IV-7.”Southeast Asia from the Perspective of Remigrating Chinese”(H23 FY2011)

  • Project Leader : Tsuda Koji (Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
  • Collaborators : Kitamura Yumi (Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University)
  • : Kataoka Tatsuki (Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University)
  • : Nagura Kyoko (Faculty of International Relations, University of Shizuoka)

Outline of Research

This research project focuses on the remigration of the Chinese Overseas of Southeast Asia after World War . There are mainly two purposes for this project; namely, the reconstruction of modern history of Southeast Asia from the perspectives of Chinese Overseas by collecting and analyzing their narratives, and the reevaluation and repositioning of the role of re-migrating Chinese Overseas in contemporary Southeast Asian societies.


The aim of this research project is to collect and analyze the life history of Chinese Overseas who re-migrated from and within Southeast Asia during the post colonial period and the Cold War period (1950s– 60s). Specific attention will be paid to Chinese Indonesians, the largest Chinese Overseas population in the region with limited documents due to the political atmosphere of Indonesia till 1998. This research will attempt to display the image of Chinese Overseas beyond the dualistic model of assimilation and sinicization by looking into the narratives of re-migrating Chinese Indonesians who are cross-regional in their nature and therefore do not appear in the surface of nation state based national history.

This project will be conducted by a group of researchers comprised of Chinese Indonesian specialists as well as the specialists on China and Thailand. This multi-regional specialist group allows the members to cross-examine the data of Chinese Indonesian remigrants in the social context of both Indonesia and the destination countries. Through a discussion based on data in multiple locations, the researchers will be able to seize the complexity of facts without overlooking the intervention of re-migrants in multiple layer of societies they associate in different time of their life course.

As a result of this project, we hope to present new perspectives that draw from the cross-regional migration of Chinese Overseas to the studies of Chinese Overseas based on observations of long-term settlement. In addition, an analysis of individual life histories will contribute to grasp how the historical events from post-colonial period to the Cold War Asia affected the Southeast Asia both political and individual level.

Indonesians gathering in the Indonesian Netherlands Christian Church in Amstelveen

Village in Guangdong with many residence Chinese Indonesian repatriated to China