I-2.”Research for Java’s Rural History in 20th Century”(H23-24 FY2011-2012)

  • Project Leader : Kozano Yako (School of Foreign Studies, Aichi Prefectural University)
  • Collaborators : Kanou Hiroyoshi (Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University)
  • : Mizuno Kosuke (Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University)
  • : Endo Nao (Department of Education, Kochi University)

Outline of Research

We plan to conduct field research in the former Comal County in Central Java, based on the social economic and historical methodology. The division of research is as follows. Kozano, Yako; Research of village administration and land ownership; Mizuno, Kosuke (Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University); Research of village level survival foundation, Kano, Hiroyoshi (Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University); Research of agricultural development and hierarchical structure, Endo, Nao (Department of Education, Kochi University); Research of space use and regional formation at village level.


This research aims to conduct social research in several villages in Comal district, comparing the data of farmer households collected by the so-called “Van Mol’s Research” backed up by the Netherlands authorities at the beginning of 20th century. We will also compare this with the results of village-level field research conducted by some of our members (Prof. Kano and Prof. Mizuno) in exactly the same district in 1990. This research will also scrutinize local archives, in order to conduct surveys about several themes such as population, agricultural production, deforestation, land use, water use, river improvement, epidemics and natural disasters throughout the two centuries since the beginning of 19th century. In addition, we hope to try to conduct research on rural social transformation after the collapse of Suharto’s regime in 1998 bearing in mind democratization, decentralization, trade liberalization and market-based effects at a village level.

Van Mol’s research was an extremely detailed one, but it was only data collection without any significant analysis. Real social transformations in this region throughout the 20th century became known to us through the result of tracking research conducted in 1990 in order to make the best use of Van Mol’s remarkable achievements. The results were published both in Japan and in Indonesia. Our new research is a challenge in that we aim to enrich and complete the former one conducted in 1990. We expect Java’s rural social transformation processes across the two centuries to be clarified through the results of our research.

The former river bed of the Comal River

Busy harvesting the rice