Award Citation

Professor Reynaldo C. Ileto has consistently played a leading role in historical research with his focus on the Philippine Revolution from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century. Professor Ileto has paid particular attention to the grass-root masses and marginalized people of the society. This has enabled him to provide a fresh perspective with a new view of the revolution that concentrates on the ordinary people rather than the elites by gaining a deep understanding of the spirit of those people who resisted colonial rule. He has also actively expanded the scope of interdisciplinary study, linking his historical research with research into literature, religion, and culture.

In his epoch-making book, "Pasyon and Revolution: Popular Movements in the Philippines, 1840-1910" (1979), Professor Ileto makes clear that the Catholic teaching of the suzerain Spain was the reason behind why the first anti-colonial and popular liberation movements and revolution in Southeast Asia were able to obtain the widespread support and participation of the people. The general public used the story of the tribulations of Jesus Christ as a model of the righteous life to be followed. Drawing inferences from that story, they could perceive the 300 years of Spanish rule as evil and find the cause to stand up against it. Professor Ileto vividly describes with sympathy the succession of popular movements under charismatic leaders, which preceded the outbreak of the revolution.

In recent years, Professor Ileto has harshly criticized the Orientalism of American researchers, which is characterized by an approach and thinking focused through the lens of their own Western culture. He has done this by highlighting the role of the revolutionary leader Andres Bonifacio and taking issue with American scholars' tacit justification of the U.S. intervention to and colonization of the Philippines. He has made immense contributions by advancing the movement of anti-colonialism in knowledge, thought, and spirit. Professor Ileto has successfully presented a self-portrait of the history and culture of the Philippines which enables fellow Filipinos to take pride in their own heritage without falling into a trap of narrow-minded exclusionary nationalism. His sincere effort to eliminate still continuing influences of the American colonial rule and domination has provided a great stimulus and encouragement to researchers throughout Asia, including Japan.

Aware of the duties and responsibilities of the critical intellectual, Professor Ileto teaches the younger generation and pursues his stimulating research through educational and research activities at many universities and research institutes in Japan and the countries in the Asia-Pacific region. His activities make him truly worthy of being recognized with the Academic Prize of the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prizes.