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 and the Japan Foundation Manila are now accepting submissions for the "3rd Nationwide Japanese Studies  Research Competition." Graduate students—MA and PhD—may submit any Japan-related research papers (except topics on natural sciences, medical sciences, and engineering); undergraduate students may enter essays with the topic, “Japan and Diversity in the Time of COVID.” Winners will get an iPad (2020 edition).


The deadline for submission is extended until 30 January 2021, 5 pm. Competition winners will get a free iPad (2020 edition).


    • Currently enrolled in a BA/BS, or an MA/MS/PhD program in a Philippine university
    • Must be between 18 and 35 years old 
    • Can give (if paper is shortlisted) a public presentation of their research, via Zoom, during the competition proper. Date of competition to be announced.  


    • Unpublished and solo-authored
    • Written in English
    • Must not be under consideration in another publication
    • Single-spaced, in Times New Roman, 12 font
    • Has an abstract (max 300 words)
    • Uses APA citation style


    • 10 to 15 pages
    • Essay type
    • Papers by BA/BS students must address the theme, " Japan and Diversity in the Time of COVID"
Diversity has been a political agenda for Japan since the 1980s, but only gained traction when the national government began to pay attention to gender and ethnic differences in business and society in recent times.  With the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic undermining  Japan’s capacity to provide adequate health and social response, how can the present global health outbreak become an opportunity for Japan to manage its internal diversity? What  health, economic and social changes can it accommodate?  


    • 15 to 20 pages
    • Anything Japan-related except topics on the natural sciences, medical sciences, and engineering.


    1. Fill out this online application form.
    2. Send a Zip file (.zip) containing PDF files of two soft copies of the research paper to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
               Instructions for file-naming:
        • The zip file must be named Last Name, First Name, e.g., "Cruz, Juan.zip"
        • File name of the first PDF copy must have "Actual Copy" and include the title of the paper, your name and school. ( e.g.  Actual Copy - Japanese Soft Power and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics_Juan Cruz_UP Diliman)
        • File name of the second PDF copy must be [Review Copy - Title of Paper], e.g. “Review Copy - Japanese Soft Power and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics."  To ensure a fair, blind review, this copy must not indicate your name, school, course, etc.
    3. Subject line in email should contain "3rd Japanese Research Competition." This is for email filters that can help ensure your application is processed.
    4. Documents must be sent on or before 5 pm, 30 January 2021.
    5. Please follow instructions to help ease the collecting/collating process. The organizers reserve the right to disqualify late, incomplete or improperly formatted applications. 


Authors will be emailed if their paper is shortlisted for the competition. Authors of shortlisted papers must be ready to show (or send) the organizers the following:
      • School ID
      • Any valid government-issue ID indicating date of birth
      • Proof of enrollment in current semester (any of the following):
        • Signed/validated enrollment form, OR
        • Letter from the Office of Admissions/Registrar/College Secretary, or equivalent office.
Finalists will give a 15-minute public presentation of their research, via Zoom, during the competition proper (date to be announced). No presentation means ineligibility for the competition prizes. Presentations by proxies are not allowed. 


Winners will get an iPad (2020 edition). Authors of shortlisted papers should prepare them for publication in the Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia, and must commit to the entire review and revision process.  


The research competition aims to encourage Japan-related research among Filipino students, to disseminate knowledge, and exchange perspectives on Japanese Studies. It is organized by the Asian Center and the Japan Foundation, Manila.
For queries, please use this inquiry form.

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.