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The Heat of the Sunrise: The Suffering of Sukabumi People during the Japanese Occupation in West Java, Indonesia (1942-1945)

Sulasman Sulasman

Abstract


ABSTRACT: This article aims to describe the sufferings of Sukabumi people at the time of Japanese occupation in West Java, Indonesia. For reconstructing the event, the historical method, which includes Heuristics, Critics, Interpretation, and Historiography, were used. The result of this study shows that at the beginning of its arrival, the Japanese military was enthusiastically welcomed by Sukabumi people. They hoped that the Japanese military could free the Indonesia people from the Dutch imperialism. In fact, that hope was not realized. The Japanese policies were disadvantageous for the Indonesian people. Those policies were emphasized more on how the Indonesian people help the Japanese to become the new imperialist which substituted the Dutch colonial government. The Japanese military had used the religious symbols such as the scholars and the kyais as a tool of propaganda to support their economic war program. The Japanese policies that involved the scholar figures had replaced the scholars’ and kyais position from the honoured one to become the dishonoured one. People assumed that they were responsible for suffering of Sukabumi people. The Sukabumi people suffered from poverty and systematic economic decreasing. As a result of the paddy collection and the romusha programs, there were many Sukabumi people who suffered from starvation, malnutrition, caused by the lack of food to be consumed. This situation was responsible for the people’s death of starvation. The life of Sukabumi people was physically and psychologically suffering under the Japanese occupation in West Java, Indonesia.

KEY WORDS: Japanese occupation, Moslem scholar, propaganda, paddy collection and “romusha” programs, economic decreasing, and suffering of Sukabumi people.

About the Author: Dr. H. Sulasman is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Islamic Civilization, Faculty of Adab and Humanities UIN (State Islamic University) Sunan Gunung Djati, Jalan A.H. Nasution, No.105 Cipadung, Bandung 40614, West Java, Indonesia. For academic interests, he can be contacted via e-mail at: sulasman14@yahoo.com

How to cite this article? Sulasman. (2014). “The Heat of the Sunrise: The Suffering of Sukabumi People during the Japanese Occupation in West Java, Indonesia (1942-1945)” in TAWARIKH: International Journal for Historical Studies, Vol.6(1) October, pp.93-104. Bandung, Indonesia: Minda Masagi Press and UNHAS Makassar, ISSN 2085-0980.

Chronicle of the article: Accepted (September 17, 2013); Revised (June 25, 2014); and Published (October 28, 2014).


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