Ariana Miyamoto was recently crowned as Japan Miss Universe. The 21-year-old is the first mixed-race woman to win the Miss Universe Japan competition. Ariana Miyamoto entered the Miss Universe Japan beauty contest after a mixed-race friend committed suicide.
“I didn’t feel any added pressure because the reason I took part in the pageant was my friend’s death. My goal was to raise awareness of racial discrimination,” added Miyamoto, who was bullied as a schoolgirl growing up in the port town of Sasebo, near Nagasaki.
Born in Japan to a Japanese mother and African American father, Miyamoto is a Japanese citizen, grew up in Japan, and identifies as Japanese. Described in local media as a “saishoku kenbi,” a woman blessed with both intelligence and beauty, she holds a 5th degree mastery of Japanese calligraphy.