Asian / Pacific Island Nursing Journal

Corresponding Author

Jillian Inouye


Why are there so few Japanese-American Nursing Education leaders in the United States when Asians in general are considered the “model minority”? Several reasons point to the cultural and value differences of an Eastern versus Western perspective. Many who have addressed this issue in other professional fields explain this phenomenon as the bamboo ceiling. This article provides the experiences of two Japanese American Nurse Leaders framed through a theoretical framework proposed by Bolman and Deal (1991), which seems to relate to their “human resource leadership” style and the strong belief and empowerment of others. These leadership types develop symbols and cultures to shape human behavior with the shared mission and identity of the organization in mind which is in concert with the Japanese American cultural values of collectivism. Explanation and recommendations for future leaders are provided along with examples by two nurse leaders which may provide better insight into an answer to the question of “Why so few?”