Gwen Stefani came under fire on Tuesday after she said in a new interview that she is Japanese.

In an interview with Seduce Stefani, 53, an Italian-American, cited the influence of Japanese culture in her home as a child. She described her father’s trip to Japan for her work at Yamaha and how he would tell her stories about «artists dressed as Elvis and elegant women with colorful hair,» the article says.

«That was my Japanese influence and that was a culture that was so rich in tradition, yet so futuristic. [with] such attention to artistry, detail and discipline and it was fascinating to me,» he said in the interview.

She said that later, as an adult, she herself traveled to Japan.

«I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m Japanese and I didn’t know it,'» Stefani told Allure. She later insisted, «I am, you know,» calling herself a «super fan» of Japanese culture.

Stefani made the comments to Allure reporter Jesa Marie Calaor, who is Asian-American.

«Like Stefani, I’m not Japanese,» she wrote. «But I am an Asian woman living in the United States, which comes with sobering realities during a time of heightened Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) hate… I envy anyone who can claim to be a part of this community vibrant and creative, but avoid the part of the storytelling that can be painful or frightening.»

Calaor noted that Stefani claimed to be Japanese twice during the interview, saying that she is «a bit like an Orange County girl, a bit like a Japanese girl, a bit like an English girl.» A representative for Stefani told Calaor that he had «misunderstood what Stefani was trying to convey» but declined to provide an official statement.

Stefani has long been criticized for appropriating culture in her music and art. In the 1990s, she often wore a bindi, a Hindu symbol worn on the forehead of women to indicate that they are married. she also got bantu knotsa hairstyle of the Zulu people of South Africa.

In 2005, she was accused of appropriating Hispanic and Latino culture for her «Luxurious» music video. She was also accused of appropriating indigenous culture in her band No Doubt’s «Looking Hot» music video in 2012.

The most egregious accusation of cultural appropriation came during Stefani’s «Harajuku Girls» era. In the midst of the release of her 2004 album «Love. Angel. Music. Baby.», Stefani recruited four Japanese American backup dancers who toured with her and followed her on red carpets and events.

Stefani was criticized for using women: Maya Chino, aka Love; Jennifer Kita, aka Angel; Rino Nakasone, aka Music; and Mayuko Kitayama, aka Baby, and reinforcing racial stereotypes of figures like margaret cho.

Stefani’s representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In her interview with Allure, Stefani defended her use of Japanese culture, saying that it «doesn’t feel right» if people criticize her for being «a fan of something beautiful and sharing it.»

«[It] It should be okay to draw inspiration from other cultures because if we’re not allowed to, then that’s dividing people, right?» she told Allure.

Even before the interview, Stefani had defended her «Harajuku» era.

In May 2021, he told her Paper magazine: «If we didn’t buy, sell and exchange our cultures, we wouldn’t have such beauty, you know?

“We learn from each other, we share from each other, we grow from each other. And all these rules are dividing us more and more,” he said.