Intra-cultural and Inter-cultural Contact Orientation of International Students in Japan

Uncertainty Management by Cultural Identification


  • Norihito Taniguchi Nagoya University
  • Jiro Takai Nagoya University
  • Dariusz Skowronski Temple University



cultural contact, psychological well-being, cultural identification, uncertainty management, international students in Japan, social identity, adjustment/adaptation


In this study, we examined this issue by focusing on how international students in Japan perceive cultural contact with their host and home culture members during their sojourn. We applied a qualitative approach based on grounded theory, collecting data through semi-structured interviews with 41 international students from China, the United Kingdom, and the United States. According to the social identity and anxiety/uncertainty management approach, we interpreted the findings on how international students manage uncertainty in the Japanese environment by identifying with the host and their own home cultures for their psychological well-being, which we distinguished as intercultural or intracultural contact orientation. International students demonstrated an intracultural rather than intercultural contact orientation due to the host nationals reacting to them as “foreigners".

Author Biographies

Norihito Taniguchi, Nagoya University

NORIHITO TANIGUCHI, JD, is a Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate School of Education and Human Development at Nagoya University in Japan. His major research interests lie in the area of cross-cultural adjustment, acculturation, intercultural competence. Email:

Jiro Takai, Nagoya University

JIRO TAKAI, PhD, is a Professor in the Graduate School of Education and Human Development at Nagoya University in Japan. His major research interests lie in the area of interpersonal competence, self in social interaction, interpersonal conflict strategies, cross-cultural adjustment. Email:

Dariusz Skowronski, Temple University

DARIUSZ SKOWRONSKI, PhD, is an Associate Professor, Psychological Studies, Temple University in Japan. His major research interests lie in the area of clinical and counseling psychology, psychotherapy, online counseling, behavioral psychology and neuroscience. Email:


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How to Cite

Taniguchi, N., Takai, J., & Skowronski, D. (2022). Intra-cultural and Inter-cultural Contact Orientation of International Students in Japan: Uncertainty Management by Cultural Identification. Journal of International Students, 12(4), 843–866.



Research Articles (English)