Java

Java

Overview
Java is an island
Island
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot , or holm...

 of Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

. With a population of 135 million (excluding the 3.6 million on Madura
Madura
Madura is an Indonesian island off the northeastern coast of Java. The island comprises an area of approximately 4,250 km². Madura is administered as part of the East Java province. It is separated from Java by the narrow Strait of Madura.-History:...

 which is administered as part of Java), it is the world's most populous island, and one of the most densely populated regions in the world. It is home to 60% of Indonesia's population. The Indonesian capital city, Jakarta
Jakarta
Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Officially known as the Special Capital Territory of Jakarta, it is located on the northwest coast of Java, has an area of , and a population of 9,580,000. Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political centre...

, is in west Java. Much of Indonesian history took place on Java; it was the centre of powerful Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

-Buddhist
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 empires, Islamic sultanates, the core of the colonial Dutch East Indies
Dutch East Indies
The Dutch East Indies was a Dutch colony that became modern Indonesia following World War II. It was formed from the nationalised colonies of the Dutch East India Company, which came under the administration of the Netherlands government in 1800....

, and was at the centre of Indonesia's campaign for independence
Indonesian National Revolution
The Indonesian National Revolution or Indonesian War of Independence was an armed conflict and diplomatic struggle between Indonesia and the Dutch Empire, and an internal social revolution...

.
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Encyclopedia
Java is an island
Island
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot , or holm...

 of Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

. With a population of 135 million (excluding the 3.6 million on Madura
Madura
Madura is an Indonesian island off the northeastern coast of Java. The island comprises an area of approximately 4,250 km². Madura is administered as part of the East Java province. It is separated from Java by the narrow Strait of Madura.-History:...

 which is administered as part of Java), it is the world's most populous island, and one of the most densely populated regions in the world. It is home to 60% of Indonesia's population. The Indonesian capital city, Jakarta
Jakarta
Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Officially known as the Special Capital Territory of Jakarta, it is located on the northwest coast of Java, has an area of , and a population of 9,580,000. Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political centre...

, is in west Java. Much of Indonesian history took place on Java; it was the centre of powerful Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

-Buddhist
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 empires, Islamic sultanates, the core of the colonial Dutch East Indies
Dutch East Indies
The Dutch East Indies was a Dutch colony that became modern Indonesia following World War II. It was formed from the nationalised colonies of the Dutch East India Company, which came under the administration of the Netherlands government in 1800....

, and was at the centre of Indonesia's campaign for independence
Indonesian National Revolution
The Indonesian National Revolution or Indonesian War of Independence was an armed conflict and diplomatic struggle between Indonesia and the Dutch Empire, and an internal social revolution...

. The island dominates Indonesian social, political and economic life.

Formed mostly as the result of volcanic events, Java is the 13th largest island in the world and the fifth largest island in Indonesia. A chain of volcanic mountains forms an east-west spine along the island. It has three main languages, though Javanese
Javanese language
Javanese language is the language of the Javanese people from the central and eastern parts of the island of Java, in Indonesia. In addition, there are also some pockets of Javanese speakers in the northern coast of western Java...

 is dominant and is the native language of 60 million people in Indonesia, most of whom live on Java. Most residents are bilingual
Multilingualism
Multilingualism is the act of using, or promoting the use of, multiple languages, either by an individual speaker or by a community of speakers. Multilingual speakers outnumber monolingual speakers in the world's population. Multilingualism is becoming a social phenomenon governed by the needs of...

, with Indonesian
Indonesian language
Indonesian is the official language of Indonesia. Indonesian is a normative form of the Riau Islands dialect of Malay, an Austronesian language which has been used as a lingua franca in the Indonesian archipelago for centuries....

 as their first or second language. While the majority of the people of Java are Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

, Java has a diverse mixture of religious beliefs, ethnicities and cultures.

The island is divided into four provinces, West Java
West Java
West Java , with a population of over 43 million, is the most populous and most densely populated province of Indonesia. Located on the island of Java, it is slightly smaller in area than densely populated Taiwan, but with nearly double the population...

, Central Java
Central Java
Central Java is a province of Indonesia. The administrative capital is Semarang. It is one of six provinces on the island of Java.This province is the province of high Human Development in Indonesia and its Points Development Index countries is equivalent to Lebanon. The province of Central Java...

, East Java
East Java
East Java is a province of Indonesia. It is located on the eastern part of the island of Java and includes neighboring Madura and islands to its east and to its north East Java is a province of Indonesia. It is located on the eastern part of the island of Java and includes neighboring Madura and...

, and Banten
Banten
Banten is a province of Indonesia in Java. Formerly part of the Province of West Java, it was made a separate province in 2000.The administrative center is Serang. Preliminary results from the 2010 census counted some 10.6 million people.-Geography:...

, and two special districts, Jakarta
Jakarta
Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Officially known as the Special Capital Territory of Jakarta, it is located on the northwest coast of Java, has an area of , and a population of 9,580,000. Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political centre...

 and Yogyakarta
Yogyakarta (special region)
The Special Region of Yogyakarta , on the island of Java is the smallest province of Indonesia . Yogyakarta is the only province in Indonesia that is still governed by a pre-colonial monarchy, the Sultan of Yogyakarta, who serves as the hereditary governor of the province. The city of Yogyakarta...

.

Etymology


The origins of the name 'Java' are not clear. One possibility is that the island was named after the jáwa-wut
Foxtail millet
Foxtail millet is the second most widely planted species of millet, and the most important in East Asia. It has the longest history of cultivation among the millets, having been grown in China since sometime in the sixth millennium BC...

 plant, which was said to be common in the island during the time, and that prior to Indianization the island had different names. There are other possible sources: the word jaú and its variations mean "beyond" or "distant". And, in Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 yava means barley, a plant for which the island was famous. "Yawadvipa" is mentioned in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

's earliest epic, the Ramayana
Ramayana
The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic. It is ascribed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon , considered to be itihāsa. The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India and Nepal, the other being the Mahabharata...

. Sugriva, the chief of Rama
Rama
Rama or full name Ramachandra is considered to be the seventh avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism, and a king of Ayodhya in ancient Indian...

's army dispatched his men to Yawadvipa, the island of Java, in search of Sita
SITA
SITA is a multinational information technology company specialising in providing IT and telecommunication services to the air transport industry...

. It was hence referred to in Indian, specifically Tamil literature by the Sanskrit name "yāvaka dvīpa" (dvīpa = island). Another source states that the "Java" word is derived from a Proto-Austronesian
Proto-Austronesian language
The Proto-Austronesian language is the reconstructed ancestor of the Austronesian languages, one of the world's major language families. However, Ross notes that what may be the most divergent languages, Tsou, Rukai, and Puyuma, are not addressed by the reconstructions, which therefore cannot...

 root word, meaning 'home'.

