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Miss Japan 2024: Ukraine-Born Model Wins Pageant

Karolina Shiino, a naturalized Japanese citizen of Ukrainian descent, has relinquished the crown she won on January 22 in the 56th Miss Japan Contest.



Karolina Shiino, who was crowned the 56th Miss Japan on January 22 in Tokyo. (©Kyodo)

UPDATED February 6, 2024: On January 22, Karolina Shiino was crowned the winner of the 56th Miss Japan Contest 2024 organized by the Miss Japan Association. The 26-year-old model was born in Ternopil, Ukraine and now lives in Nagoya. She was the first naturalized Japanese citizen to win the award.

However, on February 5, just days after winning, Shiino admitted an affair with a married man and relinquished her crown. The affair was first exposed in the Japanese weekly magazine, Shukan Bunshun.

Shiino arrived in Japan at the age of five with her Ukranian parents and acquired Japanese citizenship in 2022.

From Karolina Shiino's official Instagram @karolina0824

When she won the award, with tears in her eyes, Shiino said, "It feels like a dream. I've struggled with racial barriers, and there have been many instances where I felt I wasn't fully accepted as a Japanese person. Therefore, I am deeply grateful to be able to feel acknowledged as Japanese [through this prize.]"

The Miss Japan Contest is the oldest pageant of its kind in Japan, with the first contest held in 1950. While accepting Shiino's decision, the contest sponsors said they would not change the award. Instead, the Miss Japan crown will remain vacant for 2024.


(Read the article in Japanese.)

Author: The Sankei Shimbun


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