stated).

    While I've met some people who are definitely obsessed with the purity of Japanese blood, most of those I've met are foreign. People are throwing anecdotes around here, but my own anecdotes (which I won't bother to go into) cancel those out.

    I'd like to see some real numbers on the matter.

  • 18

    borscht

    Actually, saying she's not Japanese is doing three things:

    • insulting the mother as inconsequential in Priyanka's upbringing (obviously hogwash),

    • showing that the "unique Japanese gene" is too weak to stand up to "outside" influences.

    • showing that being born and raised in Japan in an all-Japanese environment is NOT enough to be Japanese. Your great-great-grandparents on both sides also had to be born and raised in Japan (unless you're Korean, of course.)

  • 3

    Outrider

    its called nihonjinron.

  • -6

    JeffLee

    I know plenty of half-Indian elephant trainers in Japan. I don't see what the fuss about her not being representative of the country.

  • 2

    ShibuyaJay2

    Garthgoyle SEP. 06, 2016 - 08:19AM JST She's not hafu, she's Japanese. Japanese is not a race, it's a nationality.

    I totally agree with you Garthgoyle. Japanese is a nationality, however, a large percentage of Japanese would tell you differently. The same Japanese who say, "Asia ikitai na" while planning their vacations. They don't even realize that Japan is part of Asia. These same Japanese treat the rest of the Asian population as another species. So, my whole point to this diatribe is that, yes indeed, a large percentage of Japanese use the term "Japanese" in racial terms, not nationality.

    As for the term, "haafu or half," Everyone English-speaking person living in Japan knows that Japanese love to interject English words into their speech and as we all know some words or phrases are "lost in translation," or should I say, "COMPLETELY CHANGED IN TRANSLATION." Even though the term "haafu" comes across as derogatory to foreigners in our ever-increasing politically correct world I don't think the "Average Tanaka" means it as negative. They're just making a simple English mistake. I blame mass media more than anything for allowing this term to come into vogue. You would think the mass media would know better (especially with the Olympics coming and the never-ending Japanese obsession of how foreigners view Japanese abroad), but they are ran by the same oyaji (geezer)-based clique who would complain about this and last year's mixed-race pageant winners.

    I GUESS THERE JUST ISN'T AN EASY WAY TO SAY, "PERSON OF MIXED RACE," IN JAPANESE. So, "Haafu" is just more convenient to say. Ha Ha Ha.

    I have two mixed race children myself (asian and caucasian). Ha Ha Ha. I had to catch myself there. I almost typed Japanese and Caucasian. That's funny. While watching an American old Cowboys and Indians movie with my kids a few years back, the word "breed" came up in the storyline and I had to explain "breed" to my children in reference to the different Native American tribes. My son asked me, "Then Dad, what breed am I?" You know where I'm going with this, right? Ha Ha Ha. I told him, "Son, YOU ARE A HALF-BREED." Then I went into explaining mixed-race and dual-nationalities and how we shouldn't discriminate against another person based on their race, religion, gender, creed, etc.

    Man, I typed way more than I should have.

  • 8

    sf2k

    Japan needs to leave the 1930's and send the term half breed to the garbage bin, never to be recycled again.

  • -8

    misunderstood

    If you want as to ask any guy about Miss Japan and if it was the soul or the hole that mattered they would t give it a thought they would jump right in because they would say it would bbe a different experience in their mind!

  • 2

    DaDude

    Social media lit up after Miyamoto’s trail-blazing triumph as critics complained

    So we have a a couple of comments or tweets from some racist trolls on the Internet and it makes national news? There are plenty of half-Japanese celebs on TV but I don't exactly hear about protesters throwing rocks at TV studios.

  • 1

    Reckless

    Just anecdotally speaking my son is 1/2 and works at 7/11, the obachan are always telling him he is handsome and asking for English lessons.

    Once in Hawaii, I saw a young 1/2 woman who was so startlingly beautiful that you can understand why men go mad in love.

  • 0

    Nessie

    She's not hafu, she's Japanese. Japanese is not a race, it's a nationality.

    It's a nationality and an ethnicity.

  • 2

    Strangerland

    They don't even realize that Japan is part of Asia.

    I've literally never met a Japanese person who doesn't realize Japan is part of Asia. Not a single one. In twenty years in Japan.

    I GUESS THERE JUST ISN'T AN EASY WAY TO SAY, "PERSON OF MIXED RACE," IN JAPANESE. So, "Haafu" is just more convenient to say. Ha Ha Ha.

    Interracial: 異人種間 (いじんしゅかん ijinshukan).

    It's a nationality and an ethnicity.

    Exactly.

  • 5

    Mike L

    The headline is brilliant.

    Half Indian elephant trainer and half Japanese. Great mix there.

  • -10

    Outrider

    we await the happy day when justice is done and a transgender is chosen as ms japan.

  • 12

    papigiulio

    Jeez can we stop this discussion already, half or not, she won, it should be about the person, her beauty, not her race or ethnicity period. Congrats to her.

  • -2

    Jalapeno

    Dadude - I see your point about the mixed race people on TV, but I guess most of them are an Asian + White mix, so that seems to be more accepted, even worshiped to a degree, here. The past two Miss Japan winners are darker skinned, so there seems to be less acceptance of them representing Japan in some capacity.

  • 3

    Wakarimasen

    TOKYO —

    A half-Indian beauty queen with an elephant trainer’s license was crowned Miss Japan on Monday, striking a fresh blow for racial equality.

    you are kidding me? Being a beauty queen is striking a blow for racial equality. ???

  • 7

    Garthgoyle

    Yes, I understand the interpretation for the katakana word Haafu is mixed heritage but that's not my point. She was born in Japan (or not) and raised in Japan, her passport says and she feels Japanese then she is Japanese. Yes, she's also Indian but (this is my point) she is as full Japanese to represent the nation as anyone else whatever the ignorant call "pure blood." Those people should get a dose of reality.

    Anyway, congratulations to her and I wish her luck in the contest.

  • 0

    Novenachama

    Simply put, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese etc. are classified as the Asian race. But each is an ethnicity or nationality so they have their own languages (s) and culture. Said another way race is grouping its people into different sets depending on their physical appearance such as bone structure, skin color, hair color, hair texture etc. and nationality is the country you were born or the country you live in at present.

  • 1

    dcog9065

    That's awesome! Well done!

  • 1

    patty cake champion

    Dadude - I see your point about the mixed race people on TV, but I guess most of them are an Asian + White mix, so that seems to be more accepted, even worshiped to a degree, here.

    It's ironic to see so many Eurasian and pure-Caucasian models on fashion billboards and magazine covers in Japan. Somehow they are capable of selling clothing to a market that 's dominantly Mongoloid/North East-Asian. I can't see what's going as far as my naive perception can gather.

  • 2

    Disillusioned

    Half-Indian elephant trainer crowned Miss Japan

    When I first read this headline I thought it was some kind of tabloid satire. Only in Japan!

  • 0

    Magnus Roe

    There are some inaccuracies in this article, this girl isn't Miss Japan, she's Miss World Japan in the smaller Miss World competition. Ariana was Miss Universe Japan in 2015, while the Miss Universe Japan 2016 winner is a non-half girl named Nakazwa Sari.

    Incidentally, 173cm is the average height so she hardly "towers above" anyone.

  • 10

    kibousha

    Gene mixing is good for the population as a whole, we need more of it than ever in today's connected-soon-to-be-border-less world.

  • 5

    turbotsat

    Magnus Roe: Incidentally, 173cm is the average height so she hardly "towers above" anyone.

    173cm the average height for contestants in Japan, or for Japanese at large? wikipedia has average Japanese male height at 172 cm and female height at 158 cm, from 2005 figures. (The 172 was close enough to 173 to make me wonder ...)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_average_human_height_worldwide

  • 0

    LostinNagoya

    She is beautiful, simply. And she is the face of the new Japan - which will get more and more foreigners the next decades.

  • 10

    wontond

    Irrespective of the contestants, beauty pageants are dumb and outdated.