Geography




Java lies between Sumatra
Sumatra
Sumatra is an island in western Indonesia, westernmost of the Sunda Islands. It is the largest island entirely in Indonesia , and the sixth largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 with a population of 50,365,538...

 to the west and Bali
Bali
Bali is an Indonesian island located in the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to the east...

 to the east. Borneo
Borneo
Borneo is the third largest island in the world and is located north of Java Island, Indonesia, at the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia....

 lies to the north and Christmas Island
Christmas Island
The Territory of Christmas Island is a territory of Australia in the Indian Ocean. It is located northwest of the Western Australian city of Perth, south of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, and ENE of the Cocos Islands....

 to the south. It is the world's 13th largest island. Java is surrounded by Java Sea
Java Sea
The Java Sea is a large shallow sea on the Sunda Shelf. It was formed as sea levels rose at the end of the last ice age. The Java Sea lies between the Indonesian islands of Borneo to the north, Java to the south; Sumatra to the west, and Sulawesi to the east...

 in the north, Sunda Strait
Sunda Strait
The Sunda Strait is the strait between the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra. It connects the Java Sea to the Indian Ocean...

 in the west, Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

 in the south and Bali Strait
Bali Strait
Bali Strait is a 2.4 kilometer strait between the Indonesian islands of Bali and Java....

 and Madura Strait
Madura Strait
Madura Strait is a stretch of water that separates the Indonesian islands of Java and Madura. The islands of Kambing, Giliraja, Genteng, and Ketapang lie in the Strait....

 in the east.

Java is almost entirely of volcanic
Volcano
2. Bedrock3. Conduit 4. Base5. Sill6. Dike7. Layers of ash emitted by the volcano8. Flank| 9. Layers of lava emitted by the volcano10. Throat11. Parasitic cone12. Lava flow13. Vent14. Crater15...

 origin; it contains thirty-eight mountains forming an east-west spine which have at one time or another been active volcano
Volcano
2. Bedrock3. Conduit 4. Base5. Sill6. Dike7. Layers of ash emitted by the volcano8. Flank| 9. Layers of lava emitted by the volcano10. Throat11. Parasitic cone12. Lava flow13. Vent14. Crater15...

es. The highest volcano in Java is Mount Semeru
Semeru
Semeru, or Mount Semeru , is a volcano located in East Java, Indonesia. It is the highest mountain on the island of Java...

 (3,676 m). The most active volcano in Java and also in Indonesia is Mount Merapi
Mount Merapi
Mount Merapi, Gunung Merapi , is an active stratovolcano located on the border between Central Java and Yogyakarta, Indonesia. It is the most active volcano in Indonesia and has erupted regularly since 1548...

 (2,968 m). See Volcanoes of Java
Volcanoes of Java
Java is almost entirely of volcanic origin, and contains numerous volcanoes, 20 of which have been active in recent historical times. As is the case for many other Indonesiain islands, volcanoes have played a vital role in the geological and human history of Java. Indeed, land is created on Java...

.


Further mountains and highlands help to split the interior into a series of relatively isolated regions suitable for wet-rice
Paddy field
A paddy field is a flooded parcel of arable land used for growing rice and other semiaquatic crops. Paddy fields are a typical feature of rice farming in east, south and southeast Asia. Paddies can be built into steep hillsides as terraces and adjacent to depressed or steeply sloped features such...

 cultivation; the rice lands of Java are among the richest in the world. Java was the first place where Indonesian coffee
Indonesian coffee
Indonesia is currently the fourth largest producer of coffee in the world. Coffee in Indonesia began with its colonial history, and has played an important part in the growth of the country. Indonesia is located within an ideal geography for coffee plantations...

 was grown, starting in 1699. Today, Coffea arabica
Coffea arabica
Coffea arabica is a species of Coffea originally indigenous to the mountains of Yemen in the Arabian Peninsula, hence its name, and also from the southwestern highlands of Ethiopia and southeastern Sudan. It is also known as the "coffee shrub of Arabia", "mountain coffee" or "arabica coffee"...

 is grown on the Ijen Plateau by small-holders and larger plantations.

The area of Java is approximately 139,000 km2. The island's longest river
River
A river is a natural watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, a lake, a sea, or another river. In a few cases, a river simply flows into the ground or dries up completely before reaching another body of water. Small rivers may also be called by several other names, including...

 is the 600 km long Solo River. The river rises from its source in central Java at the Lawu
Mount Lawu
Mount Lawu, or Gunung Lawu, is a massive compound stratovolcano straddling the border between East Java and Central Java, Indonesia. The north side is deeply eroded and the eastern side contains parasitic crater lakes and parasitic cones. A fumarolic area is located on the south flank at 2,550 m...

 volcano, then flows north and eastward to its mouth in the Java Sea
Java Sea
The Java Sea is a large shallow sea on the Sunda Shelf. It was formed as sea levels rose at the end of the last ice age. The Java Sea lies between the Indonesian islands of Borneo to the north, Java to the south; Sumatra to the west, and Sulawesi to the east...

 near the city of Surabaya
Surabaya
Surabaya is Indonesia's second-largest city with a population of over 2.7 million , and the capital of the province of East Java...

.

Temperatures throughout the year average 22°C to 29°C and humidity average 75%. The northern coastal plains are normally hotter averaging 34°C during the day in the dry season
Dry season
The dry season is a term commonly used when describing the weather in the tropics. The weather in the tropics is dominated by the tropical rain belt, which oscillates from the northern to the southern tropics over the course of the year...

. The south coast is generally cooler than the north, and highland areas inland are cooler again. The wet season
Wet season
The the wet season, or rainy season, is the time of year, covering one or more months, when most of the average annual rainfall in a region occurs. The term green season is also sometimes used as a euphemism by tourist authorities. Areas with wet seasons are dispersed across portions of the...

 begins in October ending in April during which rain falls mostly in the afternoons and intermittently during other parts of the year. The wettest months are January and February.

West Java is wetter than East Java and mountainous regions receive much higher rainfall. The Parahyangan
Parahyangan
Parahyangan or Priangan or Preanger is the mountainous region in West Java province on the island of Java in Indonesia.It covers the regencies of:* Bandung* West Bandung * Cianjur* Garut * Purwakarta...

 highlands of West Java receive over 4,000 mm annually, while the north coast of East Java receives 900 mm annually.

Administrative division


The island is administratively divided into four provinces
Provinces of Indonesia
The province is the highest tier of local government subnational entity in Indonesia. Each province has its own local government, headed by a governor, and has its own legislative body...

:
  • Banten
    Banten
    Banten is a province of Indonesia in Java. Formerly part of the Province of West Java, it was made a separate province in 2000.The administrative center is Serang. Preliminary results from the 2010 census counted some 10.6 million people.-Geography:...

    , capital: Serang
    Serang
    Serang is a regency of Banten province, Indonesia. The administrative center of the regency and the capital of the province is the independent municipality of Serang...

  • West Java
    West Java
    West Java , with a population of over 43 million, is the most populous and most densely populated province of Indonesia. Located on the island of Java, it is slightly smaller in area than densely populated Taiwan, but with nearly double the population...

