Model Karolina Shiino, a naturalized Japanese woman of Ukrainian parents, was elected Miss Japan on January 22nd. Since the crown was placed on his head, controversy arose. While some welcomed the choice of a naturalized citizen, others said she did not represent traditional Japanese beauty ideals. Shiino, 26, is the first woman of European descent to receive the award in the Japanese country, and debate immediately arose over whether the choice of a woman without Japanese features as the island nation's most beautiful woman was politically motivated Parents rule. “That person who was chosen Miss Japan, still It's not even a mixture with Japanese, but purely Ukrainian. I understand she's beautiful, but that's Miss Japan. “Where is Japaneseness?” wrote one user on X. “If I had been born in Russia, I wouldn't have won. “This isn’t fair,” wrote another. Less than a month after the election and amid social media discussions about his foreign roots, Shiino has renounced the title. However, the reason lies not in this debate about his origins and appearance, but in the publication of news about his personal life by the country's tabloid press.
Japanese weekly magazine Shūkan Bunshun reported that the model had an affair with Takuma Maeda, a medical influencer – known as “the muscle doctor” – who is married. At first she denied the allegations, then said they were true but that she didn't know the man was married, and finally admitted that her previous answer was “not true” and that she knew the doctor had a wife. After all this excitement, Shiino announced this Monday, February 5, in an Instagram post that she had renounced the title of Miss Japan and apologized “for the enormous trouble” she had caused, “and for, that she had betrayed those who supported her.” He apologized for the lie and said he was in shock and afraid of the revelation. He argued that he had panicked and also apologized to Maeda's family. Furthermore, she decided to leave her modeling agency.
The Miss Japan Association confirmed that Shiino had withdrawn from the award “for personal reasons” and the title would be dropped. “We take our responsibility for the series of riots very seriously,” the association said in a statement. “We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused to our sponsors, judges and stakeholders who supported the tournament.” The decision to crown Shiino Miss Japan was made by a 30-member jury, which reported on the ” Japanese Beauty” voted on the 12 finalist candidates, taking into account three factors: internal, physical and behavioral.
This new scandal has revived criticism of Shiino on social media, but has also raised questions about why she is the only one blamed for the affair while the man she is in a relationship with has gotten away scot-free. Maeda wrote on his Instagram profile that he had no intention of divorcing his wife and apologized for causing trouble for Shiino. She also promised to dedicate herself to her work and personal life, which will be much more difficult for the model, especially in a culture like Japan, where women are publicly punished much more than men for adultery. even though they are the married ones. Last year, for example, the acting agency of the famous Japanese actress Ryoko Hirosue suspended her indefinitely from her employment contracts over her alleged affair with a famous married chef.
Shiino came to Japan at the age of five and gained Japanese citizenship through naturalization in 2020. “I have often had to face obstacles that prevented me from being accepted as Japanese, so I am full of gratitude to be recognized as Japanese in this competition,” she said after winning the competition last month. Any single woman between the ages of 17 and 26 who has Japanese nationality can take part in the Miss Japan competition. In the 2015 edition, model Ariana Miyamoto's victory as Miss Universe Japan also sparked a similar debate about identity in the Asian country. The daughter of a Japanese mother and an African-American father, Miyamoto attracted attention and controversy because of her mixed ancestry and was bullied by certain groups in the country, one of the most racially homogeneous in the world.