  • 3

    nfijapan

    "pure" Japanese lets get this straight once and for all, there is no such thing as pure Japanese, Japanese are a nationality , not a race, Japanese are a part of the Asian race and all humans can be traced back to Africa some 800,000yrs ago. I see plenty of Koreans and Chinese that if they didn't speak you wouldn't even know they weren't Japanese. Japanese are a mix of many different Asian strains and now halfu children and a mix of caucasian, middle eastern, latin America etc. Just because a halfu doesn't look all Asian doesn't make them any less a Japanese national. When it comes to beauty pageants taller slim, larger breasts, buttocks women tend to have the advantage. Ms Yoshikawa seems to have these stronger genetic traits over her competition. The good thing about halfu children/adults is theyre showing Japanese that there is no such thing as a pure Japanese, There is the Japanese culture with Japanese nationality these people are a mixture of different strains of the Asian race. Enough of this "we are genetically unique BS"

  • 3

    BurakuminDes

    Well done, gorgeous Ms Yoshikawa! She seems like an articulate young woman too.

    another fumed: “It’s like we’re saying a pure Japanese face can’t be a winner.”

    I'm very curious as to what these fuming netizens would define as a "pure Japanese" face. Something from an edo-era woodblock print? Mao Asada? Saori Yoshida? An amalgam of the members of AKB48? As DNA has shown, and others have pointed out, all Japanese are a mixture of indigenous people, other Asians, and folk from around the world. Priyanka is part of this ongoing mix.

  • -3

    kaynide

    @Strangerland / ShibuyaJay

    "They don't even realize that Japan is part of Asia." / "Asia ikitai na"

    I've always gotten the impression that it's an inverse to how American's will refer to the USA as "America", as opposed to North America or The Americas. They know what America means, and that technically it includes more than the USA.

    Same deal for Japanese. I feel they know that Japan is part of Asia, but when they say Asia it is implied China/Korea etc and NOT, say, Russia or the middle east.

    ...actually come to think of it I don't know any Americans who would say "I wanna go to Asia" and be referring to a trip to Russia.

  • 3

    pointofview

    If she is Japanese by nationality then the tile shouldnt even mention that she is bi-cultural. Shes Japanese and that`s it.

  • 1

    wontond

    She is not a haffu as Japanese a term that Japanese love to use... It's so racist to say half because if anything she has the trait of being a double. That makes her superior rather than inferior. We are all humans inside yet so much racism... So sad!

    Haffu is not a racist term. Maybe you're projecting some of your own baggage. Everyone has one ethnic identity, made up of one or several parts. Having more than one ethnic background does not give someone the trait of being double (not sure what this even means), or make them superior. Saying that Ms. Yoshikawa is superior because she has "the trait of being double", is just as bad as the people who try to take away her worth because she is not of 100% Japanese ancestry.

  • -2

    bullfighter

    Haffu is not a racist term.

    Indeed. When my two boys were younger, cuter, and didn't have zits we would frequently hear "haafu are so cute" sometimes with "I wish I could have a cute child like that."

  • 4

    Stephanie Masi

    Some of the wording in this article is suspect... Writing that "her exotic Bollywood looks helped sweep her to the title" is extremely rude, I feel. I think they ought to have shed light on what criteria got her the crown. I would like to believe that being mixed race wasn't the tipping point. Are these competitions really about political statements? Why can't it be that she won because she was the best woman and just happens to be mixed race?

  • 4

    AramaTaihenNoYouDidnt

    Wouldn't it be so nice eradicating the term "Haffu " all together...? Japan, like it or not, westerners are being welcome to support Japan's economy and survival. It won't be long when Japanese will accept and live side-by-side with foreigners on common societal terms. I pray for this day to come soon.

  • -2

    Strangerland

    Gene mixing is good for the population as a whole, we need more of it than ever in today's connected-soon-to-be-border-less world.

    Heh, that's some posters' worst nightmare.

  • 5

    tmarie

    **While I've met some people who are definitely obsessed with the purity of Japanese blood, most of those I've met are foreign. People are throwing anecdotes around here, but my own anecdotes (which I won't bother to go into) cancel those out.

    I'd like to see some real numbers on the matter.**

    Numbers on what? The fact that non-"pure" Japanese aren't readily accepted here by many? It would only make sense that one could take those numbers and extrapolate that there are many people here who are not comfortable with those who are not of pure "yamato" blood. We could start with Ryokan not wanting foreign customers and rental companies/apartments not wanting to rent to non-Japanese. We could then look a little further at the racist policies in place by the government. How about the right wing and black vans that drive around? Do you want more numbers or would you rather continue to dismiss anecdotes because they don't suit your opinion?

    I discussed Ariana in my class a few months ago. The majority of the class didn't believe she was really "Japanese". When I pushed them and asked if they had a child with a foreigner if their child would be Japanese. All but two seemed visibly shocked that I would dare ask if their child would be Japanese. The attitude that "half" aren't real Japanese is prevalent. Folks only seem to come around when a) their child marries a foreigner and they have a cute grandkid b) they marry a foreigner and have a kid or c) someone asks would their child would be in the future if they married a foreigner and had a kid.

    Good for this young woman and good for the judges. This kind of thing (beauty pageants), while something I don't really support, are pushing boundaries and barriers for foreigners and their kids and Japanese and there "half" kids.

  • 3

    Pacech1967

    Call if Haafu or people if mixed blood/heritage same thing.

    Still have to find a person that has 100% pure blood since from their ancestors to now.

  • 4

    GP_1639

    Bravo to you Ms. Yoshikawa! What a strong person you are to show "hafu" girls as well as "pure" Japanese girls that being proud and confident in oneself will always be the road to take, rather than wilt under the scrutiny of insecure people who know only hate and bigotry. I applaud you!

  • 1

    Mocheake

    Times. They are a changin'. For the better, too. Bravo and congratulations!

  • -3

    turbotsat

    tmarie: When I pushed them and asked if they had a child with a foreigner if their child would be Japanese. All but two seemed visibly shocked that I would dare ask if their child would be Japanese.

    If they "seemed visibly shocked", how do you know it wasn't shock at the idea that they might have a baby with a foreigner?

  • 1

    Strangerland

    Numbers on what? The fact that non-"pure" Japanese aren't readily accepted here by many?

    No, some numbers that quantify that 'many'.

    Sure there are many people like that, but some people talk like it's all. My experience says it's a small percentage of the population.

    We could start with Ryokan not wanting foreign customers and rental companies/apartments not wanting to rent to non-Japanese.

    While I very strongly disagree with places that discriminate on these grounds, their issue usually isn't with race, but a fear of communication and cultural differences. I can't tell you how many times I've been allowed into places because I speak Japanese, or I've been told that I can live in a place because I speak Japanese (which, when looking for staff housing that doesn't do me any good).

    I discussed Ariana in my class a few months ago. The majority of the class didn't believe she was really "Japanese".

    See I discussed Ariana with a group of Japanese people a few months ago, and they all said she was Japanese.

    See how my anecdote cancels out yours?

    And for that matter, if so many Japanese people were so down on mixed race people, then how did these two women manage to win two years in a row?

    The fact is people claim the Japanese are so discriminatory, and at times it's true. But I find foreigners to pull the race card way more often than is valid.

  • 7

    Ron Barnes

    Give up folks She really is Beautiful, be proud of her she is Miss World Material.

  • -1

    bones

    Why should they not mention it? Indians have such a rich and interesting culture, and being an elephant trainer sounds much cooler than being an accountant. @ wontond Why did they deem it relevant to her winning the competition, certainly Indians as well as many others have rich and interesting cultures, but if she was just a "Regular Japanese " they would have just posted her name and whatever city she was born in is all I am saying. And it might be subtle but no coincidence that they use ELEPHANT and INDIAN in the same sentence.

  • -4

    toshiko

    @moch, I think people asked were shocked to encounter unbelievably rude person.

  • 5

    cleo

    it might be subtle but no coincidence that they use ELEPHANT and INDIAN in the same sentence

    The article says she earned her elephant trainer’s license to add spice to her resume. Be a bit churlish not to even mention the elephant, when her intention in the first place was to have it mentioned.

  • 3

    massiou81

    I am amazed that being "hafu" is still an issue in 2016's Japan. They are everywhere today: in media, modelling, entertainment, shoshas, combinis... wherever you go, name it..

    And they are getting married as well, and are having children. Those complaining about "mixed race", "half-breed", "hafu" (or whatever stupid label you want to stick on them) have no idea of what is already happening and coming next, with a full generation of "quarters" that will shake furthermore the idea of pure race..