    , capital: Bandung
    Bandung
    Bandung is the capital of West Java province in Indonesia, and the country's third largest city, and 2nd largest metropolitan area in Indonesia, with a population of 7.4 million in 2007. Located 768 metres above sea level, approximately 140 km southeast of Jakarta, Bandung has cooler...

  • Central Java
    Central Java
    Central Java is a province of Indonesia. The administrative capital is Semarang. It is one of six provinces on the island of Java.This province is the province of high Human Development in Indonesia and its Points Development Index countries is equivalent to Lebanon. The province of Central Java...

    , capital: Semarang
    Semarang
    - Economy :The western part of the city is home to many industrial parks and factories. The port of Semarang is located on the north coast and it is the main shipping port for the province of Central Java. Many small manufacturers are located in Semarang, producing goods such as textiles,...

  • East Java
    East Java
    East Java is a province of Indonesia. It is located on the eastern part of the island of Java and includes neighboring Madura and islands to its east and to its north East Java is a province of Indonesia. It is located on the eastern part of the island of Java and includes neighboring Madura and...

    , capital: Surabaya
    Surabaya
    Surabaya is Indonesia's second-largest city with a population of over 2.7 million , and the capital of the province of East Java...


and one special region:
  • Yogyakarta
    Yogyakarta (special region)
    The Special Region of Yogyakarta , on the island of Java is the smallest province of Indonesia . Yogyakarta is the only province in Indonesia that is still governed by a pre-colonial monarchy, the Sultan of Yogyakarta, who serves as the hereditary governor of the province. The city of Yogyakarta...

    ,

and one special capital district:
  • Jakarta
    Jakarta
    Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Officially known as the Special Capital Territory of Jakarta, it is located on the northwest coast of Java, has an area of , and a population of 9,580,000. Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political centre...

    .

History


Fossilised remains of Homo erectus
Homo erectus
Homo erectus is an extinct species of hominid that lived from the end of the Pliocene epoch to the later Pleistocene, about . The species originated in Africa and spread as far as India, China and Java. There is still disagreement on the subject of the classification, ancestry, and progeny of H...

, popularly known as the "Java Man
Java Man
Java Man is the name given to fossils discovered in 1891 at Trinil - Ngawi Regency on the banks of the Solo River in East Java, Indonesia, one of the first known specimens of Homo erectus...

", dating back 1.7 million years were found along the banks of the Bengawan Solo River
Bengawan Solo River
Bengawan Solo River is the longest river on the Indonesian island of Java, approximately 600 km in length. Apart from its importance as watercourse to the inhabitants and farmlands of the eastern and northern parts of the island, it is a renowned region in paleoanthropology circles...

.

The island's exceptional fertility and rainfall allowed the development of wet-field rice cultivation, which required sophisticated levels of cooperation between villages. Out of these village alliances, small kingdoms developed. The chain of volcanic mountains and associated highlands running the length of Java kept its interior regions and peoples separate and relatively isolated. Before the advent of Islamic states and European colonialism, the rivers provided the main means of communication, although Java's many rivers are mostly short. Only the Brantas
Brantas
The Brantas is the longest river in East Java. It drains an area over 11,000km² from the southern slope of Mount Kawi-Kelud-Butak, Mount Wilis, and the northern slopes of Mount Liman-Limas, Mount Welirang, and Mount Anjasmoro...

 and Sala rivers could provide long-distance communication, and thus their valleys supported the centres of major kingdoms. A system of roads, permanent bridges and toll gates is thought to have been established in Java by at least the mid-seventeenth century. Local powers could disrupt the routes as could the wet season and road use was highly dependent on constant maintenance. Subsequently, communication between Java's population was difficult.

Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms era


The Taruma
Tarumanagara
Tarumanagara or Taruma Kingdom or just Taruma is an early Sundanese Indianized kingdom, whose fifth-century ruler, Purnavarman, produced the earliest known inscriptions on Java island...

 and Sunda
Sunda Kingdom
The Sunda Kingdom was a Hindu kingdom located on the western part of Java from 669 to around 1579, covering areas of present-day Banten, Jakarta, West Java, and the western part of Central Java...

 kingdoms of western Java appeared in the fourth and seventh centuries respectively. However, the first major principality was the Medang Kingdom which was founded in central Java at the beginning of the eight century. Medang's religion centred on the Hindu god Shiva
Shiva
Shiva is a major Hindu deity, and is the destroyer god or transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. God Shiva is a yogi who has notice of everything that happens in the world and is the main aspect of life. Yet one with great power lives a life of a...

, and the kingdom produced some of Java's earliest Hindu temples on the Dieng Plateau
Dieng Plateau
Dieng Plateu, is a marshy plateau that forms the floor of a caldera complex on the Dieng active volcano complex near Wonosobo, Central Java, Indonesia. Referred to as "Dieng" by Indonesians, it sits at 2,000m above sea level far from major population centres...

. Around 8th century the Sailendra
Sailendra
Sailendra is the name of an influential Indonesian dynasty that emerged in 8th century Java.The Sailendras were active promoters of Mahayana Buddhism and covered the Kedu Plain of Central Java with Buddhist monuments, including the world famous Borobudur.The Sailendras are considered to be a...

 dynasty rose in Kedu Plain
Kedu Plain
Kedu Plain is the fertile volcanic plain that lies between the volcanoes Mount Sumbing and Mount Sundoro to the west, and Mount Merbabu and Mount Merapi to the east on Central Java, Indonesia. The plain also bordering the Menoreh hills in the southwest and Prambanan Plain in the southeast...

 and become the patron of Mahayana
Mahayana
Mahāyāna is one of the two main existing branches of Buddhism and a term for classification of Buddhist philosophies and practice...

 Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

. This ancient kingdom built monuments such as 9th century Borobudur
Borobudur
Borobudur, or Barabudur, is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist monument near Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. The monument comprises six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues...

 and Prambanan
Prambanan
Prambanan is a ninth century Hindu temple compound in Central Java, Indonesia, dedicated to the Trimurti, the expression of God as the Creator , the Sustainer and the Destroyer...

 in central Java.


Around 10th century the centre of power shifted from central to eastern Java. The eastern Javanese kingdoms of Kediri, Singhasari
Singhasari
Singhasari was a kingdom located in east Java between 1222 and 1292. The kingdom succeeded Kingdom of Kediri as the dominant kingdom in eastern Java.-Foundation:...

 and Majapahit were mainly dependent on rice agriculture, yet also pursued trade within the Indonesian archipelago with China and India.

Majapahit was established by Wijaya
Raden Wijaya
Raden Wijaya was a Javanese King, the founder and the first monarch of Majapahit empire. The history of his founding of Majapahit was written in several records, including Pararaton and Negarakertagama...

 and by the end of the reign of Hayam Wuruk
Hayam Wuruk
Hayam Wuruk, also called Rajasanagara, , was a Javanese King and the fourth monarch of Majapahit empire. Together with his prime minister Gajah Mada, he reigned the empire at the time of its greatest power. He was preceded by Tribhuwana Wijayatunggadewi and succeeded by his son in law...

