Ukrainian-born Miss Japan gives up her crown two weeks after controversially winning the title after it’s revealed she was having an affair with married Instagrammer ‘Muscle Doctor’

Photo of author
Written By Maya Cantina
  • Karolina Shiino won title two weeks ago but it led to a debate due to her heritage

The Ukrainian-born winner of Miss Japan has given up her crown two weeks after controversially winning the title after it was revealed she was having an affair with a married influencer known as ‘Muscle Doctor’.

Karolina Shiino, 26, won the title two weeks ago, but it led to a debate due to her heritage.

Born in 1998, she moved to Japan at the age of five – where she was raised in Nagoya – after her Ukrainian mother remarried to a Japanese man.

Her win meant she was the first naturalised Japanese citizen to take home the Miss Japan gong, a fact that divided commentators in the country.

An article in local magazine Shukan Bunshun reported that Ms Shiino had an affair with a married doctor and influencer. 

Takuma Maeda, an influencer known as ‘Muscle Doctor’, acknowledged on Instagram that he had no intention of divorcing his wife and apologised for causing trouble to Ms Shiino and others.

He pledged to sincerely devote himself to his work and private life.

Carolina Shiino, 26, walked away with the pageant’s top prize in Tokyo, telling reporters afterwards in impeccable Japanese: ‘It was like a dream’. Born in Ukraine in 1998, Ms Shiino moved to Japan at the age of five – where she was raised in Nagoya – after her Ukrainian mother remarried to a Japanese man

An article in a local magazine reported that Ms Shiino had an affair with a married doctor and influencer, although he has not provided any public comment. In an initial response to the report last week, the pageant organisers said Ms Shiino had not known that he was married

An article in a local magazine reported that Ms Shiino had an affair with a married doctor and influencer, although he has not provided any public comment. In an initial response to the report last week, the pageant organisers said Ms Shiino had not known that he was married

Takuma Maeda, an influencer known as 'Muscle Doctor', acknowledged on Instagram that he had no intention of divorcing his wife and apologised for causing trouble to Ms Shiino and others

Takuma Maeda, an influencer known as ‘Muscle Doctor’, acknowledged on Instagram that he had no intention of divorcing his wife and apologised for causing trouble to Ms Shiino and others

In the letter released on the platform, Takuma Maeda pledged to sincerely devote himself to his work and private life

In the letter released on the platform, Takuma Maeda pledged to sincerely devote himself to his work and private life

In an initial response to the report last week, the pageant organisers said Ms Shiino had not known that he was married.

But on Monday, they admitted she had confessed to being aware of the man’s marriage and family.

Ms Shiino had said she was sorry for being misleading, and organisers had accepted her giving up the title, the Miss Japan Association said.

Ms Shiino apologised to fans and the public in a statement on Monday, noting that her response was due to fear and panic about the report.

She said: ‘I am truly sorry for the huge trouble I have caused and for betraying those who supported me.’

Ms Shiino also apologized to the man’s partner and his family, as well as other parties involved. 

The Miss Japan title will not be taken up for the rest of the year. 

On Monday organisers admitted she had confessed to being aware of the man's marriage and family. Ms Shiino had said she was sorry for being misleading and organisers had accepted her giving up the title, the Miss Japan Association said. Ms Shiino apologised to fans and the public in a statement on Monday

On Monday organisers admitted she had confessed to being aware of the man’s marriage and family. Ms Shiino had said she was sorry for being misleading and organisers had accepted her giving up the title, the Miss Japan Association said. Ms Shiino apologised to fans and the public in a statement on Monday

Ms Shiino had said she was sorry for being misleading, and organisers had accepted her giving up the title, the Miss Japan Association said

Ms Shiino had said she was sorry for being misleading, and organisers had accepted her giving up the title, the Miss Japan Association said

Pictured: The moment Ms Shiino was announced as the winner of the Miss Japan pageant

Pictured: The moment Ms Shiino was announced as the winner of the Miss Japan pageant

Some people acknowledged Ms Shiino's win as being a 'sign of the times,' while others said she does not look like what a typical 'Miss Japan' should

Some people acknowledged Ms Shiino’s win as being a ‘sign of the times,’ while others said she does not look like what a typical ‘Miss Japan’ should

Her win at the award’s 56th iteration sparked fierce debate in Japan over what it means to be Japanese, on account of her being born in Ukraine.

Some acknowledged her win as being a ‘sign of the times,’ while others said she does not look like what a typical ‘Miss Japan’ should.

Her win came after a similar debate was sparked in 2015 when Ariana Miyamoto became the first woman of mixed race to be crowned Miss Japan.

