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 and the Japan Foundation Manila are calling Japan Majors of the UP Asian Center to take part in “Experience Japan: An Essay Writing Competition for Japan Studies Majors” Application period is from 9 September 2019 to 11 October 2019. Deadline of submissions is on 11 October 2019, 5 pm.

Authors of selected outstanding essays will join an all-expense paid study tour in the Kansai area of Japan from 16 to 20 December 2019.  


The competition is open only to Japan Studies majors of the UP Asian Center.


The essay must answer the following questions:

• How do you want to experience Japan? What are your images/impressions of Japan?

• If you are visiting Japan (imagine for the first time), how do you imagine this visit to be like? What would you see, feel, taste, and think? What activities do you want to experience in Japan? Which places will you visit?

The submission must contain 1,000 words (maximum) and must be written single-spaced in Times New Roman, 12 font.               


1. Fill out this application directory.

2. Submit a zip file (.zip) containing the ff. to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A. A PDF file of the essay containing the name of the author. This must be saved with the file name “Surname_Essay Title.”

B. A PDF copy of the essay that contains no traces of author information within the document text and file details. This must be saved as “Review Copy_Essay Title.”

3. The zip file must be named as Surname, First Name.

4. The subject line of the email must be “Experience Japan Essay.”

5. All applications must be submitted on or before 5 pm, 11 October 2019.


The most creative and well-written essays will be selected as winners. Preference will be given to participants who have not been to Japan. The winning participants will be notified through email before the end of October 2019.  


The expenses for the study tour will cover only the following:

• Roundtrip airfare from Manila to Japan, and vice versa

• Food and accommodations in Japan

• Transportation during the study tour proper

The selected participants must apply for their visa. Visa fee will later be reimbursed by the organizer.


Study tour participants are required to write an essay based on the study tour. Their application essay and study tour essays will both be published by the UP Asian Center. 


The essay writing competition is organized by the Japan Foundation Manila and the up Asian Center.


For queries, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Asian Center offers M.A. degrees in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The 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. The Center 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. 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.