Gwen Stefani says she's Japanese in response to cultural appropriation accusations

Gwen Stefani says "I'm Japanese" in response to accusations of cultural appropriation from critics of her 'Harajuku Girls' era.



Gwen Stefani has addressed the backlash
Gwen Stefani has addressed the backlash

Gwen Stefani has said "I'm Japanese" in response to accusations of cultural appropriation.

The 53-year-old singer has been asked about the backlash to her controversial 'Harajuku Girls' era, noting her father was frequently travelling to the country for work with Yamaha, and the stories he told influenced and intrigued her.

She told Allure magazine: "That was my Japanese influence and that was a culture that was so rich with tradition, yet so futuristic [with] so much attention to art and detail and discipline and it was fascinating to me."

She later travelled to Harajuku as an adult, experiencing the culture for herself.

She added: "I said, 'My God, I'm Japanese and I didn't know it.' I am, you know."

She insisted there is an "innocence" to her love for Japanese culture, describing herself as a "super fan".

She explained: "If [people are] going to criticize me for being a fan of something beautiful and sharing that, then I just think that doesn't feel right.

"I think it was a beautiful time of creativity… a time of the ping-pong match between Harajuku culture and American culture.

"[It] should be okay to be inspired by other cultures because if we're not allowed then that's dividing people, right?"

Back in 2021, the 'Hollaback Girl' hitmaker voiced a similar sentiment when she was asked how she reflects on the situation.

She argued: "If we didn't buy and sell and trade our cultures in, we wouldn't have so much beauty, you know?

"We learn from each other, we share from each other, we grow from each other. And all these rules are just dividing us more and more."

After her latest comments, a representative contacted the Allure reporter and suggested she had "misunderstood" what Gwen was trying to say, but did not give a statement to clarify.