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In Session: “Blown Together” on the Winds of Trade: Japanese Presence in Southeast Asia Before and After World War II
2: The Almost the Same: Linking Scattered Japanese Influences on Architecture in Indonesia Across Political Orders
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
3:00pm – 4:30pm EDT
York University, Canada
The story of Japan’s influence on Southeast Asia is a continuing and unfinished one. The field of architecture and urban planning is far behind in telling stories about the impact of Japan on Indonesia in both colonial and postcolonial times. The challenge includes how to position Japan in architectural historiography as well as in a historical matrix of power relations which has long been dominated by a Euro-American tradition of seeing cultural encounters in terms of binaries, such as East/West or self/other. Instead of adopting binary thinking, this paper presents these relations as a patchwork, asking how Japan has been featured, represented or referred to by Indonesians themselves, especially in terms of Indonesian architectural thinking. The presentation seeks to stimulate research on Japan in Indonesia by exploring some discursive materials related to destruction and construction of architecture, monuments, memorials, urban space & planning from war time to the postcolonial era. I intend to explore this much overlooked inter-Asian patchwork of impulses by linking scattered Japanese influences in Indonesia across political orders.