Photo of Japanese baseball legend Kazuhiro Kiyohara goes viral as “a Chinese Black”

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    The following image of “a black Chinese” has made its way onto the front pages of 9Gag and cuantarazon.com, receiving thousands of shares from Twitter and Facebook users:

    If the Japanese text in the top corner of the image makes it obvious enough that this probably isn’t a photograph from China. The man in the photograph is Kazuhiro Kiyohara, a former professional baseball player whose face is recognizable by almost every Japanese person who owns a television set. He played in the Japanese leagues for over 20 years, and regularly appears on Japanese television programs.

    Kiyohara’s parents were Japanese. He doesn’t have Chinese or African roots (but some netizens have spread rumors about Zainichi Korean origins). But it looks like he’s destined to go down in internet history as a Black Chinese guy.

    As someone who spends a lot of time outdoors, Kiyohara is more tanned than most Japanese people. The “Black Chinese” image seems to have been recorded on a day when he was especially dark.

    According to Naver Matome, some Japanese netizens were also surprised by Kiyohara’s dark skin tone:


    The blog post jokingly asks if Kiyohara is a Black person. Twitter users also commented on how dark he looked.

    The images are screen captures from an event that aired on TV earlier this month. Kiyohara was bringing flowers to a retiring baseball player. At some point the image was uploaded elsewhere, stripped of its context. Kiyohara then became a “Chinese Black.”

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