Java Essay: The history and culture of a southern country encompasses many different aspects of the history of Java, Indonesia, offering a unique insight into the Asian country and exploring how its history has impacted on its culture. Author Masatoshi Iguchi explores a panoply of historical events, ranging from the deportation of Japanese Christians in the early 17th century to Batavia - the Indonesian capital now commonly known as Jakarta - to the history of the kingdoms that built Borobudur and Prambanan. The study of stone inscriptions from ancient and medieval times, as well as a number of old records and documents of both domestic and foreign origins, are intertwined with the author's own insight and thought on the facts and events of Indonesia. Masatoshi's personal experiences of visiting the indigenous people of Indonesia highlights the interesting nature of a country not yet fully understood. Within the book is an abundance of photographs and drawings, intended to provide readers with visual aids that further their insight into this country's history and culture. Written in an accessible style, with reference to external sources, Java Essay is a history book that will appeal to readers with an interest in the history and culture of Indonesia. It will prove a fascinating read for academics, as well as travellers and visitors to Indonesia alike.
Masatoshi Iguchi was born in Japan and received a PhD from the Tokyo Institute of Technology in 1966. As a polymer scientist, he spent most of his career in a government research laboratory. Having spent time in Indonesia for research purposes during his career, he became interested in the history and culture of Java, studying it for the past ten years. Masatoshi has previously published Java Essay in Japanese (Maruzen Planet, 2013), which sold beyond expectation in its first six months.