Friday, September 30, 2016

Miss World Japan 2016 & Countryside Students' Opinions on Her Win.

I'm taking a break from my Miyzaki trip posts and decided to write about something that happened a bit recently.

If you do not know, Miss World Japan 2016 was crowned, and she happened to be another mixed aka half contestant. Her name is Priyanka Yoshikawa, and she is half Japanese and half Indian. And as Ariana Miyamoto experienced backlash, so is she. 

I often watch a YouTuber called, The Japanese Man Yuta. He tends to interview Japanese people on opinions of certain matters. Sometimes they're controversial, sometimes they're not, but I find them interesting.

He believed that the media was portraying Japan wrongly in regards to the win of Priyanka Yoshikawa saying that most people were fine with her win and support this. In his video, indeed most people were fine with her win. 

However, these interviews are conducted in Tokyo, and the people who are being interviewed are people who are okay with people filmed and having their face put on YouTube, which is not common. Japanese are very private, so needless to say, the people he is filming tend to be more outgoing people. Which, although it was interesting to watch indeed it does make the results a bit skewed.

So, I took the opportunity to use my high school students at the eikawa I work at to see what they thought about her opinion. I was curious to see what my students had to say. I have 7 students, 3 males and 4 females. All are high school students except for one who is a third year in junior high school. 

I first showed them a general video about Priyanka Yoshikawa so they could get background information on her. Then, I showed them the video made by Yuta, so they could see some different views on the matter. Then I asked students whether they believed it was okay that she represented Japan or did they believe that someone "full Japanese" would be better and why?

5 of my students were okay with Priyanka representing Japan,  4 girls and 1 male. The reasons being because she was born and raised in Japan so that makes her Japanese. The second reason being, she was nominated to win so clearly people believed that she would make a good representation of Japan. 
There were 2 male students who did not support her win. Their reasons were that she is not full Japanese so she is not an accurate representation of Japan. The second reason being, that Japanese beauty is unique and her being half does not show the "true Japanese beauty."

The overall consensus was indeed that most people considered her Japanese because she was born and raised in Japan but of course, there is a small amount that believe that because she is half she is not really Japanese.

I was a bit disappointed in my students who opposed her win, but I was happy that they even voiced their true opinion since most Japanese do not and they were the last ones who voiced their opinions.

And of course, we know that the countryside is still very traditional. My bosses told me that where I live, their way of thinking is equivalent to my parent's generation. 

Though Japan is changing on some strict traditional views, especially the youth in the city, the countryside still has a way to go. But I was happy that most of my students supported her win.

I had my students talk about their opinions on tattoos which will be posted later as well.

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