• OpenAccess
  • Identifying Contrasting Chinese and Japanese Cultural Values: Implications for Intercultural Youth Education  [EPASP 2015]
  • DOI: 10.4236/jss.2015.39006   PP.34 - 38
  • Author(s)
  • Yuri Okunishi, Tomoko Tanaka, Hongru Tian, Yutian Bai
  • This study focuses on the nature of contrasting cultural values between China and Japan. Considering the values traditionally recognized as being unique and distinctive to China as well as those identified in previous research, four short stories addressing cultural conflict between Chinese and Japanese values were devised. Eight Japanese college students studying at universities in western Japan were interviewed in the winter of 2014 and were asked to openly give their interpretation of behaviors of those bound by conventional Chinese values. The qualitative analyses of the verbal data resulted in the extraction of coded concepts, which were then arranged to enable a comparison with our previous study that was similarly conducted with 18 Chinese college students. Five sets of contrasting cultural values between China and Japan were identified: 1) Respect for an individual’s mianzi (face) and original opinions versus respect for group consensus and opinions; 2) Prioritization of enthusiasm over planning in maintaining friendships versus priority on appointment and efficiency; 3) Wider human networking versus limited human relationships; 4) Openness and directness among good friends versus reservation and maintenance of respectful distance; 5) Social expected repayment from children to parents versus one-way devotion from parents to children. It is considered that raising people’s awareness of the historical background and social reasoning behind distinct cultural values—and the rationale behind them—would help them understand seemingly similar but, in fact, very contrasting cultural values of a neighboring country.

  • Intercultural Education, Intercultural Conflict, Chinese Culture, Mianzi (Face), Guanxi (Relationship)
  • References
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    Okunishi, Y. (2012) Japanese Hosts’ Recognition of Cultural Distinctiveness in Interpersonal Exchanges with Chinese International Students. Journal of International Student Education, 17, 99-105.
    Okunishi, Y. and Tanaka, T. (2014). Interpretations by Chinese College Students of Distinctively Chinese Traits Potentially Leading to Cross-Cultural Conflict: Toward a Comparative Study with Japanese Youth. The 28th International Conference of Applied Psychology, Paris.
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