His election generated controversy due to his origins, but this was not the cause of him losing his crown.
The winner of the beauty pageant Miss Japan she renounced her title after a tabloid outlet revealed that she was having an affair with a married man.
Karolina Shiino26, was crowned in the beauty pageant two weeks ago, but her victory sparked a public debate first because of her ancestry, as she is a Caucasian woman born in Ukraine, and then because she was emotionally involved with a married man.
While some welcomed the coronation of this woman, who is naturalized Japanese, others said she did not represent the country’s traditional beauty ideals.
Amid the controversy, the local magazine Shukan Bunshun published last week that Shiino had entered into a relationship with a married doctor and influencer.
In response, the contest organizers They defended Shiino claiming that she did not know that the man was married.
However, this Monday they said that she had confessed to knowing about the man’s marriage and family.
She he apologized for lying and organizers accepted her renunciation of the title, the Miss Japan Association said.
Shiino also apologized to her fans and the general public in a statement on Monday, where she said she had acted out of fear and panic in response to the report.
“I am very sorry for the enormous problems I have caused and for betraying those who supported me,” he said.
Japanese society is classified as sexist and conservativeand women are expected to be good wives and mothers.
Consequently, women in extramarital relationships are publicly questioned.
Last year, Japanese actress Ryoko Hirosue lost acting and advertising contracts she had already signed after it was revealed that she was having an affair with a popular chef who was married.
Controversy for not being of Japanese origin
The Miss Japan contest crowned Shiino on January 22, the first person of European origin to win the reign.
The young woman was born in Ukraine, moved with her mother to Japan when she was five years old and adopted her stepfather’s Japanese surname.
She speaks and writes Japanese fluently and became a naturalized citizen in 2022.
Upon receiving the title, she said in her speech: “I have not been accepted as Japanese many times, but I am full of gratitude to have been recognized as Japanese today.”
“There have been racial barriers and it has been a challenge to be accepted as Japanese.”
While some recognized her victory as a “sign of the times,” others have said she doesn’t look like a “Miss Japan” should.
His victory came almost 10 years after Ariana Miyamoto became the first mixed-race woman to be crowned Miss Japan in 2015.
Back then, born to a Japanese mother and African-American father, Miyamoto’s victory raised questions about whether a mixed-race person could be eligible to win the competition.
The fact that Shiino is not of Japanese ancestry had upset some Japanese, who expressed it on social media.
“This person who was elected Miss Japan is not even a mix of Japanese, but 100% pure Ukrainian. I understand that she is beautiful, but this is ‘Miss Japan’. Where is the Japanese thing?” said a post on X, before known as Twitter.
“If she was half [japonesa]Surely there was no problem. But she is ethnically 0% Japanese and she wasn’t even born in Japan,” another comment read.
Others said his victory was sending the “wrong message” to the country.
“I think Japanese people would naturally get the wrong message when a European-looking person is called the most beautiful Japanese woman,” one user wrote.
Others questioned whether choosing the Ukrainian-born model was a political decision.
“If I had been born Russian, I wouldn’t have won. Not even remotely. Obviously the criterion now is a political decision. What a sad day for Japan,” alleged one Internet user.
Shiino had said on Instagram early last year when she received Japanese citizenship that she “may not look Japanese” but that her mind had “become Japanese” because she had grown up in that Asian country.
And when accepting her trophy as Miss Japan 2024, she said winning the title was “a dream.”
“Being recognized as Japanese in this competition fills me with gratitude,” she said then.
Although there were several finalists, the title of Miss Japan will now remain vacant for the remainder of the year.
Additional reporting by Chie Kobayashi