A half-Indian beauty queen with an elephant trainer’s license was crowned Miss Japan today, striking a fresh blow for racial equality.
Priyanka Yoshikawa’s tearful victory comes a year after Ariana Miyamoto faced an ugly backlash for becoming the first black woman to represent Japan. Social media lit up after Miyamoto’s trail-blazing triumph as critics complained that Miss Universe Japan should instead have been won by a “pure” Japanese rather than a “haafu” — the Japanese for “half”, a word used to describe mixed race.
“Before Ariana, haafu girls couldn’t represent Japan,” Yoshikawa told AFP in an interview after her exotic Bollywood looks helped sweep her to the title. “That’s what I thought too. I didn’t doubt it or challenge it until this day. Read more