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Born to a Japanese mother and an African-American father, Ariana Miyamoto broke new ground on March 8 when she was crowned the Miss Japan competition’s first biracial/mixed race winner!

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The moment was one of a lifetime for the beautiful 20-year-old and also a historic one because of her dual racial identity. Though she is a native Japanese woman, representing her village of Sasebo in Nagasaki, Black Enterprise noted that Miyamoto was worried her “unconventional” (by traditional Japanese standards) looks wouldn’t go far in the pageant. But despite some initial hesitation, she got over her fears and came out a game-changer!

In Japanese, biracial individuals are labeled as “hafu” or “haafu” and they sometimes experience prejudice from their community. On what we’re going to call “#JapaneseTwitter, some people had even questioned if Miyamoto, as a biracial woman was “really” allowed to be called Japanese (child, someone take those naysayers to the Bay area in L.A., because the Blasians rule over there!)

But the haters will just have to fall back because she’s going to be holding it own for the country that gave us Sailor Moon (we’re still obsessed) at the next Miss Universe pageant. And thankfully, plenty of other Japanese people, many of them now fans, have been supportive of Miyamoto’s win!

To read more about Miyamoto, visit the site Japan Today where the winner spoke of the time she spent living in America, why Mariah Carey is one of her idols and her journey to the Miss Japan pageant.

Congrats!

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