 (r. 1350-89) it claimed sovereignty over the entire Indonesian archipelago, although control was likely limited to Java, Bali and Madura. Hayam Wuruk's prime minister, Gajah Mada
Gajah Mada
Gajah Mada was, according to Javanese old manuscripts, poems and mythology, a powerful military leader and mahapatih or prime minister of the Majapahit Empire, credited with bringing the empire to its peak of glory...

, led many of the kingdom's territorial conquests. Previous Javanese kingdoms had their power based in agriculture, however, Majapahit took control of ports and shipping lanes and became Java's first commercial empire. With the death of Hayam Wuruk and the coming of Islam to Indonesia, Majapahit went into decline.

Spread of Islam and rise of Islamic sultanates


By the end of the 16th century, Islam, through conversion firstly amongst the island's elite, had surpassed Hinduism and Buddhism as the dominant religion in Java. During this era, the Islamic kingdoms of Demak, Cirebon, and Banten were ascendant. The Mataram Sultanate
Mataram Sultanate
The Sultanate of Mataram was the last major independent Javanese empire on Java before the island was colonized by the Dutch. It was the dominant political force in interior Central Java from the late 16th century until the beginning of the 18th century....

 became the dominant power of central and eastern Java at the end of the 16th century. The principalities of Surabaya and Cirebon were eventually subjugated such that only Mataram and Banten were left to face the Dutch in the 17th century.

Colonial periods


Java's contact with the European colonial powers began in 1522 with a treaty between the Sunda kingdom
Sunda Kingdom
The Sunda Kingdom was a Hindu kingdom located on the western part of Java from 669 to around 1579, covering areas of present-day Banten, Jakarta, West Java, and the western part of Central Java...

 and the Portugese in Malacca
Portuguese Malacca
Portuguese Malacca was the territory of Malacca that, for 130 years , was a Portuguese colony.- History :From the writing of the Portuguese historian Emanuel Godinho de Erédia in the middle of the 16th century, the site of the old city of Malacca was named after the Myrobalans, fruit-bearing trees...

. After its failure the Portugese presence was confined to Malacca, and to the eastern islands.
In 1596, a four-ship expedition led by Cornelis de Houtman
Cornelis de Houtman
Cornelis de Houtman , brother of Frederick de Houtman, was a Dutch explorer who discovered a new sea route from Europe to Indonesia and managed to begin the Dutch spice trade...

 was the first Dutch contact with Indonesia. By the end of the 18th century the Dutch had extended their influence over the sultanates of the interior (see Dutch East India Company in Indonesia
Dutch East India Company in Indonesia
The Dutch East India Company had a presence in the Indonesian archipelago from 1603, when the first trading post was established, to 1800, when the bankrupted party was dissolved, and its possessions nationalised as the Dutch East Indies....

). While the Javanese were great warriors, internal conflict prevented them forming effective alliances against the Dutch. Remnants of the Mataram survived as the Surakarta (Solo) and Yogyakarta principalities. Javanese kings claimed to rule with divine authority and the Dutch helped them to preserve remnants of a Javanese aristocracy by confirming them as regents or district officials within the colonial administration.

Java's major role during the early part of the colonial period was as a producer of rice
Rice
Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima . As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies...

. In spice producing islands like Banda
Banda Islands
The Banda Islands are a volcanic group of ten small volcanic islands in the Banda Sea, about south of Seram Island and about east of Java, and are part of the Indonesian province of Maluku. The main town and administrative centre is Bandanaira, located on the island of the same name. They rise...

, rice was regularly imported from Java, to supply the deficiency in means of subsistence.

In 1811, Java was captured by the English
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, becoming a possession of the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

, and Sir Stamford Raffles
Stamford Raffles
Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles, FRS was a British statesman, best known for his founding of the city of Singapore . He is often described as the "Father of Singapore"...

 was appointed as the island's Governor. In 1814, Java was returned to the Dutch under the terms of the Treaty of Paris
Treaty of Paris (1814)
The Treaty of Paris, signed on 30 May 1814, ended the war between France and the Sixth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars, following an armistice signed on 23 May between Charles, Count of Artois, and the allies...

.

In 1815, there may have been 5 million people in Java. In the second half of the eighteenth century, population spurts began in districts along the north-central coast of Java, and in the nineteenth century population grew rapidly across the island. Factors for the great population growth include the impact of Dutch colonial rule including the imposed end to civil war in Java, the increase in the area under rice cultivation, and the introduction of food plants such as casava and maize
Maize
Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

 which could sustain populations that could not afford rice. Others attribute the growth to the taxation burdens and increased expansion of employment under the Cultivation System
Cultivation System
The Cultivation System , or less accurately the Culture System, was a Dutch government policy in the mid-nineteenth century for its Dutch East Indies colony...

 to which couples responded by having more children in the hope of increasing their families' ability to pay tax and buy goods. Cholera
Cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...

 claimed 100,000 lives in Java in 1820.

The advent of trucks and railways where there had previously only been buffalo and carts, telegraph systems, and more coordinated distribution systems under the colonial government all contributed to famine elimination in Java, and in turn, population growth. There were no significant famines in Java from the 1840s through to the Japanese occupation
Japanese Occupation of Indonesia
The Japanese Empire occupied Indonesia, known then as the Dutch East Indies, during World War II from March 1942 until after the end of War in 1945...

 in the 1940s. Ethnological factors are also thought to have contributed to the increase in population. In Java, there was no absolute preference for boy babies which was significant in Java where agriculture depends on the labour of both men and women. Furthermore, the age of first marriage dropped during the nineteenth century thus increasing a women's child bearing years.

Independence Time


Indonesian nationalism first took hold in Java in the early twentieth century (see Indonesian National Awakening
Indonesian National Awakening
The Indonesian National Awakening is a term for the period in the first half of the twentieth century, during which people from many parts of the archipelago first began to develop a national consciousness as "Indonesians"....

), and the struggle to secure the country's independence
Indonesian National Revolution
The Indonesian National Revolution or Indonesian War of Independence was an armed conflict and diplomatic struggle between Indonesia and the Dutch Empire, and an internal social revolution...

 following World War II was centred in Java. The abortive coup
30 September Movement
The Thirtieth of September Movement ) was a self-proclaimed organization of Indonesian National Armed Forces members who, in the early hours of 1 October 1965, assassinated six Indonesian Army generals in an abortive coup d'état. Later that morning, the organization declared that it was in control...

 and the subsequent violent anti-communist purge in 1965/66 largely took place in Java. The island has dominated Indonesian social, political and economic life, which has been the source of resentment. In 1998, preceding the fall of Suharto's 32-year presidency, large riots
Jakarta Riots of May 1998
The May 1998 Riots of Indonesia were incidents of mass violence that occurred throughout Indonesia, mainly in Medan in the province of North Sumatra , the capital city of Jakarta , and Surakarta in the province of Central Java...

 targeted the Chinese Indonesian
Chinese Indonesian
Chinese Indonesians, also called the Indonesian Chinese, are an overseas Chinese group whose ancestors emigrated from China to Indonesia, formerly a colony of the Netherlands known as the Dutch East Indies...

s in another series of pogroms.

