Ariana Miyamoto won Miss Japan 2015 on March 12 and will proudly wear her sash and crown for her native country in the Miss Universe pageant next year in Hungary.
Miyamoto, whose father is African-American and mother is Japanese, is the first woman of African descent to be crowned Miss Japan, MissAmericaUSA.com writes. She admitted that she had doubts about representing her country as "hafu," a label given to individuals who are biracial in her culture.
The 21-year-old beauty queen began her pageant journey winning the crown of Miss Nagasaki, a local division pageant in Japan. She was born in Japan and, after graduating from junior high school, traveled to America to continue her studies. She worked as a bartender and looked to join the modeling world.
At the pageant, Miyamoto said her greatest influence was singer Mariah Carey. "She has been through a lot of difficulties before becoming a popular singing sensation,” she said.
Her win has led to some controversy, as some natives say Miyamoto does not appear Japanese and shouldn't represent the country. Meanwhile others say because she was been born and raised in Japan and has heritage, she has every right to be the face of the country.
Follow Natelege Whaley on Twitter: @Natelege_.
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