In a racially homogeneous society like Japan, being biracial could sometimes mean you will be subjected to stereotype and discrimination. Japanese citizens with multiethnic backgrounds are called hāfu (ハーフ) and they usually encounter difficult and unique experiences and this has become a subject of several documentaries and studies. However, as the social norms are slowly changing, being a hāfu in Japan is becoming cool and they are now well represented in the mainstream media.
The newly crowned Miss Universe Japan 2022 Marybelen Sakamoto who is of Japanese-Peruvian descent represents the growing number of biracial Japanese. In fact, hāfus are getting more attention at beauty pageants ever since Ariana Miyamoto made history in 2015 when she became the first-ever hāfu win the Miss Universe Japan title. Other biracial queens who represented Japan at Miss Universe are Aisha Harumi Tochigi and Juri Watanabe.
Marybelen Sakamoto is 23 years of age and hails from Chiba. Her father is Peruvian while her mother is Japanese. She is 5’7″ tall and graduated from Seisen University with a degree in culinary arts. She will represent Japan at the Miss Universe 2022 pageant later this year. She was crowned in a pageant held in August 25 where a total of 31 contestants competed. Saria Oikawa was named as first runner-up while Megumi Wilson is the second runner-up