International Education Journal

WCCES 2001 Commission 6 Special Congress Issue: Japanese Education in Transition


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Psychological Struggles of Korean International Students in Japan

Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu
The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan


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This paper examines the human relations of Korean international students in Japan. The data were gathered from the free-answer responses of 96 students at a national university to a request to write their opinions regarding foreign student life in Japan. Qualitative analysis of the data revealed three major categories: financial and systemic hardship, difficulties and rewards of their study experience, and reactions to Japanese society and human relations. The final category was further analysed and divided into four themes that form the major content of this paper: moral versus prejudiced, diligent versus inhuman, true feelings versus formal behaviour, and resignation versus perseverance. These data shed light on the nature of the psychological struggles of Korean students in Japan.

International students, Japanese university, Korean students, Japanese society



Murphy-Shigematsu, S. (2002) Psychological Struggles of Korean International Students in Japan. International Education Journal, 3 (5), 75-84.

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