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 K. Matsushita Foundation, will be hosting a special lecture, Comparing Religion in the Philippines and Japan: A Viewpoint from the "Majority Religion" and Debriefing Seminar with the 2022 K. Matsushita Japan Study Tour Participants on 9 March 2023, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, PHT, via Zoom. The event is free and open to the public but signing in to a (free) Zoom account is required.


This lecture is a preliminary endeavor to seek deeper understanding on the comparative features and roles of religion in contemporary Philippines and Japan, from the perspective of “majority religion” or the majority/minority dichotomy that has been debated since the emergence of the Sociology of Religion (McGuire 2002). First, the discussion focuses on comparing the composition and population of religious followers in the two countries, as well as the less known similarity between the Philippine Catholicism and Japanese Shintoism (rather than Catholicism). Next, the talk examines the religious majority-minority dynamics in both countries and underscore the unexplored similarity between the Philippine Protestantism and Japanese Catholicism. Thirdly, the state of Catholicism in the two countries is compared to identify socio-religious differences despite the commonly shared doctrinal understanding and liturgical practices, especially about the meaning of religion in the daily life. Finally, the talk returns to comparing Philippine Catholicism and Japanese Shintoism, to highlight the many socio-religious similarities despite the basic differences in the doctrine and organizational characteristics of the two religions. As a whole, this presentation seeks to re-examine the common-sense understanding about religions as fundamentally based on doctrines, liturgies, and organizational belongings using the perspective of majority/minority dichotomy of religious life in a particular national society.

SENSING JAPAN: 2022 K. Matsushita Foundation Japan Study Tour

Five selected participants in the 2022 K. Matsushita Foundation Japan Study Tour with the theme, “Sensing Japan: A Study Tour for Understanding Japanese History, Culture, and Society” will present their reflections about their tour of Japan last 11 – 18 December 2022.  The winners are all Japan Studies Majors of the UP Asian Center. 
• Elyssa Clarisse Rosales (Fifth Year)
• Justin Michael Beneraba (Fifth Year)
• Jeanne Therese Maling (Second Year)
• Marie Beatriz Gulinao (Second Year)
• Altamira Chantrelle Reyes (Third Year)


Dr. Miyawaki Satoshi is Professor of Philippine Studies Program at the Graduate School of Humanities, Osaka University. He obtained his Ph. D. in International Social Science at the University of Tokyo. He has researched and published on the topic of Catholic Church and Christianity in the Philippines and Asia. Some of his recent publications Political Involvement of Catholic Church in the Philippines: Public Religion's Hegemony Struggles on the Nation (Osaka University Press 2019, in Japanese); a chapter titled “Philippine Catholic Church battling with the "Invaders": A Nationalism on "Sex, Reproduction, and Family”” from the book titled Southeast Asia and the Politics of LGBT: Issues on Sexual Minorities, published by Akashi Publishers in 2021 (in Japanese), and a chapter titled “Christianity: Localization and Globalization of Christianity in Asia” from the book called Contemporary Asia: Issues and Debates released in 2022 by Akashi Publishers (in Japanese).


The event is organized by the UP Asian Center, in partnership with the K. Matsushita Foundation. This debriefing seminar and public lecture is part of the annual Japan Study Tour sponsored by the K. Matsushita Foundation, which aims to promote the Japanese Studies program at the Asian Center.


 For inquiries, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 8 981 8500 local 3580.
The UP 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.