Thursday 23 October 2014 we had free time in Nagoya. Yasuko Kobayashi had invited her excellent student in Nanzan University, Aoi Sugiura, to accompany us to several places of interest in Nagoya. Aoi speaks Indonesian fluently, thanks to a longer stay and some shorter visits (Yogyakarta longest period, but also Minangkabau and Makassar). Aoi wants for this moment to work as a journalist in Japan and leaves her engaged professor a little bit frustrated. But Yasuko also had to acknowledge that it is not easy to find money for graduate studies. And after that: job opportunities in Asian Studies are limited and Asian Studies is mostly concentrated on China, not on Indonesia or other Southeast Asian countries.
I have no pictures of the afternoon sessions at Nanzan University, where Yasuko was also quite busy with students: she wants to be good in research, but gives all attention and energy also to stimulating students and trying to make true scholars of them.
The lecture was about the weak sides of the Indonesian religious policy. Pancasila was initially an instrument to unite Indonesia (Sukarno's nationalism). Under Soehartorule it became an instrument to curb communism. This necessitated the New Order regime to give more place in the administration for religions. The Marriage Law of 1874 that delegated marriage to officials of the Ministry of Religion was a first step to combine religious and political administration. This was later followed by the extension of religious education and leaving it to orthodox representatives of the religions, by the codification of shari'a courts, by efforts to regulate religious harmony, giving more and more influence to religious institutions and not caring for a good separation or religion and politics.