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

A BRIEF PROFILE

Dr. Josefa M. Saniel is the "grand dame of Japanology in the Philippines.  Her contributions to Asian studies come in the form of a corpus of written works that mainly interrogate Philippines-Japan relations.  She was born on 23 March 1925 in Manila.  She finished her Bachelor of Science in Education (Magna cum laude) at the University of the Philippines in 1949.  She earned her Master of Arts degree in History at the University of Chicago in 1953.  She received the title of Doctor of Philosophy in Far Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan in 1962.  On 29 May 1986, she was awarded the “Third Class Order of the Precious Crown by His Majesty the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese Governments.  She became professor emeritus of the University of the Philippines in 1993.

Apart from her scholarly to the university and the academe in general, Saniel is known to be instrumental in bringing into reality the construction of the Asian Center Building (later renamed the Romulo Hall) and in successfully re-establishing the Asian Center as a college unit  of the University of the Philippines upon the abolition of the PCAS.  Some of Saniel’s best known publications are:  Japan and the Philippines, 1868-1898 (1963), Okuma Shigenobu and the Philippine 1898 Problem (1965), and Japan and the Philippines: From Traditional to Modern Societies (1976).  Saniel’s revisiting of the Philippine revolution stance critiqued the US imperial foray in the country..."

Professor Saniel is a former dean of the Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman. Other Professor Emeritus of the college was Dr. Felipe Jocano, who passed away in October 2013. The preceding write-up is quoted directly from "Pioneers and Legends: The Rise and Transformation of Asian Studies at the University of the Philippines Asian Center," a paper presented by Professor MCM Santamaria of the UP Asian Center during the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Asian Center on 25 November 2015.

LIST OF SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

1955. Report on a Tour of Southeast Asia from May 13 to June 25, 1955. Quezon City: Institute of Asian Studies, University of the Philippines.

1963a. “Four Japanese: Their Plans for the Expansion of Japan to the Philippines.” Asian Studies 1 (1): 52–63.

1963b. Japan and the Philippines 1868-1898. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press.

1964. “Jose Rizal and Suehiro Tetcho: Filipino and Japanese Political Novelists.” Asian Studies 2 (3): 353–71.

1964.  “Humour in Japanese Literature.” Education Quarterly 12 (2): 33–45.

1965. “The Mobilization of Traditional Values in the Modernization of Japan.” In Religion and Progress in Modern Asia, edited by Robert N. Bellah, 124-49. New York: The Free Press.

1965. “Okuma Shigenobu and the Philippine 1898 Problem.” Philippine Historical Review 1: 298–319.

1966. “The Japanese Minority in the Philippines before Pearl Harbor: Social Organization in Davao.” Asian Studies 4 (1): 103–26.

1966. “Japan’s Future in the Philippines.” In Japan’s Future in Southeast Asia edited by Masamichi Inoki, 153–166. Kyoto: Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University.

1969. “The Development of Japanese Studies in the Philippines. In The Development of Japanese Studies in Southeast Asia, edited by Frank H.H. King, 133–51. Hong Kong: University of Hongkong.

1971. The Philippines-Japan Treaty of Amity, Commerce and Navigation: An Overview. Quezon City: Asian Center, University of the Philippines. 

1972. “Japan’s Thrust in Southeast Asia in the Sixties.” In Southeast Asia in the Modern World, edited by Bernard Grossman, 377–422. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.

1973. “The Erosion of the Bi-Polar Power Structure in the 1960’s: Its Impact upon East Asian International Politics.” Asian Studies 11 (2): 6–40.

1975. “Area Studies: A Focus of Multidisciplinary Approach in the Social Sciences.” Asian Studies 13 (1): 77–88.

1977. “Japan and the Philippines: From Traditional to Modern Societies.” Asian Studies 15: 65–109.

1984.  Japan Studies in the Philippines: Development and Prospects. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Asian Center

1989a. Asian Area Studies in American and Canadian Universities. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Asian Center.

1989b. Japan Studies in the Philippines in the 80’s. Quezon City: University of the Philippines.

1992. The Study of Japan in the Philippines: Focus on the University of the Philippines. Kyoto: International Research Center for Japanese Studies.


The 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

Quick Links: Asian Center Faculty

Baviera, Aileen S.P., Ph.D.

Baviera, Aileen S.P., Ph.D.

Celero, Jocelyn O., Ph.D.

Celero, Jocelyn O., Ph.D.

Clemente, Tina S., Ph.D.

Clemente, Tina S., Ph.D.

Lopez, Ariel C., Ph.D.

Lopez, Ariel C., Ph.D.

Medina, Maria Cecilia T., Ph.D.

Medina, Maria Cecilia T., Ph.D.

Moratilla, Noel Christian A., Ph.D.

Moratilla, Noel Christian A., Ph.D.

Natividad, Maria Dulce F., Ph.D.

Natividad, Maria Dulce F., Ph.D.

Palumbarit, Michelle R., Ph.D.

Palumbarit, Michelle R., Ph.D.

Raquiza, Antoinette R., Ph.D.

Raquiza, Antoinette R., Ph.D.

Santamaria, MCM., L.L.D.

Santamaria, MCM., L.L.D.

Santarita, Joefe B., Ph.D.

Santarita, Joefe B., Ph.D.

Sevilla, Henelito A., Jr., Ph.D.

Sevilla, Henelito A., Jr., Ph.D.

Talampas, Rolando G.

Talampas, Rolando G.