Demography



With a combined population of 136.5 million in the 2010 census (including Madura's 3.6 million), and at current growth rates, 139 million combined in 2011, is the most populous island in the world and is home to 57% of Indonesia's population. At 1,062 people per km² in 2010 it is also one of the most densely-populated parts of the world.
Though little population growth is registered in Central Java, East Java, and Yogyakarta, these regions have higher birth rates than one would assume due to mass emigration to the Western side of Java, Sumatra, Borneo, and Papua. Approximately 45% of the population of Indonesia is ethnically Javanese., Sundanese make a large portion of Java's population as well.

The dense Western third of the island (West Java, Banten, and DKI Jakarta) has an even higher population density exceeding 1,400 per km2 and is taking up the lion's share of population growth of Java.
Province or Special District Capital Area
km²2)
Area
%
Population
Census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

 of 2000
Population
Census
Census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

 of 2010
Population
Density in 2010
Banten
Banten
Banten is a province of Indonesia in Java. Formerly part of the Province of West Java, it was made a separate province in 2000.The administrative center is Serang. Preliminary results from the 2010 census counted some 10.6 million people.-Geography:...

Serang
Serang
Serang is a regency of Banten province, Indonesia. The administrative center of the regency and the capital of the province is the independent municipality of Serang...

9,160.7 7.1 8,098,277 10,644,030 1,162
DKI Jakarta - 664 0.5 8,361,079 9,588,198 14,440
West Java
West Java
West Java , with a population of over 43 million, is the most populous and most densely populated province of Indonesia. Located on the island of Java, it is slightly smaller in area than densely populated Taiwan, but with nearly double the population...

Bandung
Bandung
Bandung is the capital of West Java province in Indonesia, and the country's third largest city, and 2nd largest metropolitan area in Indonesia, with a population of 7.4 million in 2007. Located 768 metres above sea level, approximately 140 km southeast of Jakarta, Bandung has cooler...

34,817 27.1 35,724,093 43,021,826 1,235
Central Java
Central Java
Central Java is a province of Indonesia. The administrative capital is Semarang. It is one of six provinces on the island of Java.This province is the province of high Human Development in Indonesia and its Points Development Index countries is equivalent to Lebanon. The province of Central Java...

Semarang
Semarang
- Economy :The western part of the city is home to many industrial parks and factories. The port of Semarang is located on the north coast and it is the main shipping port for the province of Central Java. Many small manufacturers are located in Semarang, producing goods such as textiles,...

32,801 25.3 31,223,258 32,380,687 995
Yogyakarta Yogyakarta 3,133 2.4 3,121,045 3,452,390 1,084
East Java
East Java
East Java is a province of Indonesia. It is located on the eastern part of the island of Java and includes neighboring Madura and islands to its east and to its north East Java is a province of Indonesia. It is located on the eastern part of the island of Java and includes neighboring Madura and...

Surabaya
Surabaya
Surabaya is Indonesia's second-largest city with a population of over 2.7 million , and the capital of the province of East Java...

47,922 37.3 34,765,993 37,476,011 782
Region Administered as Java Jakarta
Jakarta
Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Officially known as the Special Capital Territory of Jakarta, it is located on the northwest coast of Java, has an area of , and a population of 9,580,000. Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political centre...

128,297 100% 121,293,745 136,563,142 1,064
Madura
Madura
Madura is an Indonesian island off the northeastern coast of Java. The island comprises an area of approximately 4,250 km². Madura is administered as part of the East Java province. It is separated from Java by the narrow Strait of Madura.-History:...

 Island of East Java
- 4,250 3.3 3,230,300 3,621,646 852
Java Island1)
- 124,047 96.7 118,063,445 132,941,496 1,071

1) Other islands are included in this figure but are very small in population and area

2) Land area of provinces updated in 2010 Census figures, areas may be different than past results.

From the 1970s to the fall of the Suharto regime in 1998, the Indonesian government ran transmigration program
Transmigration program
The transmigration program was an initiative of the Dutch colonial government, and later continued by Indonesian government to move landless people from densely populated areas of Indonesia to less populous areas of the country...

s aimed at resettling the population of Java on other less-populated islands of Indonesia. This program has met with mixed results; sometimes causing conflicts between the locals and the recently arrived settler
Settler
A settler is a person who has migrated to an area and established permanent residence there, often to colonize the area. Settlers are generally people who take up residence on land and cultivate it, as opposed to nomads...

s. However, Java's share of the nation's population has fallen steadily.

Jakarta and its outskirts being the dominant metropolis is also home to people from all over the nation. East Java is also home to ethnic Balinese, as well as large numbers of Madurans due to their historic poverty.

Ethnicity and culture


The Javanese kakawin
Kakawin
Kakawin are long narrative poems composed in Old Javanese, also called "Kawi", written in verse form with rhythms and metres derived from Sanskrit literature. Poets used a formalized literary language, rather than the vernacular...

 Tantu Pagelaran
Tantu Pagelaran
Tantu Pagelaran or Tangtu Panggelaran is Old Javanese manuscript written in Kawi language originated from 15th century Majapahit period. The manuscript is describing the mythical origin of Java island.-Legend of moving Meru to Java:...

 explained the mythical origin of the island and its volcanic nature. Despite its large population and in contrast to the other larger islands of Indonesia, Java is comparatively homogeneous in ethnic composition. Only two ethnic groups are native to the island—the Javanese and Sundanese
Sundanese people
The Sundanese are an ethnic group native to the western part of the Indonesian island of Java. They number approximately 31 million, and are the second most populous of all the nation's ethncities. The Sundanese are predominantly Muslim...

. A third group is the Madurese, who inhabit the island of Madura off the north east coast of Java, and have immigrated to East Java
East Java
East Java is a province of Indonesia. It is located on the eastern part of the island of Java and includes neighboring Madura and islands to its east and to its north East Java is a province of Indonesia. It is located on the eastern part of the island of Java and includes neighboring Madura and...

 in large numbers since the 18th century. The Javanese comprise about two-thirds of the island's population, while the Sundanese and Madurese account for 20% and 10% respectively.

Four major cultural areas exist on the island: the kejawen
Javanese beliefs
Javanese beliefs have principles embodying a search for inner self but at the core is the concept of peace of mind. Although Kejawen is not strictly a religious affiliation, it addresses ethical and spiritual values as inspired by Javanese tradition. It is not a religion in usual sense of the...

or Javanese heartland, the north coast of the pasisir region, the Sunda
Sundanese people
The Sundanese are an ethnic group native to the western part of the Indonesian island of Java. They number approximately 31 million, and are the second most populous of all the nation's ethncities. The Sundanese are predominantly Muslim...

 lands of West Java, and the eastern salient, also known as Blambangan
Banyuwangi
The Regency of Banyuwangi is located at the easternmost end of the Indonesian island of Java and it is a very strategic area for those who want to go to Bali, since it also serves as an important ferry port between Java and Bali. It is surrounded by mountains and forests to the west; by sea to the...

