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, sponsored by the Japan Foundation Manila, successfully held the graduate leg of the “Japanese Studies in the Philippines: The 6th Japanese Studies Research Development Competition” on 23 March 2024, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, at the Seminar Room, GT-Toyota Asian Cultural Center.
Jeanne Therese L. Maling, an MA Asian Studies student from the Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman took the top spot after receiving the most points from the Judges. Saint Louis University’s Ph.D. candidate Lex Rei Brendon A. Hilario, won the second place award.
The graduate category proved to be very competitive, as the four graduate students from all over the Philippines provided top-notch research presentations. Presenting through Zoom, John Adrianfer Atienza, an MA Philippine Studies student from the UP Asian Center, introduced the collection of World War II Japanese newsreel propaganda on Indonesia in the Dutch archives, demonstrating how Indonesians used Japan’s “propagandistic content” to aid its colonial resistance and assertion of national independence.
Another Asian Center MA Asian Studies student, Elijah Joshua Benjamin DF Aban, used historical, literary, and media perspectives in tracing intercultural scenarios in Japan-Philippines relations. The auth portrayed in popular media by Luzon Sukezaemon,  a merchant from Izumi No Sakai (now part of modern-day Osaka), whose trading exploits in the Philippines made him an important figure in Japan.
PhD Philosophy candidate Lex Rei Brendon A. Hilario explored the advent of V-Tubing—providing a distinct kind of para-sociality between V-tubers (Video YouTubers) and their fans which allows for more interactivity and encourages the development of international para-social relationship at an accelerated rate.
The last presentation was the winning research on the politics of the Sado Mines in the Niigata Prefecture by Jeanne Maling. Jeanne demonstrated the paradoxical view of Japan in its nomination of the Sado mines to be a protected UNESCO World Heritage site, disregarding the mine's historical exploitation of forced Korean laborers since the Edo period.
The esteemed panel of judges for the competition was composed of Mr. Ben Suzuki, Director of the Japan Foundation, Manila, Dr. Karen Connie Orendain-Abalos, from the Department of Philosophy of the University of the Philippines Diliman, and Mr. Shigehiro Matsuda Director of the Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC). The presenters were judged based on the presentations and the question and answer participation of the contestants.
The event was facilitated by Dr. Jocelyn O. Celero. The program was formally opened by Dean Henelito Seilla Jr. of the Asian Center. The Director of the Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC), Shigehiro Matsuda, formally closed the event.
The undergraduate leg of the competition was held on 9 March 2023 with UP Tacloban student, Axl Fitzgerald Bulawan winning the competition. Read more about this.



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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.