Reexamination Of Japanese “Southern” Experience

from The 1920s To 1950s



Reexamination of the Japanese “Southern” Experience from the 1920s to 1950s: Reports and Papers Introduction

Sokolova-Yamashita Kiyomi (Professor, Department of Literary Arts, Nihon University College of Art)

 This book has been created as a collection of reports and papers on the AY 2020 Nihon University Academic Research Grant (total research) “Reexamination of the Japanese ‘Southern’ Experience from the 1920s to 1950s.” Composed of papers, notes on historical materials, and so forth in the fields of each of the joint researchers, a part of the text has been translated into Bahasa Indonesia for purposes of broader information gathering in Indonesia, the research locus, as well.

 It is a tremendous relief to see this book come together as a whole. No wonder, given the immense obstacles to research in this academic year.

 The plan for this research project, on the topic of “movement” to Southeast Asia, was to include investigation of primary sources in the National Library of Indonesia, on-site fieldwork, symposia focused on research reports and information exchange among Japanese and Indonesian researchers, and more, aiming at internationally fluid activities from a global perspective. However, it goes without saying that the COVID-19 pandemic has restricted “movement” even domestically, let alone internationally, requiring a major change of direction.

 Even the joint researchers residing in Japan were unable to meet in person, falling back on Zoom-based research meetings. Eventually, Indonesia-based researchers came to participate as well, with Zoom making it possible, despite the difficulties we faced, to carry out the joint research project. While the outcomes are far different from what we first envisioned, the experience of encouraging one another on this difficult path has unquestionably strengthened the solidarity among the joint researchers.

 The path is unlikely to become smoother any time soon, but the next academic year will be easier to face thanks to the completion of this book. We hope to release the book, created amid struggles, to the world, receiving a wide range of opinions from its readers as fuel for research in the next academic year.

 Finally, allow me to express my sincere gratitude to the Nihon University Research Promotion Section and Nihon University College of Art Research Administration Section for their helpful advice and flexible support with regard to use of research funding in this difficult situation.

(本文は、2021年7月16日に当サイトにて公開した「『日本人の「南方」経験の再検討―グローバル化時代の新しい歴史像の構築にむけて― 報告・論文集』はじめに」の英語版です。)

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