Priyana Yoshikawa is the Second Half-Japanese Contestant to Represent Japan at Miss World
The Half Indian, Half Japanese Contestant will Represent Japan at Miss World Contest in WashingtonSeptember 19th, 2016
22 year old elephant trainer Priyana Yoshikawa was crowned Miss Japan on September 5th in Tokyo. This means that she will compete in the next ‘Miss World’ pageant. She is the second ‘haafu’ girl to be given this title after Ariana Miyamoto last year.
This year’s Miss Japan winner, Priyana Yoshikawa, has been controversial because she was born to a Japanese mother and Indian father. Half-Japanese children are referred to as ‘haafu’, and in 2012 they made up 2% of the total population of Japan. This number is increasing due to the globalised, multicultural world we live in today.
Priyana was born in Tokyo, Japan, and has lived in India and the United States. She is an example of how different cultures can come together in a single person.
This year, she decided to compete in Miss Japan because she was inspired by last year’s winner, Ariana Miyamoto, who was the first ‘haafu’ to ever win such a competition. “Before Ariana, haafu girls could not represent Japan”, Yoshikawa said. Yoshikawa cites Miyamoto’s strength and determination as her inspiration, even though the latter was victim of racist backlashes. “We are Japanese”, Yoshikawa declared.
The Indian Embassy in Tokyo has congratulated Yoshikawa on her victory, which will take her to the Miss World 2016 competition to represent Japan. Japanese ‘haafu’ also competed for Japan at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Mashu Baker, who was born to a Japanese mother and American father, won a gold medal in Judo.
Our world is becoming more and more globalised every day. The fact that people are born to parents who have different nationalities is becoming more common. As Yoshikawa herself declared to the media in Japan, “the number of people with mixed race is only going to increase, so people have to accept it”. Priyana hopes to be able to change perceptions of this delicate topic. She is a good role model, given the mixed cultures and traditions she embodies. This might be a starting point to see things from another perspective and understand that different cultures can not only coexist, but can also enrich one another.