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 will be holding via Zoom a Special Lecture on Philippines-Japan Relations on 5 October 2021, 1–5 pm, Philippine Standard Time. The event is free and welcome to the public, but signing in to a Zoom account is required.


About the Event

For more than 100 years in the Philippines, the exchange of students and researchers from Japan, facilitated through government-to-government agreements and between Japanese and Philippine higher institutions of learning, have enabled study of Japan in the Philippines (and vice versa). At the University of the Philippines, such academic interaction began as early as 1920 when Dr. Matsunami Hiichiro, a professor of Maritime and Commercial Law of Tokyo Imperial University, rendered a series of lectures on Japan.  His visit was sponsored by the Ministry of Education. Since then, fellowships of Japanese scholars to UP have paved the way for greater interest in the study of Japan, and stronger collaboration between universities, scholars and students from the University of the Philippines and Japanese universities in general. To commemorate this historic milestone, the UP Asian Center and the Japan Foundation Manila are organizing this public lecture with the aim of appreciating the achievements related to the academic exchanges between the University of the Philippines and Japanese universities and scholars over the last century.

The Lecture: “40 Years of Bridging Japan and the Philippines through Research and Inter-University Linkages: Experiences of a Japanese Scholar”

Dr. Toru Nakanishi, Professor at the University of Tokyo School of Social Sciences, has been doing research on the Philippines for 40 years. His interest in the Philippines was sparked by a book he read in high school, “Without Seeing the Dawn” by Steven Javellana, a University of the Philippines-College of Law graduate. He visited the University of the Philippines for the first time as an undergraduate student in 1980. With the support of UP professors and staff, he finished his doctoral dissertation on economic analysis of the urban poor in Metro Manila in 1989. Collaborating with several notable UP professors on research projects, he further developed greater passion for research spanning 35 years.
The informal settlers of Concepcion, Malabon, the subject of his long duration research, were living below the poverty line in the 1980s. After three decades, they have successfully built their own community and achieved impressive development. Following the lives of these people over time, he has seen a significant improvement in the life trajectory of the younger generation. The community has produced several UP graduates who are now actively involved in society.
Since the late 1990s, Dr. Nakanishi has arranged homestay programs for his Japanese students as part of their research training, which includes short visits to UP. Taking them to his field site in Malabon has inspired them to pursue research on urban communities and community development. Through his recommendation, other Japanese students also participated in student exchange programs at UP.
The university provides an international space for Japanese and Filipino people to meet, understand, and share their talents and wisdom with each other. With his four decades of community research and inter-university linkages, Dr. Nakanishi is convinced that the relationship between the University of the Philippines and the University of Tokyo (as well as other Japanese universities) will continue to play a major role in the development of academic and human relations between Japan and the Philippines in the coming years.

About the Speakers and Reactors

Toru Nakanishi, PhD is Professor at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo. VIEW FULL PROFILE.
Michiyo Yoneno-Reyes, PhD has been working in the field of area studies, particularly Philippine Studies and Japan Studies, with a disciplinary background in ethnomusicology and anthropology.  VIEW FULL PROFILE.
Maria Rosario (Cherry) Piquero-Ballescas, PhD is a retired Professor of Regional Development Studies, Toyo University, Tokyo, Japan (2009–2017) and the Social Sciences Division of the University of the Philippines Cebu. VIEW FULL PROFILE.

Japanese Studies in the Philippines: Insights from the Research Competition Winners

Four winners—Jose Miguel Villarin, Katrina Principe, Anton Miranda, and Jonald Bagasina—of the Japanese Studies in the Philippines: Research Competition in March 2021 will also speak at the event. They will share their reflections and experiences on researching Japan, including their participation in the Japan Foundation Manila’s Young Scholars Japanese Convention.

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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.