This paper aimed to give an overview of a series of cross-national studies on children’s perception and understanding of bullying in England and ijime in Japan, and to see the nature and the characteristics of ijime and its possible social and cultural background factors. Ijime in Japan, compared to bullying in Western countries, is often considered to be more indirect in nature, and often conducted as a group aggression by victims’ classmates or someone victims know very well. Although students in both countries had similar perceptions of typical characteristics of bullies and victims, and many students had anti-bully and pro-victim attitudes, victim-blaming tendency appeared to be more salient in Japan. These characteristics may partly be explained by the school systems and pupils' friendship formations within the system in each country. Compared to English pupils, Japanese pupils formed their friendships on the basis of the class they belonged to, and spent most time with them in the classroom. Thus, more class-based prevention and intervention approaches would be necessary.