B01 Public offering(2016-2017) YOSHIDA

B01 Public Offering:  Comparative History I


Research topic: Institutionalizing the passport in the colony: a historical inquiry into regulations of freedom of movement and visa in the Dutch East Indies

Research Number: 16H00740

Name:Makoto Yoshida

Affiliation ・Title:  Fukuoka Women’s University ・Associate Professor


Issuing a passport to nationals presupposes the possession of nationality. This is taken for granted internationally, since in the modern system of international law, each person belongs to a particular nation state. However, placing this assumption into historical context undermines the apparently sound foundation of the trinity between passport, nationality, and citizen. The passport is a relatively recent invention, and can be traced back no further than the 18th century, as John Torpey has argued in his book ‘The Invention of the Passport’. According to Torpey, it was an identity document that served as an administrative device to help burgeoning nation states exert control over citizens and monopolize their identity.

Institutionalizing the passport signifies the state monopolization of legitimate means of movement by citizens across state boundaries; on the other hand, it is a corollary of free movement by citizens within that state. Freedom of movement and the passport in the Dutch East Indies around the turn of the 20th century provide a fascinating case to this double-sided nature of the passport. The entire population in the Dutch East Indies was classified into three

categories: European, Foreign Oriental, and Native. Only the small minority of Europeans had the right of freedom of movement; the other two groups were not legally granted this freedom, neither across nor within the Indies’ borders, until 1918. By examining an overview of the legal codification of free movement, I illustrate how the passport was institutionalized in the colony and what distinctive/characteristic features of colonial governance were.


【Research Result】




・吉田信、2017年1月、「法主体としてのインドネシア人の創造」『講座アジアの法整備支援 第6巻インドネシア』旬報社



・吉田信、共著、2016、『女性から描く世界史 17~20世紀への新しいアプローチ』勉誠出版



【Research Activity】

Field Research





Presentation at Conference



・吉田 信、2016年10月8日、「オランダ領東インドにおける旅券制度の構築と移動の自由」朱印船科研第7回研究会,東京大学史料編纂所

・Yoshida M., 28 September 2016, Institutionalizing the Passport in the Colony: a brief overview of regulation on the freedom of movement in the Dutch East Indies, KITLV brown bug lunch talk,, KITLV, Leiden, the Netherlands.


Presentation at International Conference

・Yoshida M., 25 June, 2017、’Proving ‘Japaneseness’: passport control and the problem of identification in the Dutch East Indies’, AAS-in-ASIA Conference, Seoul

・YOSHIDA M. 19-20 March 2016, ‘“Police Actions” or Colonial War? Shifting Attitudes of the Dutch society toward the Military Operations in Indonesia, 1946-1949’, Networking Southeast Asia, Korea and Japan: Facing Urgent and Fundamental Issues,  Inamori Memorial Building, Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan

・YOSHIDA M., 11-14 August 2015,  ‘Institutionalizing the Passport in the Colony: A Brief Overview of Regulations on Freedom of Movement in the Dutch East Indies’, The European Association for Southeast Asian Studies (EuroSEAS) 8th conference, , Vienna, Austria

・YOSHIDA M. 5-9 July 2015, ‘Colonial surveillance, passport, and nationality: regulating entry and free movement of the Japanese in the Dutch East Indies, 1899-1918’, The International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) 9, Adelaide, Australia.

・YOSHIDA M., 29-31 May 2015, ‘Colonial surveillance and freedom of movement: passport issues of the Japanese in the Dutch East Indies, 1899-1918’, Migration in Global History: Peoples, Plants, Plagues, and Ports, The Third Congress of the Asian Association of World Historians(AAWH),  Singapore.




【Social Contribution】(Newspaper, Magazine, TV, Radio etc)