Fashion Style of Japanese Immigrants in Colonial Indonesia: A Preliminary Research Based on Visual Sources Observation

Aji Cahyo Baskoro


This paper is an initial study of the Dutch East Indies Japanese immigrants fashion style. The research was conducted by observing primary sources in the form of photographs of Japanese people appearing in various Japanese memoirs and newspapers published in colonial Java. From these observations, it can be seen that the Japanese in the Dutch East Indies very often appeared in Western clothing, although on certain occasions, they still wore traditional Japanese clothing. This style of dress is rooted in the modernization that occurred in Japan after the Meiji Restoration in 1868 and was influenced by the recognition of the status of the Japanese as first-class citizens equal to Europeans by the Dutch East Indies government in 1899. The results of this study indicate that through the style of dress they choose, the Japanese in the Dutch East Indies wanted to assert their identity as part of the modern West as well as part of Japan's noble culture.

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