    Congratulations Miss Yoshikawa, you are beautiful and paving the way to our children

  • 5

    wontond

    @bones I was referring solely to the title of the article. I have no idea if her being Indian or and elephant trainer led to her success. All I know is it is an interesting headline that made me want to read the article. So from my point of view, the headline did what it was intended to do. As for the words elephant and Indian in the same sentence, I sense that you sense some subtle racism is at hand. It smells of a little SJWism to me. Sometimes a headline is just a headline, and there's no ulterior motive going on.

  • 2

    WilliB

    "striking a fresh blow for racial equality"..... oh come on. Can we do without the American PC lingo? It was a Miss contest for crying out loud. People vote on looks, not on race quotas. By the way, the number "haafus" in the Japanese model world is very high. And nobody cares about "blows for racial equality".

  • 3

    frontandcentre

    She's beautiful, and her heritage has nothing to do with her ability to represent Japan. She's 100 percent Japanese.

    I have had a number of conversations with Japanese people who very well recognise the range of different features from different parts of Asia Pacific that you can see in supposedly "pure" Japanese faces - Polynesian, Korean, Chinese, even South American etc. - all of the external influences are visible if you look for them. There's no such thing as a generic Japanese face, nor ultimately a thoroughbred Japanese person, apart from the Ainu, I suppose.

    I wonder if the people who would grumble about this result were refusing to cheer Mashu Baker and Aska Cambridge in the Olympics. Probably not, I'd guess...

  • 7

    tmarie

    While I very strongly disagree with places that discriminate on these grounds, their issue usually isn't with race, but a fear of communication and cultural differences.

    Do you actually have something to back up that comment or are you again thinking YOUR opinion trumps others? I can 100% understand a fear of communication but fear of cultural differences? This is exactly the issue why many here can't accept "half" as Japanese. It's also xenophobia at its worst and something you seem to want other posters to just ignore because it doesn't suit your opinion nor your experiences in Japan.

    See I discussed Ariana with a group of Japanese people a few months ago, and they all said she was Japanese. Great. Were they young and impressionable students or were they more worldly adults who clearly have an open group of coworkers and friends who are none Japanese? Audience makes a huge difference in such a discussion you know. You're anecdote doesn't cancel mine out. You have just had a different experience. It's not a contest and no one here is keeping score as far as I know though you might be.

    And for that matter, if so many Japanese people were so down on mixed race people, then how did these two women manage to win two years in a row? Perhaps these judges are the more openminded people you and I like to associate with in our personal time?

    The fact is people claim the Japanese are so discriminatory, and at times it's true. But I find foreigners to pull the race card way more often than is valid. And your allowed to hold that opinion just as others are allowed to feel otherwise. I find race/nationality comes up far more as a topic with Japanese people than it does with me. I don't think I have had many conversations with Japanese people I don't know well where me being non-Japanese hasn't worked itself into the conversation at least once. Sure, not always in a negative way but it certainly get noticed that I am not Japanese.

  • 8

    Mike L

    I wonder how many Korean or Chinese "halfs" have won this without it warranting a mention?

  • 2

    wontond

    Can we please retire the term "half" from use in any racial or ethnic context, and replace it with "both"? It's use perpetuates the myth that Japanese are somehow of "pure" blood, when it is no more true of them than it is most other historically isolated ethnic groups.

    I'm half ethnic Malay and half ethnic Chinese. I've always described myself that way and will continue to do so, thank you very much.

  • 0

    A.N. Other

    Didn't first wave feminism do away with beauty pageants?

  • 9

    tmarie

    I'm half ethnic Malay and half ethnic Chinese. I've always described myself that way and will continue to do so, thank you very much.

    I think the issue many have with the word here is you are just "half". Not "Half Japanese and half X", just "half". I see nothing wrong with the way you've used "half" but I detest how it is used in Japanese.

    I hope you set them straight, it might not be half :) ... and foreign husbands might not want to settle for a daily lunch allowance ... I did. After I stopped howling with laughter.

  • 0

    bruinfan

    “What’s the point of holding a pageant like this now? Zero national characteristics,” grumbled one Twitter user,

    I wonder if this user is one of those same people who will be on the side of the teachers who refuse to stand for the National Anthem or decry any other attempts to show Japanese National pride.

    Agreed...These people are pathetic hypocrites...

  • 0

    lucabrasi

    If there's clearly no ill-will involved then I find it very hard to get upset when my kids are referred to as "haafu" or myself as a "gaijin". There's just not enough hours in the day to outraged. Attitudes will change eventually.

  • 3

    Pacech1967

    I always tell them my son is 200%, 100% Japanese and 100% my home-country, love the confused looks working it out.

    Or ask them which half of body and mind is Japanese, never got an answer.

  • -13

    CH3CHO

    tmarieSEP. 06, 2016 - 12:15PM JST

    I discussed Ariana in my class a few months ago.

    So, you are a teacher and Japanese are students.

    It is utterly wrong for a teacher. Students, especially adult students with social status, are not supposed to speak against their teacher openly in this country.

    You should not use your classroom discussion as an example here. Find some Japanese to whom you are not in superiority.

    In addition, I thought Ariana last year was a bad choice, because I thought she would not be competitive in the world stage, and she was not.

  • 0

    Yubaru

    The term half is so passe.... get with it people, if a "label" has to be given to make xenophobic Japanese feel secure, tell them they are "hybrids" the next generation of Japanese.

  • 4

    tmarie

    I once ticked off a colleague by calling Nelson Mandela "black". The correct term, apparently, was "African American"

    Hahaha! Mandela was American, was he?

    **So, you are a teacher and Japanese are students.

    It is utterly wrong for a teacher. Students, especially adult students with social status, are not supposed to speak against their teacher openly in this country.

    You should not use your classroom discussion as an example here. Find some Japanese to whom you are not in superiority.** Sorry but I honestly can't understand what on earth you're trying to say. As a non-javanese I shouldn't bring up such issues in class? The students were wrong to disagree with me? Your assumption that I teach adult students? That i'm to allowed to use this example of a group of Japanese suggesting that "half" are not real Japanese? That I think I'm superior to others or others find me superior because of my race and work status? Waaaaaa?????

  • -5

    CH3CHO

    Pacech1967SEP. 06, 2016 - 01:34PM JST

    I always tell them my son is 200%, 100% Japanese and 100% my home-country, love the confused looks working it out.

    It is not working it out. Their confused look proves that they think you are unreasonable.

    You are just looking for discrimination. You are angry about some innocent talk. I do not understand why "mixed-race" or "mixed blood" is good while "half-Indian" or "half" is bad.

    It just reminds me of Don Quixote attacking a windmill thinking it a giant.

  • 9

    tmarie

    while "half-Indian" or "half" is bad.

    I don't think anyone on here said being call "half-Indian" is bad. The issue is with being called "half".

  • 0

    Pacech1967

    CH3CH0.

    Being of mixed blood as most Europeans , etc are you could not be more dead wrong.

    Of course Americans which I guess you are 100% true blood but i truly doubt it.

    Nuff said.

  • -6

    CH3CHO

    tmarieSEP. 06, 2016 - 02:04PM JST

    while "half-Indian" or "half" is bad.

    I don't think anyone on here said being call "half-Indian" is bad. The issue is with being called "half".

    Lets make it clear.

    Is it Ok to call someone a half-Japanese?

    If it is not, why not, when you say calling someone half-Indian is OK?

    If it is OK to call someone half-Japanese, what is wrong with "half"?

  • 5

    tmarie

    I have zero issues with calling someone half Japanese. I have zero issues with calling someone half India. I have an issue with calling someone "half" as to me, it's just rude and suggests the person isn't whole. But I'm pretty sure you understand that so I won't bother continuing to explain why myself and others dislike the Japanese "half" usage.

  • 0

    Strangerland

    Do you actually have something to back up that comment or are you again thinking YOUR opinion trumps others?

    This:

    The survey carried out by the Ministry of Internal Affairs shows that 72 percent of establishments that didn’t have foreign customers in the past year don’t want any, and the majority are ryokans and hotels with fewer than 30 rooms. Such businesses said they are unable to support foreign languages and that their facilities are not suited to foreigners.

    Link:http://www.japanprobe.com/2008/10/10/some-small-hotels-dont-want-foreign-guests/

    Were they young and impressionable students or were they more worldly adults who clearly have an open group of coworkers and friends who are none Japanese?

