Japan and Indonesia: Four Centuries of Textile Exchange

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Hand-drawn silk batik made in Indonesia for the Japanese market. Yogyakarta, Ardiyanto batik workshop, 2018. Collection of Maria Wronska-Friend.

Japan and Indonesia: Four Centuries of Textile Exchange

by Dr. Maria Wronska-Friend

The Textile Study Group cordially invites you to join us for our last meeting of the year and to bring along relevant textiles for discussion.

The trade in Indonesian textiles to Japan was initiated by the Dutch, who for more than two centuries were the only Europeans allowed to trade with Japan. In the early 20th century, Japan established direct contacts with Indonesia, opening a Japanese batik factory in Java that produced silk kimonos and obis. With the outbreak of the second World War, Japanese garments became part of political agitation in Java. Interestingly, nowadays, there are at least a dozen batik workshops on Java that produce specialised range of fabrics for the Japanese market.

Maria Wronska-Friend is an anthropologist and museum curator with a particular interest in the interrelationship between people and objects. She has been associated with James Cook University since 1992, currently as Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at The Cairns institute. She holds an MA in Anthropology from the University of Lotz and a Ph D from the institute of Arts, Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, Poland.

Location: Annie Wyatt Room, National Trust Centre, Upper Fort St, Observatory Hill, Sydney.


14 November, 2023
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm AEDT
$20 – $30
Event Category:




National Trust Centre
Upper Fort Street, Observatory Hill
Millers Point, New South Wales 2000
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(02) 9258 0123
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