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The authors compare the findings of two research studies, one conducted in Japan and the other in Canada, about the developmental evolution of self-management of diabetes. In this article, the authors identify the similarities and differences that exist in the research data, proposing that the differences are situated in the different cultural perspectives of self-management that exist in both countries.Researchers have acknowledged that self-management has cultural dimensions. Despite this, however, there are few studies that have provided a cross-cultural comparison of the experience of self-management among different cultural groups.The authors conducted a critical comparative analysis of two models of developing expertise in diabetes self-management. The review included an analysis of the cultural meanings of the various terms and the underlying assumptions of both models.The models shared many similarities; however, their differences were identified, such as the meaning and interpretation of various words or experiences, and shaped by the culturally bound perspectives of self and health.The findings serve as a caution to imposing ethnocentric views and interpretations in diabetes care. In addition, they remind us about the importance of asking people with diabetes about what they understand, desire and understand. The findings challenge nurses to reflect on how the development of self-management of diabetes in various national contexts is influenced by health care practices that focus on control or harmony.