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The Japanese Experience in Indonesia

Selected Memoirs of 1942-1945 (Ohio RIS Southeast Asia Series #72)

Anthony Reid, Akira Oki (Contributions by), Oki Akira (Editor)


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Although the wartime Japanese military administration of Indonesia was critical to the making of modern Indonesia, it remains shrouded in mystery, in part because of the systematic destruction of records following the Japanese surrender. These excerpts from personal memoirs of individual Japanese soldiers and administrators provide unique glimpses of the occupation—from the Japanese landing on Java and the Dutch surrender, to the independence proclamation in Jakarta, to the violence in Surabaya following the Japanese surrender. Through the eyes of Japanese at all levels of responsibility, we see the internal Indonesian turmoil, the struggle toward an independence movement, and the efforts of some Japanese to promote independence, despite the policies of imperial headquarters.

Not only does this collection illuminate modern Indonesian history, it provides students of Japanese history with a feeling for the variety of Japanese responses to the war effort. The Japanese Experience in Indonesia will therefore be of interest to Southeast and East Asian historians and political scientists, as well as to those with a more general interest in World War II.

Ohio University Press, 9780896801325, 424pp.

Publication Date: September 15, 1986