8 Hapa Women Who Made History: 2015 Miss Universe Japan Ariana Miyamoto


Ariana Miyamoto (born May 12, 1994)

Ariana Miyamoto

You might not know her name, but you will certainly recognize her title. In 2015, Miyamoto was crowned Miss Universe Japan, and represented her home country in the Miss Universe beauty pageant. She placed in the Top 10.

The backlash she received from Japan was swift and massive. Miyamoto entered this competition to begin the conversation about who can be Japanese. Is nationality defined by the place you’re born, or by the languages you speak? Or is it by the way you look? Japan is still a massively homogenous country and having a national representative be both black and Japanese has already begun to challenge the stereotypes and expectations of who can call themselves Japanese.

In 2016, Miss Universe Japan was half-Indian Priyanka Yoshikawa.

Read more about Ariana Miyamoto here.



Melissa has lived in all four time zones in the contiguous United States. A former actor in Seattle, WA, Melissa now resides in NYC as a content creator. She is the producer of the We're Not All Ninjas podcast, which she also hosts with fellow Hapa Mag writer, Alex Chester. Melissa also writes for online blogs Nerdophiles and The Nerds of Color. Find her @NotAllNinjasPod.