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Pop star Gwen Stefani is facing backlash over her comment that she is Japanese.

In an interview with Allure magazine, Stefani recalled her father traveling to Tokyo as an employee for Yamaha for years.

“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 told Allure‘s Jesa Marie Calaor.

Stefani, who unveiled her original beauty brand Harajuku Lovers in 2008, said she thought she was Japanese when she first visited the Harajuku area of the country’s capital Tokyo. “I said, ‘My God, I’m Japanese and I didn’t know it,’” she said. “I am, you know.”

“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,” said Stefani, who is a songwriter, fashion designer and actress.

“I think it was a beautiful time of creativity…a time of the ping-pong match between Harajuku culture and American culture,” she added. “If we didn’t buy and sell and trade our cultures in, we wouldn’t have so much beauty, you know?” Stefani’s comments evoked criticism on social media.

(Photo: Lorie Shaull)

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