Cross-National Comparative Survey
on National Character


Latest Update

2022/03/17References are updated. new1
2020/02/26Cross Tabulations of Hong kong 2003 Survey, Taiwan 2003 Survey, South Korea 2003 Survey, and Singapore 2004 Survey in East Asian Values Survey are now available.
2020/02/25Cross Tabulations of Beijing 2003 Survey and Shanghai 2003 Survey in East Asian Values Survey are now available.
2020/02/06Cross Tabulations of Japan 2002 Survey in East Asian Values Survey are now available.

--- A Study on Cultural Manifold Analysis (CULMAN) ---

■From “Statistics for War” to “Statistics for Peace”

 Based on a proposal submitted by Japan National Research Council, the Institute of Statistical Mathematics (ISM) was founded under the Ministry of Education in 1944 during WWll. After the war, the ISM's mission was shifted from operations research to the development of official statistics and scientific public opinion systems for the post-war democracy in Japan. Most of systems on official statistics and survey research were established by the ISM as various collaborated works with members of other universities, institutes and the government, i.e., all over Japan.

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A view of Mt. Fuji from ISM
(office in Tachikawa)

■Japanese Literacy Survey & Democracy
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A Graduation photography event in Vietnam - a country developing a free market, but also retaining Confucian traditions.

 During the post-war time, some people of the US government insisted on "Romanization of the Japanese language", because they believed that the use of Chinese characters presented difficulties in education and daily life. In 1948, the ISM played a central role in an interdisciplinary team under the Ministry of Education in order to carry out a nationwide survey on "the Japanese Literacy" based on statistical random sampling theory. The result confirmed the sufficient literacy of the Japanese to develop the post-war democracy and it eventually saved the Japanese language from possible social confusions. Based on the methodology invented in the survey, the ISM has started "the Japanese National Character Survey" in 1953 to study the attitudes, opinions, and social values of the people in daily life, which lasts over 60 years now. This is a world- widely unique and significant survey supported by the Ministry of Education, and it stimulated many other countries to start the same type of statistical sampling survey such as GSS in the USA, EuroBarometer in EU, etc.


■Cross-National Comparative Survey on National Character

 Since 1971, it has been extended to cross-national surveys for more comprehensive study, including surveys on the Japanese immigrants in Hawaii and Brazil. The most significant task involves the cross-national comparability of the peoples beyond differences such as cultures, languages, and social systems. We have developed a paradigm called "Cultural Linkage Analysis" to overcome the difficulties of comparability, which has now evolved as "Cultural Manifold Analysis (CULMAN)" for the three sets of hierarchical comparative frameworks: time, space, and research themes. Now the Asia-Pacific Values Survey" has been in progress with the support of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science during 2010-2014 fiscal years.

Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research(S)
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Lal Qila (Red Fort) in Delhi: India is a multiethnic, multilingual, and multi-religious society.

■List of Main Surveys on National Character

The Institute of Statistical Mathematics conducts a longitudinal survey on the national character of Japan. Around 1971, this was expanded to a series of cross-national comparative studies to better understand Japanese attitudes and values. It covers studies of Japanese Americans in Brazil, Hawaii, and the West Coast of the United States. Recent surveys cover many countries in East Asia, the Pacific Rim, and the India-Asia Pacific region. Related papers and books can be found on our website. Click the image on the right to view the related website.



  • 1953 - present Japanese National Character Survey (every 5 years)

    (The most recent survey has been conducted in 2018.)

  • 1971 Honolulu Residents with Japanese ancestry

    (Chikio HYAHSHI, Hakujiro AOYAMA, Sigenobu NISHIDAIRA, KKikuo NOMOTO, Yasumasa KURODA)

    1978 Honolulu Residents, Americans in the Mainland
    1983 Honolulu Residents
    1988 Honolulu Residents

  • 1987-1993 Seven Country Survey

    UK, FRG (West Germany) & France (1987), USA & Japan (1988), Italy (1992) and The Netherlands (1993)
    (Chikio HAYASHI, Tatsuzo SUZUKI, Ichiro MIYAKE, Masamichi SASAKI, Fumi HAYASHI, Ryozo YOSHINO)

  • 1987 UK, Germany & France
    1988 Americans in the mainland of U.S.A, the Japanese in Japan
    1992 Italy
    1993 The Netherlands 

  • Overseas Japanese Surveys
  • 1991 Japanese Brazilians (JB) in Brazil

    (Chikio HAYASHI, Akira MIZUNO, Tatsuzo SUZUKI, Fumi HAYASHI, Ryozo YOSHINO, Katsuzo YAMAMOTO, TAkeo KAWAI, Katsunori WAKISAKA, Susumu MIYAO, Koichi MORI)

    1998 Americans with Japanese ancestry on the West coast of U.S.A.

    (Ryozo YOSHINO, Chikio HAYASHI, Tatsuzo SUZUKI, Fumi HAYASHI, Tadahiko MAEDA, Kazue YAMAOKA, Hiroko KAWAHARA, Masakatu MURAKAMI, Frank Shotaro Miyamoto, Tetsuden Kashima, Tsukasa Namekata, Stefan Fugita)

    1999 Honolulu Residents with Japanese ancestry

    (Ryozo YOSHINO, Chikio HAYASHI, Tatsuzo SUZUKI, Fumi HAYASHI, Yuejun ZHENG, Tadahiko MAEDA, Masamichi SASAKI,Kazue YAMAOKA, Hiroko KAWAHARA, Yasamasa KURODA, Frank Shotaro Miyamoto, Tetsuden Kashima, Stefan Fugita)

  • 2002-2005 East Asia Values Survey (EAVS)

    Japan, China [Beijing, Shanghai], Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea & Singapore
    (Ryozo YOSHINO, Fumi HAYASHI, Kazue YAMAOKA, Yuejun ZHENG, Tatsuzo SUZUKI, Masamichi SASAKI, Masakatsu MURAKAMI, Yasuo BABA, Keiko NAKAO, Takahiro TSUCHIYA, Tadahiko MAEDA, Takahiro HOSHINO, Wataru MATSUMOTO, 趙彦云、周国模、蘆興普、謝邦昌、王琪延、袁衛、朴承根)

  • 2004-2009 Pacific-Rim Values Survey (PRVS)

    Japan, China [Beijing, Shanghai], Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, USA, Singapore, Australia & India

    (Ryozo YOSHINO, Fumi HAYASHI, Kazue YAMAOKA, Tatsuzo SUZUKI, Takahiro HOSHINO, Wataru MATSUMOTO, Yuejun ZHENG, Yoshihiro MIYOSHI, Yasuo BABA, 謝邦昌、王琪延、趙彦云)

  • 2010-2014 Asia-Pacific Values Survey (APVS)

    Japan, China [Beijing, Shanghai], Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, USA, Singapore, Australia, India & Vietnam
    (Ryozo YOSHINO, Takahiro TSUCHIYA, Kazue YAMAOKA, Masamichi SASAKI, Yuejun ZHENG, Fumi HAYASHI, Wataru MATSUMOTO, Takahiro HOSHINO, Wataru MATSUMOTO, Yoosung PARK, Tadahiko MAEDA, Hiroko TSUNODA, Kosuke NIKAIDO, Akira HOROIWA, Kiyohisa SHIBAI, Hiromasa HATTORI, Hiroko OOSAKI, Taisuke FUJITA)