Graduate Student Forum

Likable and Not So Much: How Japanese school values affect immigrant students

Tuesday, 24 January 2023 | 9:00 - 9:45 (JST)
Zoom Meeting
  • Nanaho Okuni Graduate School of Education, The University of Tokyo
  • Misako Nukaga Professor, Graduate School of Education, The University of Tokyo

Recently, big cities in Japan have seen more and more immigrant youths going into night-time high schools. However, most Japanese teachers have not received any academic training to manage or embrace diversity. Also, there are certain values that are said to be commonly held by teachers in Japanese schools including more “challenged” schools. How do teachers’ perspectives affect their interactions with students with different cultures and thus different attitudes? This presentation is based on an analysis of teachers’ interviews in a night-time high school where the students’ backgrounds are much more diverse than Japanese schools have traditionally been. This research reveals common standards held by teachers to evaluate immigrant students’ abilities and personalities, and stereotypes for students with different cultural backgrounds.


Nanaho Okuni is a Ph.D. student in Intercultural Education at the University of Tokyo. Currently researching Japanese school culture, school life, and life course prospects of Nepalese students in Japan, based on fieldwork in an NGO and a night-time high school where I work to support immigrant children.