Ethan MarkJul 21, 2022
Japan’s Occupation of Java in the Second World War
A Transnational History
Japan's Occupation of Java in the Second World War: A Transnational History (Bloomsbury, 2018) by Ethan Mark draws upon written and oral Japanese, Indonesian, Dutch and English-language sources to narrate the Japanese occupation of Java as a transnational intersection between two complex non-Western Asian societies – one a colonizer and the other colonized. The book places this narrative in a larger wartime context of domestic, regional, and global crisis.
Japan's occupation of Java is here revealed in a radically new and nuanced light, as an ambiguous encounter revolutionary in the degree of mutual interests that drew the two sides together, fascinating and tragic in its evolution, and profound in the legacies left behind. Mark structures his study around a diverse group of Japanese and Indonesians captivated by the wartime vision of a 'Greater Asia.' The book is not only the first transnational study of Japan's wartime occupation of Java, but the first to focus on the Second World War experience in transnational terms 'on the ground' anywhere in Asia.
Breaking new ground interpretatively, thematically, and narratively, Mark's monumental study is of vital significance for students and scholars of modern Asian and global history.
Ethan Mark is a Senior University Lecturer in Modern Japanese History at Leiden University in the Netherlands. He specializes in modern Japanese history, with a particular expertise in Japanese imperialism and the social and cultural history of the 1920s-1940s. He is also a scholar of modern Indonesia.
Shatrunjay Mall is a PhD candidate at the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He works on transnational Asian history, and his dissertation explores intellectual, political, and cultural intersections and affinities that emerged between Indian anti-colonialism and imperial Japan in the twentieth century.