Polyphony Student Journal Issue 3 is out!

GDP’s very only student journal “Polyphony” published its third issue.
Here is the comment from Mattie Balagat, Polyphony’s Editor-in-Chief:

Letter from the Editor

 Dear Reader,

How have you been?

Your Answer: ________________________

It has always been hard to answer such a simple question sincerely, but it seems to be so much more difficult to answer in these precarious times.
We could deceive ourselves by how we have learned to live with the upheavals of the pandemic, or climate change, or political affairs over the past two years, but the latest news would still throw us off guard.
Maybe one of the only constants these days is polyphony, originally defined as a type of musical composition with multiple voices or lines of music playing at the same time.
Polyphony is an apt word to get us to think of how to navigate our times, and this third issue of the Polyphony Student Journal confronts this challenge of making sense of both others’ voices and our own.

Our student-run literary journal was named Polyphony to reflect the diversity in perspectives and backgrounds of the students who make up Okayama University’s Discovery Program for Global Learners. Each year, this name is more of a challenge to the journal’s editorial team than a simple title.
With the great talents and efforts of our editors, writers, designers, and contributors, we have tried to listen in a little more for this issue.
We have features that celebrate the program’s diversity beyond our usual cultural commentaries, alongside intriguing academic papers that dig deeper into issues of poverty, immigration, and self. Personal essays and creative contributions, especially those by our “trapped students”[1], speak to the struggle of being amidst multiple voices, places… everythings.

The highlights of this issue are the conversations that invite you in. In an amazing first for both of our publications, the editorial teams of Polyphony and the Komaba Times—the University of Tokyo’s English-language student publication—collaborated on a joint article based on our roundtable discussion earlier this year.
We talked about our work as English-language publications in Japanese universities, in which we amusingly touched on our double role as international-student-PR.
Another conversation covers the self as it interacts with illness, and one other explores its entanglement in the realities of social science research.

This print issue would not have come together without the collective brains and sanities of a special team: Genki Hase, our ever-reliable assistant editor-in-chief; Kayla Guevara, our layout editor; Alyana Morales, Jia Xuan Chok, and Junayeed Matin, our editors-writers-managers-and more in between; and the rest of the editorial team who have worked on articles or the blog. Thank you for bringing the Polyphony to life! 

In reading the pieces within this issue, I hope you can take some time to reflect on the Polyphony of our Times (as the collaboration article is aptly titled).
Maybe you can find your voice in how it resounds with, or rebounds off others. Maybe you’ll hear your own answer as to how you’ve been.

Mattie Balagat
Polyphony Editor-in-Chief


Polyphony Student Journal is the first student-run literary platform at Okayama University’s liberal arts program, Discovery Program for Global Learners (GDP).

Check out more content from us on our blog and Instagram account!


Instagram: @polyphony_gdp

If you are a student of GDP or Okayama University, feel free to submit your work to be considered for publication at

[1] A common label for the group of international students who could not enter Japan on time because of the government’s COVID-19 visa and border restrictions.