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 UP CIFAL Philippines, hosted a special public lecture, “Connections and Collaborations: The Case of Japanese, Zainichi Koreans, and Filipinos in Kyoto” last March 2024, 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM (GMT+8), at the Seminar Room, GT-Toyota Asian Cultural Center, UP Diliman.
Dr. Atsumasa Nagata (Department of Contemporary Business, Miyagi Gakuin Womens University) outlined the successful collaboration among the Japanese, Zainichi Korean immigrants, and Filipino immigrants fostered through various socio-cultural activities in Higashi-Kujyo.
In 2012, a Filipino self-help community from the Cathedral Catholic Church in Kyoto City established the Kyoto City Multicultural Exchange Network Salon (operated by a Catholic social welfare firm called Hope House). This initiative marked the beginning of convivial people-to people multi-cultural relations among the residents of the Higashi Kujyo area.
To recognize these developments, Kyoto celebrates the Japanese-Philippine-Korean collaborations in Higashi-Kujyo every third of November, during the Higashi-Kujyo Madang Festival. Filipino academic, religious and socio-civic groups actively participate in the festivities while also paying homage to Korean cultural representation. The mainstay act of the festival, a performance by Japinoy Sessionista, a musical group formed by Filipino and Japanese residents, further illustrates the robust inter-cultural collaboration extending even to the performing arts.
Dr. Nagata also proudly presented a community café founded by the residents of Higashi-Kujyo as result of the tight-knit relations in the neighborhood. Aptly named Hokkori, which means feeling relaxed in the Japanese Kansai dialect, the café became the center of cultural exchanges within the community. It provided a safe space for people, young or old, and of different nationalities to gather and interact. Dr. Nagata added that the collaborative efforts of the residents of Higashi-Kujyo---a combination of socio-cultural and religious initiatives---created a sustainable conviviality among its multi-national and multi-ethnic communities.
The event was moderated by Prof. Karl Uy Cheng Chua (UP Asian Center) while UP Asian Center Dean Henelito A. Sevilla, Jr. delivered the closing remarks.


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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.