    It doesn't matter, because it's an anecdote. My point is that anecdotes are not relevant, because there are too many variables. That's why I would like to see some actual numbers.

    Perhaps these judges are the more openminded people you and I like to associate with in our personal time?

    It's very possible. Or maybe they are standard representatives of Japanese people. Again, need real numbers.

    I don't think I have had many conversations with Japanese people I don't know well where me being non-Japanese hasn't worked itself into the conversation at least once. Sure, not always in a negative way but it certainly get noticed that I am not Japanese.

    It's a noticeable thing, therefore people talk about it. My black friend and I have conversations about being black sometimes. I'm not prejudiced against black people at all, but it's a thing, and therefore comes into conversation. Same with gay friends.

    Again to reiterate, I don't deny that there is discrimination and/or straight up racism in Japan. Anyone who has lived here any period of time knows this. But reading the comments on this site, and even in this very thread, it would seem like it's the most racist discriminating country in the world. I'm pointing out that a lot of the foreigners making such comments are playing the race card when it's not valid.

  • 0

    cleo

    There's just not enough hours in the day to (be) outraged

    This.

    Is it Ok to call someone a half-Japanese?

    Yes of course, if they are.

    what is wrong with "half"?

    Nothing at all. Except that it isn’t 'half' (English), it's ハーフ (Japanese).

  • 0

    Kakukakushikajika

    There are cuter girls in my office building. Question of personal taste I guess, but good luck on her.

  • 2

    turbotsat

    Something around half of Japanese have DNA belonging to a haplogroup that came from India, indicating they are of the Indian bloodline. Most of them probably don't know it. Rendering protests of such silly.

  • 4

    Yoshitsune

    CH3,

    what is wrong with "half"?

    I'll try to explain the reasoning with an example. I'm British. My uncle married a German woman, and my cousin is half-British, half-German. Explaining this in the UK, we would usually refer to her as half-German. The British half is implied, and calling her "half-German" acknowledges the German half. If we simply called her a "half", it would imply that she is half British and that the non-British half is not important enough to be acknowledged.

    This is what many people dislike about the term haafu as used in Japanese; it doesn't acknowledge the non-Japanese half, as though it's not important.

    Is it Ok to call someone a half-Japanese?

    Sure. Take someone who is half-Britsh and half-Japanese. In the UK, they would indeed be called "half-Japanese", acknowledging the Japanese half while the British half is implied. But in Japan, they would be called haafu, ignoring the British half while the Japanese half is implied. Surely you can see that it is a little different? Whether or not it's racist is still debatable, but I hope this at least helps you understand where some posters are coming from.

  • 2

    Kakukakushikajika

    I think "hafu" is just a Japanese thing, pretty harmless and we should not get too upset about it or analyse it too deeply. It is not good or bad nor it is racist. You can be proud of it you can be ashamed of it or you can just ignore it. People like to box other people and will always do.

  • -1

    Pacech1967

    kakukakushikajika.

    I think that is true for all competitions may the be a Miss, MA or whatever competition.

    Know many people myself included that never entered nor wanted too.

    Preparing for a Competition is way different and you need to be coached to win minor ones to get a shot at the big ones.

  • -1

    Aly Rustom

    I think the issue many have with the word here is you are just "half". Not "Half Japanese and half X", just "half". I see nothing wrong with the way you've used "half" but I detest how it is used in Japanese.

    have zero issues with calling someone half Japanese. I have zero issues with calling someone half India. I have an issue with calling someone "half" as to me, it's just rude and suggests the person isn't whole.

    agree 100%

  • -7

    CH3CHO

    YoshitsuneSEP. 06, 2016 - 02:27PM JST

    This is what many people dislike about the term haafu as used in Japanese; it doesn't acknowledge the non-Japanese half, as though it's not important.

    When Japanese use the term ハーフ (half), they usually say 何と何のハーフ (half between what and what).

  • 2

    garfield1275

    Wow! I never thought that a beauty contest would grab so much reviews, attention.

  • 3

    Pacech1967

    Of course Japanese can't know the other half unless they are told.

    Many of my friends are Japanese/Korean or Japanese/mongoiian but look 100% Japanese.

  • -1

    bass4funk

    She's beautiful and congrats to her and I hope this will really help bring Japan in the 21st century of multiculturalism.

  • 1

    nfijapan

    ** "hybrids" the next generation of Japanese.** LOL yeah evolution has a habit of taking the superior traits of a species , the rest become extinct.

  • 0

    sf2k

    Heritage, not Haafu or Quarters or Fifths or whatever. It's called heritage.

    Japan has had mixed heritage for a long time as even the Emperor has mentioned Korean roots. I think the media were left behind the rest of the world in 1950. It comes off as so out of touch with reality.

    In most countries you have heritage and nationality, and these don't have to be the same thing. You're no less a citizen. You're on the same team. People get traded (work, get married), or choose new teams.

    Japanese for many maintains the facade of heritage and nationality being one thing. Note that foreign parents are not asked about being Japanese, only about being foreign. But their kids would self identify as Japanese as that's the nation they know.

    And now they have. I'm sure Miss Yoshikawa is quite proud of her mixed heritage. But she defines herself who she wants to be.

    It would be great though if Japan could start seeing Japanese as a nationality too, along with its heritage. Embrace it.

  • 2

    Outrider

    nobody remembers who won from year to year.

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    "...striking a fresh blow for racial equality."

    Odd wording. Congratulations to the young woman. Why is it so many Japanese feel so inferior that they have to get outraged at this and say a "pure Japanese" should win (and even more outraged when you point out they have Korean and Chinese blood running through their ancestry to begin with)? The best person should win, regardless of background, and it seems like that's the case. What does it say about the bigots who want "pure Japanese" to win knowing that it would mean the judges are choosing a lesser-able candidate based on background, and not the superior personality, character, and looks? It'd be like kicking out all the best sumo wrestlers so that a Japanese wrestler can win -- it would not mean that person is the most qualified and best.

    Anyway, good on this woman, and great that once again the issue of race is brought to the forefront, and I'm glad that while there may be many who are angry about this, they are still fewer than those who are willing to give the woman a chance, or at the very least, don't care.

  • 0

    WilliB

    tmarie:

    " I have zero issues with calling someone half Japanese. I have zero issues with calling someone half India. I have an issue with calling someone "half" as to me, it's just rude and suggests the person isn't whole. But I'm pretty sure you understand that so I won't bother continuing to explain why myself and others dislike the Japanese "half" usage. "

    "Haafu" is just shorthand for that, and of course everybody knows that. The people who try to turn the "haafu" term into an issue are trying to manufacture a problem that does not exist.

  • 3

    Outrider

    the japanese tend to love being "different" - whole tv shows are devoted to it. "we japanese are more sensitive to the cold than other races" etc.

  • 0

    John Beara

    Too me ... she's cute .. and a nice body .. check her instagram .. she's kinda funny. And oh well ... SHE SPEAK ENGLISH :p

  • 2

    Ishiwara

    I abhor racists who complain that she or Ariana cannot represent Japan because they are not "Japanese."

    On the other hand, I am going to throw this out: I do see the argument that Miss contests are dominated by a kind of Western beauty standard, and that Japanese (and other people) have a problem with that. Black women are not well represented for example. In Japan, the Miss contests are not very popular and are largely ignored, partly because of the slightly different beauty standards.

  • -1

    Thunderbird

  • -1

    BigCeltic1977

    I grew up in the suburbs of London in the 1970s, and it was still fairly rare for there to be more than a handful of non-ethnic English kids in a class. The inner cities were a different story where large numbers of newcomers had made their homes in the 1950s and 60s. Japan is nowhere near those levels. Mixed race children are going to be a rare thing for a long time yet in Japan. This young lady is a pioneer. Japan is changing very slowly.

  • 3

    Devan Nayar

    I dont know. I see most japanese sounding names posts congratulating the winner. it reinforces my notion that Japan is the most cultured nation in Asia, if not in the world.

  • 4

    A.N. Other

    As awful as it sounds, if you are 'different' in Japan, you're basically a circus act. For pity's sake look at the TV! Foreigners, LGBT, mixed race individuals are taken just about as seriously as Captain Long John Silver's parrot.

    Unless you happen to be 100% Yamato minzoku, you'll always be regarded as an outsider here. ALWAYS.