. Madura makes up a fifth area having close cultural ties with coastal Java. The kejawen Javanese culture is the island's most dominant. Java's remaining aristocracy are based here, and it is the region from where the majority of Indonesia's army, business, and political elite originate. Its language, arts, and etiquette are regarded as the island's most refined and exemplary. The territory from Banyumas in the west through to Blitar
Blitar
Blitar is a city which is the capital of a regency with the same name in East Java, Indonesia, about 73 kilometers from Malang and 167 kilometers from Surabaya. The area lies within longitude 111° 40' - 112° 09' East and its latitude is 8° 06' South...

 in the east and encompasses Indonesia's most fertile and densely populated agricultural land.

In the southwestern part of Central Java, which is usually named the Banyumasan region, a cultural mingling occurred; bringing together Javanese culture and Sundanese culture to create the Banyumasan
Banyumasan language
The Banyumasan language, spoken on the island of Java, is usually considered a dialect of Javanese in modern language classification.The Banyumasan language is mainly spoken in the three areas of the island of Java: the Banyumasan region, located in westernmost Central Java Province and surrounding...

 culture. In the central Javanese court cities of Yogyakarta
Yogyakarta (city)
Yogyakarta is a city in the Yogyakarta Special Region, Indonesia. It is renowned as a centre of classical Javanese fine art and culture such as batik, ballet, drama, music, poetry, and puppet shows. Yogyakarta was the Indonesian capital during the Indonesian National Revolution from 1945 to...

 and Surakarta
Surakarta
Surakarta, also called Solo or Sala, is a city in Central Java, Indonesia of more than 520,061 people with a population density of 11,811.5 people/km2. The 44 km2 city adjoins Karanganyar Regency and Boyolali Regency to the north, Karanganyar Regency and Sukoharjo Regency to the east and...

, contemporary kings trace their lineages back to the pre-colonial Islamic kingdoms that ruled the region, making those places especially strong repositories of classical Javanese culture. Classic arts of Java include gamelan
Gamelan
A gamelan is a musical ensemble from Indonesia, typically from the islands of Bali or Java, featuring a variety of instruments such as metallophones, xylophones, drums and gongs; bamboo flutes, bowed and plucked strings. Vocalists may also be included....

 music and wayang
Wayang
Wayang is a Javanese word for theatre . When the term is used to refer to kinds of puppet theatre, sometimes the puppet itself is referred to as wayang...

 puppet shows.

Java was the site of many influential kingdoms in the Southeast Asian region, and as a result, many literary works have been written by Javanese authors. These include Ken Arok
Ken Arok
Ken Arok was the founder and first ruler of the Singhasari Kingdom, an ancient Hindu-Budhist kingdom in the East Java area of Indonesia. He was considered as the founder of Rajasa dynasty of both the Singhasari and Majapahit line of monarchs. He came from humble origins but subsequently rose to...

 and Ken Dedes
Ken Dedes
Ken Dedes, first queen of Singhasari, was the consort of Ken Arok, the first ruler of Singhasari, Java, Indonesia. She was later considered as the origin of the lineage of kings that rule Java, the great mother of the Rajasa dynasty, the royal family that ruled Java from the Singhasari to the...

, the story of the orphan who usurped his king, and married the queen of the ancient Javanese kingdom; and translations of Ramayana
Ramayana
The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic. It is ascribed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon , considered to be itihāsa. The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India and Nepal, the other being the Mahabharata...

and Mahabharata
Mahabharata
The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India and Nepal, the other being the Ramayana. The epic is part of itihasa....

. Pramoedya Ananta Toer
Pramoedya Ananta Toer
Pramoedya Ananta Toer was an Indonesian author of novels, short stories, essays, polemic and histories of his homeland and its people...

 is a famous contemporary Indonesian author, who has written many stories based on his own experiences of having grown up in Java, and takes many elements from Javanese folklore and historical legends.

Languages


The three major languages spoken on Java are Javanese
Javanese language
Javanese language is the language of the Javanese people from the central and eastern parts of the island of Java, in Indonesia. In addition, there are also some pockets of Javanese speakers in the northern coast of western Java...

, Sundanese
Sundanese language
Sundanese is the language of about 27 million people from the western third of Java or about 15% of the Indonesian population....

 and Madurese
Madurese language
Madurese is a language of the Madurese people of Madura Island and eastern Java, Indonesia; it is also spoken on the neighbouring small Kangean Islands and Sapudi Islands, as well as from migrants to other parts of Indonesia, namely the Tapal Kuda area comprising Pasuruan, Surabaya, Malang until...

. Other languages spoken include Betawi
Betawi language
The Betawi language is the spoken language of the Betawi people in Jakarta, Indonesia. It is the native language of about 2,700,000 people . It is a Malay-based creole, and closely related to Malay language. Betawi vocabulary have large amount of Hokkien Chinese, Arabic, and Dutch loanwords...

 (a Malay
Malay language
Malay is a major language of the Austronesian family. It is the official language of Malaysia , Indonesia , Brunei and Singapore...

 dialect local to the Jakarta region), Osing
Osing language
The Osing language , locally known as the language of Banyuwangi, is the language of the Osing people of East Java, Indonesia....

 and Tenggerese
Tenggerese
The Tenggerese are the descendants of the Majapahit princes. Their population of roughly 600,000 is centered in thirty villages in the isolated Tengger mountains within the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park in East-Central Java....

 (closely related to Javanese), Baduy (closely related to Sundanese), Kangean
Kangean language
Kangean is a language spoken in Indonesia, in the Kangean Islands which lie to the east of Madura Island. It is barely intelligible with Madurese proper....

ese (closely related to Madurese), Balinese
Balinese language
Balinese or simply Bali is a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken by 3.3 million people on the Indonesian island of Bali, as well as northern Nusa Penida, western Lombok and eastern Java...

, and Banyumasan
Banyumasan language
The Banyumasan language, spoken on the island of Java, is usually considered a dialect of Javanese in modern language classification.The Banyumasan language is mainly spoken in the three areas of the island of Java: the Banyumasan region, located in westernmost Central Java Province and surrounding...

 The vast majority of the population also speaks Indonesian
Indonesian language
Indonesian is the official language of Indonesia. Indonesian is a normative form of the Riau Islands dialect of Malay, an Austronesian language which has been used as a lingua franca in the Indonesian archipelago for centuries....

, often as a second language.

Religion



More than 90 percent of the people of Java are Muslims, on a broad continuum between abangan
Abangan
Abangan refers to the population of Javanese Muslims who practice a more syncretic version of Islam than the more orthodox santri. The term, apparently derived from the Javanese word for red, was first developed by Clifford Geertz but the meaning has since shifted. Abangan are more inclined to...

(more traditional) and santri
Santri
The Santri are a cultural 'stream' of people within the population of Javanese who practice a more orthodox version of Islam, in contrast to the abangan classes....

