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 now accepting submissions for the "4th Japanese Studies in the Philippines Research Competition."  Filipino graduate students—MA and PhD—may submit any Japan-related research papers (except topics that focus solely on natural sciences, medical sciences, and engineering); undergraduate students may enter essays addressing the topic, “Transitions and Future Possibilities for Japan-Philippine Relations.”

Application Period

The application period will run from 11 October 2021 to 30 January 2022, 5 pm.

Eligibility Guidelines

  • Must be a Filipino citizen currently enrolled in a BA/BS, or an MA/MS/PhD program in a university in the Philippines or abroad*
  • 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 sometime in March 2022.

General Paper Guidelines

  • Unpublished,  solo-authored; written in English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

Specific Guidelines: BA/BS Student Essays

  • 10 to 15 pages; must present a clear, if not novel argument
  • Papers by BA/BS students must address the theme, " Transitions and Future Possibilities for Japan-Philippine Relations." View concept note/guide questions.

Specific Guidelines: MA/MS/PhD Students

  • 15 to 20 pages; anything Japan-related except topics that focus solely on the natural sciences, medical sciences, and engineering. There must be a social science or humanities component.
  • Must establish its relationship to and contribution to the literature (e.g. what is new in the paper?)

Application Procedures

  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.. View instructions for file-naming and submissions.

For Authors of Shortlisted Papers (Finalists)

Authors of shortlisted papers will be emailed. They must be ready to show (or send) the organizers the following documents. 
Finalists will give a 15-minute public presentation of their research, via Zoom, during the competition proper (sometime in March 2022), but an on-site or hybrid conference may be on offer if the COVID-19 situation improves enough by then. No presentation means ineligibility for the competition prizes. Presentations by proxies are not allowed. 

Competition Prizes and Publication Opportunity

Winners will get an iPad (2021 edition). Authors of shortlisted papers should prepare them for publication in Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia, and must commit to the entire review and revision process. 

About the Competition

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 UP Asian Center and the Japan Foundation, Manila.

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.