The purpose of this study is twofold: to estimate the prevalence of depressive symptoms among older adults in four culturally diverse groups (white Americans, black Americans, Japanese, Taiwanese), and to assess whether there are cross-cultural variations in the way depressive symptoms are manifest. Data from three recent nationwide surveys in the United States, Japan, and Taiwan reveal that the lowest overall levels of depressive symptoms are found among Japanese elderly, followed by Taiwanese, white Americans, and black Americans respectively. Based on previous cross-cultural research, it was hypothesized that the Japanese tend to express depressive symptoms as interpersonal complaints, whereas Taiwanese are more likely to manifest somatic symptoms. In contrast, Americans were expected to express depressive symptoms in the form of depressed cognitions. The findings failed to support these hypotheses. Instead, older Americans tended to have higher scores than Orientals on all three depressive symptom clusters.