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TSUBOI, Yuji

Research Associate, Ph.D.

Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa,
Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
3-11-1 Asahi-cho, Fuchu-shi,
Tokyo, 183-8534, Japan

Email: tsuboiyuji[at]tufs.ac.jp

Personal Homepage:

Research interests: Southeast Asian History (History of British Malaya)


Making of the Malay nation in the multi-ethnic society

My research interest is on history of British Malaya from the late 19th century to the Malayan independence, focusing on the process of formation of the Malay nation in the multi-ethnic society. As the Malay Peninsula had been sparsely populated, the Malays, though regarded as natives of the region, had taken its form as the result of continuous inflow of immigrants. Meanwhile, the British rule brought rigid frameworks such as the polity, and racial concepts. My perspective is the role of immigrants and ‘foreign Malays’ in the process of the formation of the Malay nation. Common religion (Islam) and language (Malay) played an important role in that process. In particular, Jawi (Malay in Arabic scripts) had led many foreigners from the Islamic world into the framework of Malays. Focus on Jawi materials in the colonial records and Jawi periodicals would reveal the public sphere in the Malay language and interactions among various actors toward the formation of the Malay nation.

My recent activities have focused on Jawi periodicals published from the 1930s to the 60s. I am in charge of joint research project of Center for Integrated Area Studies (CIAS), Kyoto University, on Jawi monthly magazine Qalam, published during the 1950s and the 60s in Singapore, for constructing the digital archives of Qalam in cooperation with several Malaysian institutions. In addition, I am in the process of collecting Jawi newspapers published in the 1930s. These materials reveal thoughts of urban Malay Muslims with various backgrounds.


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