  • -4

    smithinjapan

    WilliB: ""Haafu" is just shorthand for that, and of course everybody knows that. The people who try to turn the "haafu" term into an issue are trying to manufacture a problem that does not exist."

    Well, yes and no. The language itself is a problem because of the very fact that it's not seen as problematic. Some people do refer to 'half' as being only part whole when referring to Japanese ethnicity, and it is derogatory. That said, for 99% of the time it is used because there is no better alternative and like it or not it is a part of the language for now -- same as 'gaijin', and 'handicapped'; not at all intended to be harmful (except those who say it as such), but there is nothing else in the lexicon. Now THAT might be a problem, and it's debatable, but not so much here.

  • 3

    Jimizo

    "As awful as it sounds, if you are 'different' in Japan, you're basically a circus act. For pity's sake look at the TV!"

    I'll give it a miss if it's all the same. I'm not denying the attitude you're describing exists but I wouldn't like to judge Japanese attitudes by the roaring stupidity of Japanese TV. I wouldn't judge the good people of the US by watching Fox News or the good people of the UK by reading The Sun or The Mail.

    I wrote off the types you're talking about a long time ago. Not worth the ulcer.

  • -3

    Bronco123

    I wonder why she was chosen as beauty queen of Japan? I am not prejudicial but just my honest opinion.

  • 2

    Yoshitsune

    I wonder why she was chosen as beauty queen of Japan?

    Because she's Japanese and beautiful.

  • -1

    Outsider

    What is her day job? The story mentions elephant trainer to boost her resume and kick boxer as an interest but surely these don`t pay the rent.

  • -4

    oldman_13

    I suspect 20 years from now, when Miss Japan officials pick the 13th mixed race Japanese woman as Miss Japan, the media will still harp on about how she was 'bullied' as a child, how Japan is struggling with the concept of mixed race people in a 'homogeneous' society, yada yada yada.

    Yawn.

  • 0

    rainyday

    Normally I couldn`t care less about beauty pagents, but as the parent of a "hafu" child I get drawn to articles like this. Its both encouraging to see people like her breaking down the barriers and disappointing to read the ugly comments disparaging her for no other reason than that she is hafu. The same trolls who came out last year to complain about Miyamoto are digging up the same stupidity to throw at her.

    Fortunately this year there don`t seem to be as many of them and they seem to be even more reviled. People can see the mean spirit in which those types of comments are made and it just makes the people saying them look ugly.

  • 1

    tmarie

    "Haafu" is just shorthand for that, and of course everybody knows that. The people who try to turn the "haafu" term into an issue are trying to manufacture a problem that does not exist.

    I disagree. The conversations with me and around me are always "half desu ka?" and very rarely is the other "half" every asked about. The focus is on one half being Japanese. Perhaps there is an assumption the other half is American but I can honestly count on two hands how many times I've been asked what the other half is. I don' think this is the same thing at all.

    If a problem doesn't exists, then why is this in the news? Why was it in the news last year when Ariana won? The reason? Because it IS still an issue here. One that hopefully will go away soon and Japan can just get over that not every Japanese supposedly has "pure" Japanese blood.

  • -2

    bullfighter

    Unless you happen to be 100% Yamato minzoku, you'll always be regarded as an outsider here. ALWAYS.

    If that is the case, how do you explain that "Japan's Home Run King" (Oh Sadaharu) is half-Japanese and is not even a Japanese citizen?

    If that is the case, how do you explain that Renho the woman who looks set to become leader of the largest opposition party in Japan is half-Japanese and was not born a Japanese citizen?

    Just two of numerous examples of people who are not 100% Yamato minzoku who are fully accepted in Japan.

  • 3

    Strangerland

    There was that Finnish guy who was elected a decade or so ago as well.

    Some people think that as they are not ethnically Japanese, and therefore can never be included in that group, that it means they are forever to be outsiders. The reality is that while of course non-ethnic Japanese will never be included in that group, we can and are included as part of the in-group in many other situations, often situations in which other Japanese people are not included.

  • -3

    Outrider

    I see here accolades for "multiculturalism". Could someone explain why "multi culturalism" is seen as some great goal that all nations must aspire to?

  • 4

    Strangerland

    I see here accolades for "multiculturalism". Could someone explain why "multi culturalism" is seen as some great goal that all nations must aspire to?

    I think acceptance of multiple cultures is something we should aspire to, as we are all sharing space on a rock that is gradually having all its resources used up. The more we can understand and accept each other, the easier it will be to get along.

  • 3

    fishy

    The conversations with me and around me are always "half desu ka?" and very rarely is the other "half" every asked about.

    I'm half Japanese half French, after being asked "haafu desuka", people almost always ask "which country?".

    Unless you happen to be 100% Yamato minzoku, you'll always be regarded as an outsider here. ALWAYS

    it's not always... because I feel accepted lol

  • 3

    Yoshitsune

    Could someone explain why "multi culturalism" is seen as some great goal that all nations must aspire to?

    Better than fighting the "others".

  • 1

    Serrano

    She is gorgeous.

  • -4

    Outrider

    So the idea is mix the cultures in certain nations - cos it ain't gonna happen in all - and this will lead to peace in the world? Ridiculous.

  • 1

    Strangerland

    I'm half Japanese half French, after being asked "haafu desuka", people almost always ask "which country?".

    Interesting how none of the people going on about the racist Japanese in this thread commented on this comment.

  • -1

    michaelqtodd

    Duberu not haafu defnetely

  • -1

    idig32

    If her father is Indian and mother is Japanese, why isn't her surname the same as her father?

  • 1

    Strangerland

    Either the father took the mother's name or she did.

    Fairly simple.

  • 0

    Magnus Roe

    turbotsatSep. 06, 2016 - 11:03AM JST 173cm the average height for contestants in Japan, or for Japanese at large? wikipedia has average Japanese male height at 172 cm and female height at 158 cm, from 2005 figures. (The 172 was close enough to 173 to make me wonder ...)

    Not that I think you'll ever see this, but oh well :p I was referring to the average height of Miss Universe and World winners in Japan, probably because a height over 170 is preferred for model work and you won't find a lot of 15X girls with serious aspirations

  • 3

    tmarie

    I'm half Japanese half French, after being asked "haafu desuka", people almost always ask "which country?".

    I'm glad that is your experience. It isn't mine.

    Interesting how none of the people going on about the racist Japanese in this thread commented on this comment. Not all of us live 24/7 on JT.

  • 2

    drlucifer

    bullfighter If that is the case, how do you explain that "Japan's Home Run King" (Oh Sadaharu) is half-Japanese and is not even a Japanese citizen?

    Oh Sadaharu is claimed by the Japanese to be Japanese, do you have anything proving otherwise. The Japanese are proud that a Japanese holds the World Homerun Record. If he was a nobody, he woud be referred to as Taiwanese.

    If that is the case, how do you explain that Renho the woman who looks set to become leader of the largest opposition party in Japan is half-Japanese and was not born a Japanese citizen?

    Renho is presently in hot water that she has dual nationality which Japan doesn't recognize because She hasn't renounced her Taiwanese citizenship despite being born and raised here. She risk not running for the leadership of the DPJ on account that a foreigner cannot head a party as there is possibility of the said foreigner becoming premier. Remember, Fujimori ran away from Peru and took refuge in Tokyo and Japan refused repatriating him to Peru on the grounds that he was a Japanese,indirectly, implying that the Peruvians elected a foreigner as their president.

    Just two of numerous examples of people who are not 100% Yamato minzoku who are fully accepted in Japan.

    How about Professor Shuji Nakamura who won Nobel prize in 2014, it is well known that Japan doesn't recognise dual nationality yet despite professor Nakamura taking American citizenship he was hailed here in Japan has a Japanese.

    Anybody who does anything that puts Japan in good light internationally is fully accepted here and the J-media will make the world know and attribute your success to Japan. You will be dumped aside and become a person of the past the moment you are not producing and raising the J-flag internationally. I pity all these foreigners who choose to represent Japan as it will dawn on them that though on paper they are naturalised Japanese the general public will continue to view them as foreigners. No laws can change the perceptions that citizens hold as evident of the difficulties in obtaining loans, real estate,jobs and other host of services. Born a foreigner , always a foreigner in Japan, don't allow a rare case of a real foreigner( external features) being elected deceive you.