(more modernist). Small Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 enclaves are scattered throughout Java, but there is a large Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 population along the eastern coast nearest Bali
Bali
Bali is an Indonesian island located in the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to the east...

, especially around the town of Banyuwangi
Banyuwangi
The Regency of Banyuwangi is located at the easternmost end of the Indonesian island of Java and it is a very strategic area for those who want to go to Bali, since it also serves as an important ferry port between Java and Bali. It is surrounded by mountains and forests to the west; by sea to the...

. There are also Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 communities, mostly in the larger cities, though some rural areas of south-central Java are strongly Roman Catholic. Roman Catholics and other Christian groups have been persecuted for their beliefs such as a ban on Christmas services. Buddhist
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 communities also exist in the major cities, primarily among the Chinese Indonesian
Chinese Indonesian
Chinese Indonesians, also called the Indonesian Chinese, are an overseas Chinese group whose ancestors emigrated from China to Indonesia, formerly a colony of the Netherlands known as the Dutch East Indies...

. The Indonesian constitution recognises six official religions. (See Religion in Indonesia
Religion in Indonesia
The first principle of Indonesia's ideology states that Pancasila: "belief in the one and only God". A number of different religions are practiced in the country, and their collective influence on the country's political, economical and cultural life is significant. As of 2011, the population was...

.)

Java has been a melting pot of religions and cultures, which has created a broad range of religious belief. Indian
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

 influences came first with Shaivism
Shaivism
Shaivism is one of the four major sects of Hinduism, the others being Vaishnavism, Shaktism and Smartism. Followers of Shaivism, called "Shaivas," and also "Saivas" or "Saivites," revere Shiva as the Supreme Being. Shaivas believe that Shiva is All and in all, the creator, preserver, destroyer,...

 and Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 penetrating deeply into society, blending with indigenous tradition and culture. One conduit for this were the ascetic
Asceticism
Asceticism describes a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from various sorts of worldly pleasures often with the aim of pursuing religious and spiritual goals...

s, called resi, who taught mystical practices. A resi lived surrounded by students, who took care of their master's daily needs. Resi's authorities were merely ceremonial. At the courts, Brahmin
Brahmin
Brahmin Brahman, Brahma and Brahmin.Brahman, Brahmin and Brahma have different meanings. Brahman refers to the Supreme Self...

 clerics and pudjangga (sacred literati) legitimised rulers and linked Hindu
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 cosmology to their political needs.

Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, which came after Hinduism, strengthened the status structure of this traditional religious pattern. The Muslim scholar of the writ (Kyai
Kyai
A Kyai is an expert in islam. The word is of Javanese origin, and is sometimes spelled kiai. Traditionally, students of Islam in Indonesia would study in a boarding school known as a pesantren. The leader of the school was called kyai, as a form of respect. The traditional word for a teacher in...

) became the new religious elite as Hindu influences receded. Islam recognises no hierarchy of religious leaders nor a formal priesthood
Clergy
Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. A clergyman, churchman or cleric is a member of the clergy, especially one who is a priest, preacher, pastor, or other religious professional....

, but the Dutch colonial government
Dutch East India Company
The Dutch East India Company was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia...

 established an elaborate rank order for mosque and other Islamic preaching schools. In Javanese pesantren
Pesantren
Pesantren or Pondok Pesantren are Islamic boarding schools in Indonesia. According to one popular tradition, the pesantren education system originated from traditional Javanese pondokan; dormitories; ashram for Hindu or viharas for Buddhists to learn religious philosophies, martial arts and...

(Islamic schools), The Kyai perpetuated the tradition of the resi. Students around him provided his needs, even peasant
Peasant
A peasant is an agricultural worker who generally tend to be poor and homeless-Etymology:The word is derived from 15th century French païsant meaning one from the pays, or countryside, ultimately from the Latin pagus, or outlying administrative district.- Position in society :Peasants typically...

s around the school.

Pre-Islamic Javan traditions have encouraged Islam in a mystical direction. There emerged in Java a loosely structured society of religious leadership, revolving around kyais, possessing various degrees of proficiency in pre-Islamic and Islamic lore
Folklore
Folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales and customs that are the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The study of folklore is sometimes called...

, belief
Belief
Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true.-Belief, knowledge and epistemology:The terms belief and knowledge are used differently in philosophy....

 and practice. The kyais are the principal intermediaries between the villages masses and the realm of the supernatural
Supernatural
The supernatural or is that which is not subject to the laws of nature, or more figuratively, that which is said to exist above and beyond nature...

. However, this very looseneess of kyai leadership structure has promoted schism
Schism (religion)
A schism , from Greek σχίσμα, skhísma , is a division between people, usually belonging to an organization or movement religious denomination. The word is most frequently applied to a break of communion between two sections of Christianity that were previously a single body, or to a division within...

. There were often sharp divisions between orthodox kyais, who merely instructed in Islamic law, with those who taught mysticism
Mysticism
Mysticism is the knowledge of, and especially the personal experience of, states of consciousness, i.e. levels of being, beyond normal human perception, including experience and even communion with a supreme being.-Classical origins:...

 and those who sought reformed Islam with modern scientific concepts. As a result, there is a division between santri, who believe that they are more orthodox in their Islamic belief and practice, with abangan
Abangan
Abangan refers to the population of Javanese Muslims who practice a more syncretic version of Islam than the more orthodox santri. The term, apparently derived from the Javanese word for red, was first developed by Clifford Geertz but the meaning has since shifted. Abangan are more inclined to...

, who have mixed pre-Islamic animistic
Animism
Animism refers to the belief that non-human entities are spiritual beings, or at least embody some kind of life-principle....

 and Hindu-Indian concepts with a superficial acceptance of Islamic belief.

A wider effect of this division is the number of sects. In the middle of 1956, the Department of Religious Affairs in Yogyakarta reported 63 religious sects in Java other than the official Indonesian religions. Of these, 35 were in Central Java
Central Java
Central Java is a province of Indonesia. The administrative capital is Semarang. It is one of six provinces on the island of Java.This province is the province of high Human Development in Indonesia and its Points Development Index countries is equivalent to Lebanon. The province of Central Java...

, 22 in West Java
West Java
West Java , with a population of over 43 million, is the most populous and most densely populated province of Indonesia. Located on the island of Java, it is slightly smaller in area than densely populated Taiwan, but with nearly double the population...

 and 6 in East Java
East Java
East Java is a province of Indonesia. It is located on the eastern part of the island of Java and includes neighboring Madura and islands to its east and to its north East Java is a province of Indonesia. It is located on the eastern part of the island of Java and includes neighboring Madura and...

. These include Kejawen
Javanese beliefs
Javanese beliefs have principles embodying a search for inner self but at the core is the concept of peace of mind. Although Kejawen is not strictly a religious affiliation, it addresses ethical and spiritual values as inspired by Javanese tradition. It is not a religion in usual sense of the...

