Marquis Tokugawa, Journeys to Java, ITB Press 2004

Preface to the Web Edition

The English translation of Marquis Yoshichika Tokugawa’s Journeys to Java was published from ITB Press (Bandung Institute of Technology Press) in May 2004, shortly after my retirement, totally revising an earlier manuscript that had been printed under the name of Travels around Java in 1920s and delivered to the participants of the First and the Second International Workshop on Green Polymers, organised by The Indonesian Polymer Association and held in Bandung-Bogor in 1996 and 2000, respectively. The book was also retranslated into Indonesian by my young colleagues and published as Perdjalanan moenoedjoe Djawa from the same press in 2006.


Private book 1996, 2000  Enlarge

English Edition 2004  Enlarge

Indonesian Edition 2006  Enlarge

  Those who obtained the copy appreciated this translation, saying that they learnt the fact that such an enjoyable travelogue had existed and that they were touched by the personality of the author. It was rather unfortunate that the distribution channel of the academic press was limited within Indonesia, so that the book was not much read world-wide. In fact, I was recently dumbed by learning that some misunderstanding was there about the purpose of the Marquis Tokugawa’s journeys to Java in the review of my new book, Java Essay, in The Jakarta Post: “Toshi [Masatoshi Iguchi] describes the Marquis as ‘an enlightened liberal Japanese aristocrat who was educated as a biologist and historian’. It's possible he may also have been spying on Dutch military capabilities, as did other pre-war Japanese visitors, though Toshi thinks this most unlikely.”

    The environment surrounding the publishing world has drastically changed during the last decade. POD (print-on-demand) and electronic-publications were among choices for the republishing of the book but Mr. Yoshitaka Tokugawa, the present head of the Owari-Tokugawa Family, told me to put the contents in my own website would be the best. Thus, the manuscript of the ITB Press Edition has been reformatted into the html format.

    Sorrowful news that has to be added was the premature demise of Mr. Yoshinobu Tokugawa, the former head of the Owari-Tokugawa Family, in 2005 at the age of seventy-one, who had encouraged and supported me to work on his grandfather’s book. Another occurrence that was quite stunning was the discovery of old 16 mm cine-films in the corner of the storehouse of The Tokugawa Art Museum in 2010. They belonged to Marquis Yoshichika and included three reels that had filmed various scenes written in his JOURNEYS TO DJAKATRA. The existence of such films was unknown for more than fifty years even to the late Mr. Yoshinobu Tokugawa as he never mentioned. The films of immense value as movie record of the old day Dutch East Indies will be opened to public in future.

July 2015,

Masatoshi Iguchi