  • -2

    Strangerland

    I'm glad that is your experience. It isn't mine.

    It's my experience as the parent of two half-kids.

    Not all of us live 24/7 on JT.

    No, but no one touched the comment whatsoever. People here don't like comments directly from the source that conflict with their prejudices.

    dual nationality which Japan doesn't recognize

    That's not exactly how it works. They have the mother of all loopholes here - before a child turns 22, they have to declare an intention to give up their other citizenship. But there is no actual requirement to do so, nor any follow-through on whether it is done. This is because it's impossible or almost impossible to give up the citizenship of some countries, they just don't have a way of doing so.

  • -1

    oldman_13

    To expand on Strangerland's comment, I will say that people everywhere don't like comments directly from the source that conflicts with their preconceived notions and biases against Japan/Japanese.

    Predictably, this news about Miss Priyanka is spreading like wildfire across the world, and for the wrong reasons. It is a hot topic, because it reaffirms the prejudices of people like those mentioned in my previous sentence.

    I couldn't believe the outright lies and falsehoods spouted by random people in the comments section of news outlets that reported this story. I've heard people comment that foreigners aren't allowed to purchase property in Japan, and that foreigners weren't allowed to become Japanese citizens (both absolutely untrue), and this proves how ethnocentric Japanese are. I've seen websites that reported this news by stating that a lot of people were unhappy with her being chosen as Miss Japan, and used a select few hateful Twitter messages by Japanese to imply that all Japanese were unhappy about this situation.

    Typical sensationalist media that ignores those Japanese that support Priyanka, and instead focuses all the attention on the hateful segment of Japanese society.

  • 2

    AramaTaihenNoYouDidnt

    Even in Miss America, it’s not uncommon for someone of Mexican, Italian, or whatever descent to win. If Japan’s representative is a ‘half,’ that doesn’t make her any less beautiful.”

  • 1

    Strangerland

    Typical sensationalist media that ignores those Japanese that support Priyanka, and instead focuses all the attention on the hateful segment of Japanese society.

    Nice post. And very true. And so many foreigners read the comments, and take this segment of the population as representative of all Japanese. Then they (if they are living in Japan) have a bad encounter with one of this segment of the population, and since they read that Japanese people are like this, it feeds their confirmation bias that Japanese people are discriminatory as a whole. Leading to things like this thread, where too many foreigners are pulling the race card when they should be leaving it in the deck.

  • -1

    smithinjapan

    CH3CHO: "You should not use your classroom discussion as an example here. Find some Japanese to whom you are not in superiority."

    He demands with an air of superiority. Heaven forbid the teacher be allowed to try and foster a little debate in the classroom instead of the traditional teacher as cup, child as open sieve to let the water flow through and not absorb that has led to Japan scoring horribly in subjects that involve originality, creativity, and expression of opinion on social matters.

    "When Japanese use the term ハーフ (half), they usually say 何と何のハーフ (half between what and what)."

    BS they do. I've NEVER heard them say anything but ハーフ when referring to someone of half-Japanese, half-foreign background. Even then it would only be in explanation after the fact. You yourself have used "haafu" alone on a number of times on this thread.

    bullfighter: "If that is the case, how do you explain that "Japan's Home Run King" (Oh Sadaharu) is half-Japanese and is not even a Japanese citizen?"

    Easy: the fact that when you mention what you just said to many Japanese they will either be visibly upset or else just shut up altogether and be... visibly upset. Well, okay, they might shake it off and make excuses, but it's never something they accept and are proud of. Just look at how hard, to counter your example, it is for them to accept foreign sumo wrestlers, saying their mannerisms are poor, they don't follow rules, get upset when they win, etc., or how poorly they've adopted ハーフ who won them medals in Games or compete and didn't win, like the brother/sister team in figure skating, and still claim people who have taken other nationalities are 'Japanese', like the American skater who has a Japanese background. Face it, the comment about the 100% Yamato-minzoku not being fully accepted is bang on.

    "If that is the case, how do you explain that Renho the woman who looks set to become leader of the largest opposition party in Japan is half-Japanese and was not born a Japanese citizen?"

    Yeah, we'll talk about that when she wins... which I don't think she ever will, for the aforementioned reasons on top of her being a woman.

  • 1

    MASSWIPE

    This is a positive sign of the times. People who insist that "haafu" is not a racist term are only partially correct. It is my general impression that mixed-race people in Japan who have one Japanese parent and one white parent have had a far better chance of integrating well into society and living happily in the country compared to those such as Ms. Yoshikawa who have one Japanese parent and one parent who is also not white but not Japanese (or of similar East Asian complexion like Han Chinese or Korean) either. I know, there is always anecdotal evidence of half-whites in Japan also having a tough time, but it just strikes me as not terribly plausible that half-whites in Japan as a whole have had as difficult a time as half-Filipinos, half-Thais, and half-Indians in Japan.

    Japan, after all, does share with Korea and China the unfortunate East Asian tendency to equate lighter skin pigmentation with the refined, sophisticated, non-agricultural upper classes. And if I'm not mistaken, at least some of Japan's leaders during the Meiji Era openly advocated breeding between Japanese and whites in order to improve the nation's genetic stock. So a positive sign of the times, I'd say.

  • -1

    toshiko

    A long time ago, mixed breeding people were called konketsuji. Then here half. Many Japanese have a hard time to pronounce three or more kanji using Japanese word. So I thought dumb created half because they don't now how to pronounce konkeetsuji.

  • 0

    turbotsat

    toshiko: ... So I thought dumb created half because they don't now how to pronounce konkeetsuji.

    Not dumb. Use of foreign loan-words makes them look cool. Looking cool gives their genes a better chance in the gene pool. It's been 60 years since the 1950's, who do you think has more great-grandchildren, フォンジー or ポッツィー?

  • 1

    TheRat

    Took one look at her and said, "yep, she is keeper."

  • 0

    Yoshiki Tokushu

    She is a legitimate beautiful Japanese woman who won a legitimate and honorable title by votes cast by honorable and legitimate Nihonjin. Right ? Does she have a good chance of winning a Miss Universe title ,and will she represent Japan honorably ? Yes, because beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This is not the Hitler homogeneous beauty pageant,yet. They can flood us with all of the AKB-48 ideals of women in Japan, but the truth of ethno-diversity in this shrinking population will still ring self evident. Kudos & love ,to Japan for representing a more truthful and honest beauty pageant than China or Korea, who both (by the way) have legit native ancestry lines from other origins yet hide them until Olympics time. ^^

  • 1

    jeremywoodart

    This saddens me that people are already debating her legitimacy, a win is a win, I was born in the UK, I have lived half my life in Australia but I feel like an outsider even here, My partner is from Japan and we met in Australia we have a son together but no one here calls him 'hafu', it is the reverse, he is a really popular boy at school because of his differences and he is fluent in 2 languages and he is also really popular with his female classmates because he is a bit different, he does get picked on by the 'western' Australian boys because of this but I am proud of his achievements. I hope one day that racism, prejudice and discrimination will be a thing of the past and we can all just accept each other for who they are not discriminate because of where we are from.

  • 0

    No Ginger

    When I lived in Japan and people called my daughter or son a "half", I politely pointed out that the correct term was "double". After the customary sharp intake of breath, a few "eeeeh?"s and a brief explanation that my kids enjoyed the best of two worlds - hence "double", (yawn)- the "eeeh"s turned to "aaah"s, as a light bulb spluttered to life in their brains; albeit briefly no doubt.

  • 0

    FernGully

    This just goes to show, there's more to being Japanese than just looking like one.

  • 1

    jpn_guy

    In this thread, two position emerge. Some posters claim that Japanese people lump all mixed race people together in a single group, and that this is evidence of racism. Other claim that Japanese people show deep awareness of different nationalities and are very sensitive to diversity, and state that this contradicts the above.

    However, the seeming interest shown in the heritage of haafus in polite conversation cannot be used to fend off accusations that haafus are treated in a consistent, exclusionary way. As I will argue below, quite the reverse is the case. Both phenomena are manifestations of the same mindset.

    Let's start with what seems undeniable. The category of 'mixed race' has a salience in Japan that goes way beyond the prominence of mixed race as a category in Western countries. If you are a 'haafu', that is, for most Japanese people, the single most important and dominant characteristic about you as a person.

