Priyanka Yoshikawa Miss World Japan 2016 Breaking Barriers

06 Sep 2016 | Angelopedia

On 5th September 2016 Japan crowned its delegate for the Miss World 2016 pageant. Priyanka Yoshikawa who is a half-Indian and half-Japanese swoop the crown and marked her victory at the finals. Priyanka’s victory came as a blow for those who have been crying out loud a ‘pure’ Japanese pageant queen, ever since Ariana Miyamoto was crowned Miss Universe Japan 2015 last year.


Miss World Japan 2016 Priyanka Yoshikawa criticised because of her mixed race


Miyamoto faced an ugly, racist backlash for becoming the first black woman to represent Japan. Although Priyanka’s victory initially failed to trigger any reaction, it did gather few negative comments and some were clearly unhappy with the decision.

 “What’s the point of holding a pageant like this now? Zero national characteristics,” protested one Twitter user, while another fumed: “It’s like we’re saying a pure Japanese face can’t be a winner.

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However, Yoshikawa vowed to continue the fight against racial chauvinism in Japan, where multiracial children make up just two percent of those born annually. Yoshikawa shared her experience and said, “There was a time as a kid when I was confused about my identity. But I’ve lived in Japan so long now I feel Japanese.” She also mentioned that before Ariana, haafu girls couldn’t represent Japan. “That’s what I thought too. I didn’t doubt it or challenge it until this day. Ariana encouraged me a lot by showing me and showing all mixed girls the way,” said Yoshikawa.

As a child, Yoshikawa was bullied because of her skin colour.  “We have problems, we’ve been struggling and it hurts. When I came back to Japan, everyone thought I was a germ,” she added. “Like if they touched me they would be touching something bad. But I’m thankful because that made me really strong.”

But the beauty queen claims that she will not let herself get affected by all the back lashing and that she will try and change the perspective of people of Japan towards mixed race. “As Miss Japan, hopefully I can help change perceptions so that it can be the same here too. The number of people with mixed race is only going to increase, so people have to accept it,” said Priyanka Yoshikawa.

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22 years old Priyanka standing tall at a towering height of 176cm is all set to represent her country in the forthcoming Miss World pageant.