IV-7.”Southeast Asia from the Perspective of Remigrating Chinese”(H23-24 FY2011-2012)

  • Project Leader : Tsuda Koji (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo)
  • Collaborators : Kobayashi Satoru (Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University)
  • : Kitamura Yumi (Kyoto University Library, 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 Chinese Overseas of Southeast Asia after World War II. There are mainly two purposes to this project; namely, the reconstruction of modern history of Southeast Asia from the perspective of Chinese Overseas through collecting and analyzing their narratives, and the reevaluation and repositioning of the role of remigrating 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 remigrated from and within Southeast Asia during the post-colonial period and the Cold War period (1950s–1960s). 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 remigrating Chinese Indonesians who are cross-regional in their nature 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 will allow the members to cross-examine the data of Chinese Indonesian remigrants in the social context of both Indonesia and destination countries. Through discussion based on data in multiple locations, researchers will be able to understand the complexity of facts without overlooking the intervention of remigrants in the multiple layers of the societies they associate in different time over the course of their lives. As a result of this project, we hope to present new perspectives from the cross-regional migration of Chinese Overseas to the studies of Chinese Overseas which is based on observation of long-term settlement. In addition, the analysis of individual life histories will contribute to any understanding of how historical events from the post-colonial period to the Cold War Asia affected Southeast Asia at both a political and individual level.

Housing for the Chinese Overseas returnees in Chinese Overseas returnee farm in Jainjiu. Returnees from Indonesia are planting tropical plans such as Papaya trees next to their housing units.

Hua Qiao University in Jianjiu. Established in 1960 for Chinese Overseas returnees.