    The deep need in Japanese society to divide humanity into Japanese and non-Japanese has a number of seemingly contradictory effects where haafu are concerned. Despite these apparent contradictions, a consistent position can be readily explained.

    Firstly, let’s turn to those who claim that Japanese lump all haafu together in one pot. This is undoubtedly true. A recent segment on television featured Cambridge, the sprinter, and Baker, the judoka. The whole segment tied together the stories of these two medalists, who compete in entirely different disciplines, solely on the basis that they are both 'mixed race and good-looking' (ikemen haafu). Imagine a TV producer in the UK, for example, thinking it was appropriate to produce a joint segment on athletes in two different sports simply because they both had a non-British parent...it's completely unthinkable isn't it? There are numerous other stories we could tell to point out that Japanese people put all haafus (with one non-Asian parent) into the same big bucket and then incessantly refer to it. By highlighting their difference, this serves to remove the haafu from the mainstream of Japanese society, thereby preserving its ‘purity’.

    So how is this related to the seemingly contradictory claims of those in this thread who say that people always ask them 'what sort of haafu' they are, which might suggest that rather than lumping haafus together, many Japanese people are deeply aware of the differences between different individuals?

    Well, this is does not contradict the above at all. The mechanism is different but the goal is the same. When meeting a haafu for the first time, Japanese people will indeed ask where the other parent is from. However, once they have that information, instead of moving on to treat the individual as they would treat anyone else, they will, for example in the case of someone with one French parent, steer the conversation on to holidays they had in France, French food, famous French people - in other words they will throw everything they know about France at the conversation, while refusing to engage on any Japanese-related topics. If the guy says 'my Mum is from Paris but my Dad is from Wakayama' you can bet your life on the conversation being steered to Paris. However, this is not due to a deep desire to recognize the diversity among haafus. It is simply another sign that people in Japan will do anything to maintain a Japanese / non-Japanese dichotomy, in this case by initially refusing to engage haafus on anything but the ‘non-Japaneseness’ of one of their parents.

    This may appear to be the opposite phenomena to lumping haafus together, but what is really at work here is that, whether lumping or questioning, the status of the haafu as an outsider is being emphasized. I think of the film ‘Haafu’ and the plea from David, one of the main participants who wished that 'people who just come and have a regular chat with me in the same way as they talk to everyone else'.

    Why is this important? Well, it shows how the lumping together of haafus in the media and the excessive focus on the 'other' in conversation are just two different sides of the same phenomena - the desire to highlight at all costs that haafus are somehow different from everyone else and therefore not fully paid-up members of society.

    The exceptions to this rule are the cases like Sadaharu Oh, as referred to above. Bullfighter claims that Oh's story is evidence of Japan's inclusive diversity. Nothing could be further from the truth. As haafus are constantly 'othered' and set apart, Japanese people face a dilemma when someone with overseas roots establishes themselves in the national consciousness is such a profound way that their Japaneseness cannot be denied. What happens in these cases is entirely consistent with the position I have been setting out. What happens here is that, to preserve the distinction between the 'pure' and 'non-pure' Japanese, if someone elevates themselves to great heights, then their foreignness is ignored and the pendulum swings in completely the other direction.

    This is why although everyone knows that Oh is not a Japanese citizen, it is generally not mentioned and provokes discomfort when it is. Another example is Murofushi the hammer thrower and Olympic gold medalist. Since the position of Murofushi as a Japanese hero is unassailable, his foreign heritage is completely sidelined. Murofushi is never referred to in the media as a 'haafu', and hardly anyone knows that he is actually Koji Alexander Murofushi. Going further back we have another national hero sumo wrestler Taihō Kōki, whose father was from Ukraine. This is never mentioned. Refusal to mention diverse heritage may be a sign of acceptance, but not in this dynamic. What is happening here is that if conferring hero status is unavoidable due to outstanding performance, and the individual concerned can 'pass' as Asian-looking, the non-Japanese heritage is hidden and denied to preserve the dichotomy referred to above.

    This is also clear from the case of the ice-dancing siblings Chris and Cathy Reed, who represented Japan, have an American father, and did not achieve conspicuous success. They suffered the indignity of the head of Japan's Olympic bid, no less, questioning their nationality and allegiance, in complete contrast to the treatment of the ‘heros’ above.

    The 'lumping halves together', the incessant questioning about overseas heritage, the refusal to treat haafus just like 'any other dude', the 'acceptance' of Sadaharu Oh. All of these factors reveal the deep unease that Japanese people have over the prospect of widening the definition of what being Japanese means.

    I hope I have managed to tie together some of the seemingly contradictory positions in this thread and provide some insight into how there is much work to be done before Japan can start to claim that all of its citizens are treated equally.

  • 1

    Godfrey King

    A half-Indian beauty queen with an elephant trainer’s license

    Has anyone got her number? I want to put in a trunk call!

    But....seriously. Why people born in Japan should suffer being called 'names' to identify them as 'different' is not how to bring Japan into the modern world. Competitions such as Miss Japan are often derided but at least it helps break down barriers and does not define beauty as white skinned nor specific facial features to typify what beauty is. Even creatures we call ugly can be beautiful...and would be to each other. So...well done the organisers and the judges of Miss Japan.

  • -5

    bullfighter

    As haafus are constantly 'othered' and set apart, Japanese people face a dilemma when someone with overseas roots establishes themselves in the national consciousness is such a profound way that their Japaneseness cannot be denied.

    That has not been the experience of my kids.

    Just because you are haafu, does not mean you have "overseas roots." You can be half Japanese and half Korean (Zainichi) with no "overseas connection" at all other than the nationality of one parent. And, because since 1985, you get citizenship automatically if either parent is a Japanese national, unless you go around shouting that your mom or dad is not a native born Japanese national, no one will know that you are haafu.

    Similarly, if you are one of the numerous kids in Japan with a mother from the Philippines, it is unlikely you will be known as a haafu in society at large unless you go around shouting that you are a haafu.

    The category of 'mixed race' has a salience in Japan that goes way beyond the prominence of mixed race as a category in Western countries.

    Have you actually read anything about the "mixed race" experience in "Western countries." Do you know in fact what it is like to be "mixed race" in, for example, Norway or Bulgaria, especially "mixed race" Black-European? Have you read accounts, for example, by Brits who have grown up "mixed race" in the UK? Have you listened to any of the BBC programs that have dealt with being "mixed race" in the UK?

    Firstly, let’s turn to those who claim that Japanese lump all haafu together in one pot. This is undoubtedly true.

    Rubbish.

    Well, this is does not contradict the above at all. The mechanism is different but the goal is the same. When meeting a haafu for the first time, Japanese people will indeed ask where the other parent is from.

    That's not been my experience.

    It is simply another sign that people in Japan will do anything to maintain a Japanese / non-Japanese dichotomy, in this case by initially refusing to engage haafus on anything but the ‘non-Japaneseness’ of one of their parents.

    No, it's not. When people in the UK detect my American accent, very often they will start talking about a trip they took to the US or a relative they have there. Essentially they behave the same way you assert is the distinctive Japanese response to someone being haafu.

    Refusal to mention diverse heritage may be a sign of acceptance, but not in this dynamic.

    In other words you think it would be better if Japanese kept mentioning the foreign parent of prominent haafu the way some Americans like to bang on about Obama having a Kenyan father? Obama is, after all, a haafu in terms of Japanese terminology.

    I hope I have managed to tie together some of the seemingly contradictory positions in this thread and provide some insight into how there is much work to be done before Japan can start to claim that all of its citizens are treated equally.

    You haven't for me although doubtless others will applaud your piece.

    As a naturalized Japanese citizen of Scotch-Irish-English ancestry and the father of two teenage haafu, I think that while not perfect, Japan does a much better job overall of treating all of its citizens equally than, for example, the US.

  • -1

    Strangerland

    That has not been the experience of my kids.

    Mine neither, though to be fair my kids are half-white. (Visibly) Half black kids get it much harder in this country.

  • 1

    jpn_guy

    Bullflighter - thanks for reading. And thanks for your comments, which force me to think carefully about what I want to say.

    When I wrote, haafus are constantly 'othered and set apart' and haafus being 'lumped together', I should have qualified it, for the most part, with 'visually distinctive'. Most of my arguments are with reference to people who stand out visually, whatever the race of their parent.