With a Japanese mother and African American father, Miyamoto’s victory also sparked a debate over whether a person of mixed race should be eligible.

Taking to social media after Ms Shiino’s win, one person wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that the competition was ‘discriminating against Japanese faces’.

Another said in a post: ‘This person who was chosen as Miss Japan is not even a mix with Japanese but 100% pure Ukrainian. Understand she is beautiful, but this is “Miss Japan”. Where is the Japaneseness?’ according to the BBC.

Ms Shiino was born to Ukrainian parents but moved to Japan in the early 2000s when she was just five after her mother re-married a Japanese man

Ms Shiino was born to Ukrainian parents but moved to Japan in the early 2000s when she was just five after her mother re-married a Japanese man

Speaking after her win, she said she has 'struggled being accepted as Japanese'

Speaking after her win, she said she has ‘struggled being accepted as Japanese’

On her motivation to enter the contest, she said: 'I have lived in Japan since I was five and realized I was speaking Japanese and living as a Japanese'

On her motivation to enter the contest, she said: ‘I have lived in Japan since I was five and realized I was speaking Japanese and living as a Japanese’

Speaking to reporters after being announced the winner of the competition, Ms Shiino said she has faced difficulties ‘being accepted as Japanese’. 

‘The moment they called my name, I couldn’t stop crying,’ she said in Japanese.

‘I’ve had to face barriers that often prevent me from being accepted as Japanese, so I am filled with gratitude to be recognised at this competition as a Japanese person.’

She added: ‘My goal became to create a society where people are not judged by their appearance, leading me to enter the contest.’

On her motivation to enter the contest, she said: ‘I have lived in Japan since I was five and realized I was speaking Japanese and living as a Japanese.

‘But it was the first time I noticed my appearance was different due to comments from those around me.’

Standing at 172cm (5ft 6in), Ms Shiino was one of the taller contestants, and at 26 years old, was also the oldest

Standing at 172cm (5ft 6in), Ms Shiino was one of the taller contestants, and at 26 years old, was also the oldest

Ms Shiino's win comes after a similar debate was sparked in 2015 when Ariana Miyamoto (pictured) became the first bi-racial woman to be crowned Miss Japan

Ms Shiino’s win comes after a similar debate was sparked in 2015 when Ariana Miyamoto (pictured) became the first bi-racial woman to be crowned Miss Japan

With a Japanese mother and African American father, Ms Miyamoto's victory also sparked a debate over whether a person of mixed race should be eligible

With a Japanese mother and African American father, Ms Miyamoto's victory also sparked a debate over whether a person of mixed race should be eligible

With a Japanese mother and African American father, Ms Miyamoto’s victory also sparked a debate over whether a person of mixed race should be eligible

As her name was announced, she immediately acknowledged her mother, who brought her to Japan two decades ago.

Asked who she wanted to share her joy with, she said: ‘My family, especially my mother. I want to tell her first, “Mom, I won the Grand Prix!”

Standing at 172cm (5ft 6in), Ms Shiino was one of the taller contestants, and at 26 years old, was also the oldest.

Her motto is: ‘A high mountain is not noble because of its height.’

Ai Wada, the organiser of the Miss Japan Gran Prix pageant, said the event ‘gave us an opportunity to rethink what Japanese beauty is’.

Short-haired 20-year-old Eve Gilles found herself at the centre of a woke row about her pixie hair following her Miss France victory in December

Short-haired 20-year-old Eve Gilles found herself at the centre of a woke row about her pixie hair following her Miss France victory in December

‘Following today’s result, there is one thing I am convinced of… Japanese beauty exists not in the appearance, not in the blood, but it exists firmly in our heart.’

The furore over Ms Shiino’s win also came after a similar row broke out over the winner of Miss France at the end of last year. 

Short-haired 20-year-old Eve Gilles found herself at the centre of a woke row about her pixie hair following her victory in December.

Critics said the kind of long hair favoured by previous winners – and Gallic female icons such as Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve – would have been far more appropriate than a short pixie bob worn by Ms Gilles.

But Eve hit back, saying: ‘We’re used to seeing beautiful Misses with long hair, but I chose an androgynous look with short hair.’ 

She said it was a win for woke ‘diversity’, and that ‘no one should dictate who you are’.

As the debate about acceptable feminine looks raged, Eve said she was used to being ‘body shamed’, and even faced exclusion from Miss France for being too small.

InstagramJapan

ᴀʀᴛɪᴄʟᴇ ꜱᴏᴜʀᴄᴇ

Leave a Comment