Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe that I do not want it.
Now I understand 
why the old poets of China went so far
and high 
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.
"The Old Poets of China" by Mary Oliver

The UP Asian Center, in partnership with the Japan Foundation Manila, successfully held the undergraduate leg of the “Japanese Studies in the Philippines: The 6th Japanese Studies Research Development Competition” on 9 March 2024, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, at the Seminar Room, GT-Toyota Asian Cultural Center.
BA Economics student from University of the Philippines Tacloban Mr. Axl Fitzgerald Bulawan bagged the grand prize after garnering the highest cumulative points from the judges. Linguistics student from University of the Philippines Diliman Ms. Ma. Julia Zidenka D. Nievera won the 2nd place award.
For the undergraduate category, four students nationwide competed for the grand prize of the competition. Presenting via Zoom, the winning presentation by Mx. Axl Bulawan studied the relationship of Japan’s defense spending and its economic output. Results showed that the country’s military expenditure has a negative effect on its gross domestic product (GDP).
Mr. Shedorlaomar Corales, BA Multimedia Studies student from the University of the Philippines Open University, scrutinized the film Let Me Hear It Barefoot (2021) by Riho Kudo. According to his presentation, contemporary Japanese films have the capacity to reinforce both heteronormative and homonormative narratives, which could be shown through queer intersectional struggles on screen.
History student from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Ms. Moira Pauline Iradel, explored the severity of the imposition of the “Greater East Co-Prosperity Sphere” in Leyte, and how the Leyteños survived the atrocities of the Japanese Military Administration during the war.
The last presenter was Ms. Ma. Julia Zidenka Nievera from the University of the Philippines Diliman who studied the word formation processes involved in oshikatsugo, a relatively new phenomenon prevalent in social networking sites on the support of their pop culture idols (oshi).
The esteemed panel of judges for the competition were composed of Mr. Yojiro Tanaka, Deputy Director of the Japan Foundation, Manila, Dr. Tsuchiya Kisho from Kyoto University and Ateneo de Davao University, and Dr. Cynthia Zayas from the University of the Philippines Diliman. The presenters were judged based on the the presentations and question and answer participation of the contestants.
The event was facilitated by Asian Center Professorial Lecturer Dr. Karl Ian Cheng Chua. The program was formally opened by Dr. Antoinette R. Raquiza, Assistant to the Dean for Public Affairs of the Asian Center. Deputy Director of the Japan Foundation, Manila, Mr. Yojiro Tanaka, formally closed the event.
The Graduate Category of the 6th Japan Studies Research Development Competition will be held on 23 March 2024 at the UP Asian Center. Find out more about this event through bit.ly/japancompet


The research competition aims to encourage Japan-related research among Filipino students, to disseminate knowledge, and exchange perspectives on Japanese Studies. It is organized by the UP Asian Center and the Japan Foundation, Manila.


The most well-developed research papers will be judged as winners of the competition. Winners will get the latest Apple iPad a plaque from the Japan Foundation Manila. All finalists will have the chance to publish in the Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia.



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    The Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman offers M.A. degrees in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The UP Asian Center also has an M.A. program in Philippine Studies that allows students to major in Philippine society and culture, Philippine foreign relations, or Philippine development studies. It also offers a Ph.D. program in Philippine Studies in conjunction with the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. For an overview of these graduate programs, click here. As an area studies institution, the Asian Center also publishes Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia, the latest issue of which can be downloaded at the journal's website. For other news and upcoming events at the Asian Center, click here.