    With regard to the zainichi, this is a whole different topic (and a whole different criticism of Japan) in the sense that when zainichi have been in Japan for three, four, five generations, the very system that sees them not automatically granted citizenship is ridiculous. That said, I don't think your point about the half-zainichi negates anything I wrote. The zai-nichi haafu, as you say can go undetected if they choose and as such most people pretend they don't exist. This falls into the 'preserve the purity through omission' category I refer to. How often have you heard people talking about Japan being monoethinic? How often, in the context of these discussions, will the Japaneses participants bring up the fact that there are clearly 10s if not 100s of thousands of Japanese people with some Korean blood? The answer is very rarely. It breaks the dichotomy (between Japanese and non-Japanese, which is surely one of the most significant distinctions at the core of Japanese culture) so it is hidden and bringing it up provokes discomfort. Do you honestly think Japanese people can have a relaxed conversation about the (hidden) mixing with people from China, Korea and the Phillipines in the same way that people in the US can recognize the Caucasian population is a mix of English, Italian, German, Dutch etc? This kind of conversation in Japan is far for controversial and fraught with the possibility of offense for the vary reasons I have been describing. I think your statements support my point of view rather than contradict it. I would refer you back to the hiding of Sadaharu Oh's origins, above.

    Have you actually read anything about the "mixed race" experience in "Western countries? Have you read accounts, for example, by Brits who have grown up "mixed race" in the UK?

    Sorry brother, wrong question! I am mixed race and did grow up in the UK. I have been punched in the face for being a 'n*gger' on more than one occasion. And you know what? Those punches are less painful than the cultural rejection I felt as a foreigner in Japan. The reason for this being that the jury (in terms of educated opinion) agrees that the former is unjustified and this consensus provides a measure of solace, a solace lacking in Japan where racism (of the subtle and exclusionary kind, rather than of the violent kind) is compounded by denial that the issue even exists, a kind of gaslightling if you will.

    Turning to the 'lumping haafu in one pot', which you dismiss with the single word "rubbish", would you care to address more substantively examples such as the TV show that produced a segment on Aska Cambridge and Mashu Baker? Why does Japanese TV regularly produce segments that remark repeatedly on individuals with one non-Japanese parent being defined by a human being by having that one non-Japanese parent? You say you have experience of the UK - in which case you should recognize how utterly unthinkable it is that any segment in any media could be premised on the 'half-non-Britishness' of the individuals featured, claiming that their one foreign parent gave them some kind of common status worthy of anchoring the piece. What do you have to say about this? I admit I should have qualified 'lumps together' with 'haafus who are immediately identifiable', but once this proviso is attached, this statement surely stands, wouldn't you agree?

    When people in the UK detect my American accent, very often they will start talking about a trip they took to the US or a relative they have there. Essentially they behave the same way you assert is the distinctive Japanese response to someone being haafu.

    This is quite true. And if you lived in the UK for 20 or 30 years and you had to deal with that everyday, it would be a bit irritating, would it not? The analogy is not great though, as we are dealing with a matter of accent, and by definition someone whose accent is being remarked upon could not have grown up in the society in which the discussion is taking place. In the case of haafus in Japan though, we are talking for the most part about treatment received in the only society these individuals have ever known. Why should haafus have to put up with it? (I'm glad your kids seem to have avoided this). Anyway, you are quite right that it is the same mechanism that is at work when people remark on your accent, but the degree of alienation that can result is not the same, unless you moved to the UK permanently and wanted to claim for yourself a British identity.

    Japan does a much better job overall of treating all of its citizens equally than, for example, the US.

    Can't disagree with that. None of what I wrote is anything to do with the US, which as we all know has plenty of its own problems.

  • 0

    Dukeleto

    So it seems haafu is better than fullu.

  • 1

    MASSWIPE

    "None of what I wrote is anything to do with the US, which as we all know has plenty of its own problems."

    You are absolutely correct about that, and I'm sure Priyanka Yoshikawa would agree. Why on earth an Indian-Japanese pageant winner should care about how well citizens are treated in a country she has perhaps never visited is beyond me. Unless, of course, you think the entire world revolves around the United States and what goes on in that country.

  • 0

    Nobusaki

    I feel for her. To represent a country that the people don't even support you?

    Ganbarre, Yoshikawa-san! If you win or make the top 10 or whatever, you have done Japan proud!

  • 0

    syarp

    Congratulations to Priyanka Yoshikawa! The narrative is eloquent here. Is it just a demographic problem, a way to hire more talented foreigners to enter Japan and exist in the global village or a great joy for Japanese to see that their language is spoken by many beautiful ladies? Meanwhile "Haafu” will have to see their rights reinforced in Japan and in their 2nd other country because is is not easy to be born half here in Japan. To begin with, say, when Japanese TV channels still use vulgar discriminative comments and filming as a tool of… entertainment! Racism exists here too and the hate speech against Koreans and Chinese existed too long with a quasi official “Haafu-blessing”. Happily enough things improve. For Japan and other nations benefit. At first and in the end, dignity should solely prevail. Congratulations again to lady Priyanka Yoshikawa!

  • 0

    MASSWIPE

    "Just because you are haafu, does not mean you have 'overseas roots.' You can be half Japanese and half Korean (Zainichi) with no "overseas connection" at all other than the nationality of one parent."

    Your definition of haafu is quite expansive and also very different, I would guess, from how the term is defined by the vast majority of your fellow Japanese citizens. I don't think a majority or even a plurality of Japanese people would classify the child of an ethnic Japanese and a zainichi or any ethnic Korean as haafu. If that were true, then people like Haku Shinkun (former TV commentator turned House of Councillors member who has one zainichi Korean parent and one Japanese parent) and Ito Yuna (Hawaii-based singer with a Japanese father and Korean-American mother) would be regarded as haafu by many Japanese people and treated as such by the Japanese media. But it doesn't look like they are. And this is because they and those who share their mixed background are physically indistinguishable from Japanese people who claim "homogeneous" heritage.

    No, the term "haafu" in Japan has nothing to do with anything except the most superficial of attributes--the physical features of one's face, in particular the shape and color of one's eyes and the size of one's nose. This is one reason why the term is so disliked and why I personally find it embarrassing to use the word in conversation. No connection to stuff that matters, e.g. personality traits or language proficiency.

    The word "haafu" is essentially shorthand for referring to somebody as big-nosed and round-eyed.

  • 0

    Kallikattu Sivarama Parthasarathy

    It is amusing to note that this unimportant topic elicited 169 comments so far!

  • 1

    Giveme_abreak

    PROUD TO BE HALF. LOVING THE BEST OF BOTH WORLD. The previous Ms. Universe Japan is very pretty, same as Ms. Priyanka. Congratulations Ms. Japan!!!

  • 0

    TheReds

    I think the main problem here is not about being Haafu. I'm guessing the problem lies with the person having a darker skin. In Japan, there are many haafu celebrities and people love and adore them, especially those with fair skin. Imagine if someone with fair skin like Maggy, Darenogare Akemi, Lola (Bangladeshi blood), etc., won the competition, people would scream kawaii and adore her as goddess. My Japanese friends told me while they do not disapprove a half-Indian Miss Japan, they do feel weird when seeing seeing someone with a dark skin being awarded Miss Japan. Actually Yoshikawa has fairer skin than Ariana Miyamoto. But when Miyamoto was on the stage, I know some people may have thought are Japanese black? Because a Miss Japan is someone who represents the country and the people. That's why some people cannot accept that. Lastly, someone said it here right. Most Japanese are not really talking about this. It is the gaikokujin and media talking non-stop about all this racial and discrimination issue. Just let it rest.

  • 0

    cracaphat

    Yoshikawa will get more airtime because her halfness isn't as evident as Miyamoto's.Meaning skin tone.Japan closed their doors for 400 years so it'll take time to get with the real world concerning color and accepting different.But the change is happening and coming,regardless of origin.

  • 0

    tmarie

    It is amusing to note that this unimportant topic elicited 169 comments so far!

    Rather important topic to the parents of child who are biracial/bicultural.

  • 0

    Ever Watt II

    Japan is a beautiful country with strong traditions and a very sophisticated culture and social system. I think this type of debate is great, especially as the Japan Brand is going worldwide...the world needs much more Japanification and Kaizen.

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