Ethnic Ukrainian on her victory in Miss Japan 2024 competition

Karolina Shiino
Karolina Shiino

26-year-old Karolina Shiino from Ternopil, Ukraine, emerged victorious in the Miss Japan 2024 competition, making her the first naturalized citizen to claim such a title.

"If you're not Japanese, it is very difficult to find a good job," said Shiino's mother, Svitlana, who also participates in beauty contests.

Shiino moved to Japan at the age of five when her mother married a Japanese man. Her grandmother also relocated to Japan, In March 2022.

“I feel Japanese. Japan needs to change; there are many foreigners like me. I remember how we ate borshch and dumplings. I gained 10 kg. I still feel that Ukraine is dear to me."

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"I think in Japanese,” said Shiino, who has not been to Ukraine for six years.

Nevertheless, she did face some criticism after her victory due to her non-Asian appearance.

“I was very worried whether they would accept me as Japanese and, in general, whether they would take me. I was in shock."

"I didn't think I would win,” Shiino said in an interview with Ukrainian news channel TSN on Jan. 27.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine