Monthly Archives: November 2014

Religion, Asianism and the sense of loss: Japanese heritage engagements in colonial & postcolonial Indonesia

Date: 21 November 2014

Dr Marieke Bloembergen from KITLV/ Royal Institute for Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies in the Netherlands offered a case study from her joint research project with Martijn Eickhoff, NIOD, on Japan’s engagement with the archaeology and heritage politics of colonial and postcolonial Indonesia.

Through an exploration of Hindu-Buddhist material remains in Indonesia, before, during and after the Japanese occupation, the talk investigated the nature of Japanese appropriations of the Borobudur and Prambanan sites during the occupation of Indonesia as it explored the religious and spiritual motives of Japanese engagements with the temples. Further discussion included decolonisation, the wartime activities of the Japanese, the cultural dimension of the ideology of Greater Co-Prosperity Sphere and its long-term legacies, as well as the problematisation of memory and sites in the post-war period.