Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Marla Solomon


This paper seeks to identify patterns of communication between members of dual-culture (U.S. American-Japanese) marriages, and discusses the experiential learning cycle and its value as a model for improving the quality of in-marriage communication in these dual-culture marriages.

The data for the study comes partially from quantitative/qualitative e-mail questionnaires completed by eight individuals: a U.S. American woman and her Japanese husband completing the questionnaire together, a British man, three U.S. American men and two Japanese women. All of the e-mail respondents are either Japanese nationals married to U.S. Americans or U.S. American nationals married to Japanese with the exception of the British man, who is married to a Japanese woman.

Other data, which tends to be fuller and more complete, comes from qualitative interviews with seven Japanese and U.S. Americans either married or engaged to someone from the other country.

The primary learning done in this paper addresses communication between japanese and U.S. Americans in the context of such interview sessions. During the initial interviews, I as a U.S. American found that my questions were answered not at all in the manner in which I had expected, particularly when interviewing Japanese nationals. My initial reaction was that my questions were being ignored or rejected, or in any case not fully answered. Upon further literature review and re-examination of the data, I discovered much rich material which was phrased in ways which may have made me unable to identify its meaning because of my own cultural filters.

My research also brought out a number of common themes regarding communication between members of Japanese-U.S. American couples, as well as various important, albeit secondary, reflections on the experiential learning cycle.


Family, Life Course, and Society | International and Intercultural Communication