Writing History in America’s Shadow: Japan, the Philippines, and the Question of Pan-Asianism

TAKAMICHI SERIZAWA is a research fellow at the Institute for Research in Humanities,
Kyoto University.

Kyoto-CSEAS Series on Asian Studies

NUS Press & Kyoto University Press (First Published, 2020)
174 pages including Bibliography and Index


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Writing History in America’s Shadow: Japan, the Philippines, and the Question of Pan-Asianism sheds light on areas of darkness in both Japanese and Philippine historiographies and understanding of their region. It considers the questions: What kind of dilemmas and contradictions did Filipino and Japanese historians embrace by accepting the US rewriting of their national stories? And did Filipino and Japanese historians interact at all, under the US hegemony? Through an examination of the commonalities, differences and interactions of Japanese and Filipino histories, ideas of history, modernization theory, and area studies, Takamichi Serizawa makes an important contribution to sorting through the tangled histories of Asia in the complicated matrix of colonial, wartime, and Cold War contexts.

Both the Japanese and Filipino people experienced a rewriting of their national histories upon being defeated by the United States: the Philippines after 1902 and Japan after 1945. The new histories served to justify and explain US rule and its ideology of modernization and democracy. They also portrayed the immediate past as the dark ages, especially the Philippines’ Spanish colonial period and Japan’s wartime totalitarianism and militarism.


1. Beyond Orientalism

2. The Politics of Area Studies in the US during the Funding Period: The Cases of Japanese and Southeast Asian Studies

3. The Dilemmas of a Japanese Historian: Yamamoto Tatsuro and the Reconstruction of Southeast Asian Studies

4. Revisiting the Department of Nanyo (South Sea) History at Taihoku Imperial University (1928-40)

5. Japanese Wartime Use of Philippine History

6. In Search of a National Language under the Japanese Occupation

7. Translating Philippine History into Japanese during the Vietnam War Era


Weight0.283 kg
Dimensions22.8 × 15.2 × 1 cm







Year Published


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