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Examining Cultural Distance and Intercultural Adaptation among International Students in Japan by Using Six Varieties of Cultural Distances Concerning Individualism-Collectivism and High/Low Context Communication

Date: June 8,2022 |Hits: 341 Download PDF How to cite this paper

Tomoko Tanaka1,*, Ai Takahama2, Yukina Shimoda3

1Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Okayama University, Okayama, Okayama, Japan. 

2Faculty of International Liberal Arts, Juntendo University, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan. 

3BRING Corporation, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan.

*Corresponding author: Tomoko Tanaka


This study aimed to investigate the relationship between cultural similarity and intercultural adaptation. Six types of cultural distances were calculated based on combinations of self-evaluation, Japanese-evaluation, host people-evaluation by international students in Japan, self-evaluation and Japanese evaluation by Japanese students concerning individualism-collectivism, and high/low context communication using questionnaire surveys. Eighty-six international students studying at three national universities in Japan and 188 Japanese students who belonged to one of the universities participated in the study. Cultural distances that used both subjective evaluations by guests and objective evaluations by hosts were more sensitive to adaptation. It was found that not only similarity in general but also a surplus of high context was partially related to better adaptation suggesting that some cultural values had the advantage for adaptation. High-context showed the biggest effect on adaptation. If indirect expressions in Japanese are understood fully, and then used to exchange perspectives and mutual understanding, they can serve as a key factor in facilitating the adaptation process of international students.


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How to cite this paper

Examining Cultural Distance and Intercultural Adaptation among International Students in Japan by Using Six Varieties of Cultural Distances Concerning Individualism-Collectivism and High/Low Context Communication

How to cite this paper: Tomoko Tanaka, Ai Takahama, Yukina Shimoda. (2022). Examining Cultural Distance and Intercultural Adaptation among International Students in Japan by Using Six Varieties of Cultural Distances Concerning Individualism-Collectivism and High/Low Context Communication. The Educational Review, USA6(6), 192-208.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26855/er.2022.06.003

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