Reformists and Revolutionaries: Filipinos View Meiji Japan, 1880s-1980s.
Ricardo Jose, Ph.D.

Jose, Ricard T. 2022. “Reformists and Revolutionaries: Filipinos View Meiji Japan, 1880s-1980s.” in Revisiting Japan’s Restoration: New Approaches to the Study of the Meiji Transformation, edited by Timothy D. Amos and Akiko Ishii. Routledge. 


The Meiji Restoration and Japan’s modernization have long inspired Filipinos – nationalists, intellectuals, scholars, students, and government planners. This was true from the 1880s until the 1980s. Times have changed, but the Japanese experience has remained a potential example for development for the Philippines. During the Meiji Era proper, the Philippines was experiencing a rise in nationalistic fervor under oppressive Spanish colonial rule, culminating in the outbreak of a revolution in 1896. It was also during this period that the US declared war on Spain and as a consequence took colonial possession of the Philippines. The quest for independence continued under American rule, partly through continued armed resistance but also working through political channels open to Filipinos. Both avenues looked to Japan for direct assistance and saw in Japan an inspiration from which the Filipino nation could learn.