Prianka Yoshikawa

Photo via Priyanka Yoshikawa/Facebook (CC-BY)

Half-Indian, half-Japanese winner Priyanka Yoshikawa is being criticized for not being 'pure.'

In 2015, Ariana Miyamoto became Japan's first biracial Miss World Japan. And on Monday, Priyanka Yoshikawa, whose father is Indian and whose mother is Japanese, became the country's second. 

However, just like last year's winner, Yoshikawa is now the target of racist backlash. Critics have taken to social media to complain that someone "pure" should have won the title instead.

"I am not saying we shouldn't choose a haafu," wrote one person on Twitter, referring to the Japanese term for "biracial," "...but I want us to choose someone who is beautiful to everyone." 
"Miss Japan representatives also elected a woman of mixed race. But dirty face," wrote another.

"We are Japanese," Yoshikawa told the Hindustan Times. "Yes, I’m half Indian and people are asking me about my ‘purity’—yes, my dad is Indian and I’m proud of it, I’m proud that I have Indian in me. But that does not mean I’m not Japanese."

Yoshikawa told the news outlet AFP that in school people treated her as a "germ" and for a while she was confused about her heritage. "Before Ariana, haafu girls couldn't represent Japan," said Yoshikawa. "That's what I thought too. Ariana encouraged me a lot by showing me and all mixed girls the way."

When she's not competing, Yoshikawa trains elephants and kickboxes; she also speaks fluent English. She says she wants to use her title to create greater openness in a country where only 2 percent of children are haafu. 

Yoshikawa will go on to represent Japan in the Miss World pageant in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 20.

H/T BuzzFeed

Promoted Stories Powered by Sharethrough
Something of substance actually happened at the Miss America pageant
Talent, beauty and a little hemorrhoid ointment to de-puff the eyes will win you the title of Miss America. This year’s contestant from Colorado, however, bucked that formula by keeping it real.
From Our VICE Partners

Pure, uncut internet. Straight to your inbox.

Thanks for subscribing to our newsletter!