, Sumarah
Javanese beliefs
Javanese beliefs have principles embodying a search for inner self but at the core is the concept of peace of mind. Although Kejawen is not strictly a religious affiliation, it addresses ethical and spiritual values as inspired by Javanese tradition. It is not a religion in usual sense of the...

, Subud
Subud
Subud is an international spiritual movement that began in Indonesia in the 1920s as a movement founded by Muhammad Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo. The basis of Subud is a spiritual exercise commonly referred to as the latihan kejiwaan, which was said by Muhammad Subuh to represent guidance from...

, etc. Their total membership is difficult to estimate as many of their adherents identify themselves with one of the official religions.

Economy



Initially the economy of Java relied heavily on rice
Rice
Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima . As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies...

 agriculture. Ancient kingdoms such as the Tarumanagara
Tarumanagara
Tarumanagara or Taruma Kingdom or just Taruma is an early Sundanese Indianized kingdom, whose fifth-century ruler, Purnavarman, produced the earliest known inscriptions on Java island...

, Mataram
Mataram Kingdom
The Medang or Mataram Kingdom was a Hindu-Buddhist kingdom that flourished between the 8th and 10th centuries CE. It was based in Central Java, and later in East Java. Established by King Sanjaya, the founder of the Sanjaya dynasty, the kingdom was ruled by the Sailendra and Sanjaya families...

, and Majapahit were dependent on rice yields and tax. Java was famous for rice surpluses and rice export since ancient times, and rice agriculture contributed to the population growth of the island. Trade with other parts of Asia such as India and China flourished as early as the 4th century, as evidenced by Chinese ceramics found on the island dated to that period. Java also took part in the global trade of Maluku
Maluku Islands
The Maluku Islands are an archipelago that is part of Indonesia, and part of the larger Maritime Southeast Asia region. Tectonically they are located on the Halmahera Plate within the Molucca Sea Collision Zone...

 spice
Spice
A spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark, or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for flavor, color, or as a preservative that kills harmful bacteria or prevents their growth. It may be used to flavour a dish or to hide other flavours...

 from ancient times in the Majapahit era, until well into the VOC
Dutch East India Company
The Dutch East India Company was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia...

 era.

Dutch East India Company
Dutch East India Company
The Dutch East India Company was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia...

 set their foothold on Batavia in 17th century and was succeeded by Netherlands East Indies in 18th century. During these colonial times, the Dutch introduced the cultivation of commercial plants in Java, such as sugarcane
Sugarcane
Sugarcane refers to any of six to 37 species of tall perennial grasses of the genus Saccharum . Native to the warm temperate to tropical regions of South Asia, they have stout, jointed, fibrous stalks that are rich in sugar, and measure two to six metres tall...

, rubber
Rubber
Natural rubber, also called India rubber or caoutchouc, is an elastomer that was originally derived from latex, a milky colloid produced by some plants. The plants would be ‘tapped’, that is, an incision made into the bark of the tree and the sticky, milk colored latex sap collected and refined...

, coffee
Coffee
Coffee is a brewed beverage with a dark,init brooo acidic flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, colloquially called coffee beans. The beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia,...

, tea
Tea
Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by adding cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant to hot water. The term also refers to the plant itself. After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world...

, and quinine
Quinine
Quinine is a natural white crystalline alkaloid having antipyretic , antimalarial, analgesic , anti-inflammatory properties and a bitter taste. It is a stereoisomer of quinidine which, unlike quinine, is an anti-arrhythmic...

. In the 19th and early 20th century, Javanese coffee gained global popularity. Thus, the name "Java" today has become a synonym for coffee.
Java is the most developed island in Indonesia since the era of Netherlands East Indies to modern Republic of Indonesia. The road transportation networks that have existed since ancient times were connected and perfected with the construction of Java Great Post Road
Great Post Road
The Great Post Road , is the name for the historical road that runs across Java that connects Anyer and Panarukan. It was built during the reign of governor-general of the Dutch East Indies Herman Willem Daendels .-Construction:...

 by Daendels in the early 19th century. The need to transport commercial produces such as coffee from plantations in the interior of the island to the harbour on the coast spurred the construction of railway networks in Java. Today the industry
Industry
Industry refers to the production of an economic good or service within an economy.-Industrial sectors:There are four key industrial economic sectors: the primary sector, largely raw material extraction industries such as mining and farming; the secondary sector, involving refining, construction,...

, business and trade, also services flourished in major cities of Java, such as Jakarta
Jakarta
Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Officially known as the Special Capital Territory of Jakarta, it is located on the northwest coast of Java, has an area of , and a population of 9,580,000. Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political centre...

, Surabaya
Surabaya
Surabaya is Indonesia's second-largest city with a population of over 2.7 million , and the capital of the province of East Java...

, Semarang
Semarang
- Economy :The western part of the city is home to many industrial parks and factories. The port of Semarang is located on the north coast and it is the main shipping port for the province of Central Java. Many small manufacturers are located in Semarang, producing goods such as textiles,...

, and Bandung
Bandung
Bandung is the capital of West Java province in Indonesia, and the country's third largest city, and 2nd largest metropolitan area in Indonesia, with a population of 7.4 million in 2007. Located 768 metres above sea level, approximately 140 km southeast of Jakarta, Bandung has cooler...

; while some traditional Sultanate cities such as Yogyakarta, Surakarta
Surakarta
Surakarta, also called Solo or Sala, is a city in Central Java, Indonesia of more than 520,061 people with a population density of 11,811.5 people/km2. The 44 km2 city adjoins Karanganyar Regency and Boyolali Regency to the north, Karanganyar Regency and Sukoharjo Regency to the east and...

, and Cirebon
Cirebon
Cirebon is a port city on the north coast of the Indonesian island of Java. It is located in the province of West Java near the provincial border with Central Java, approximately 297 km east of Jakarta, at .The seat of a former Sultanate, the city's West and Central Java border location have...

 preserved its royal legacy and become the centre of art, culture and tourism in Java. Industrial estates also growing in towns on northern coast of Java, especially around Cilegon
Cilegon
Cilegon is a major coastal industrial city in Banten province, Indonesia, covering 175.51 sqkm and has an official intercensal estimated population of 338,027 for 2007...

, Tangerang
Tangerang
Tangerang is a city in the Province of Banten, Indonesia. It is located about 25 km west of Jakarta. It is the third largest urban center in the Jabotabek region after Jakarta and Bekasi. It has an area of 164.54 km² and an official intercensal estimated population of 1,537,244 for 2005...

, Bekasi
Bekasi
Bekasi is a city in West Java, Indonesia, located on the eastern border of Jakarta in the Jabodetabek metropolitan region. To the south is Bogor Regency, east is Bekasi Regency....

, Karawang
Karawang
Karawang is the capital of the Karawang Regency of West Java, Indonesia. It is located 32 miles east of Jakarta. Karawang has a population of 2,150,610 ....

, Gresik and Sidoarjo
Sidoarjo
Sidoarjo is a regency of East Java, Indonesia.Sidoarjo is bordered by Surabaya city and Gresik regency to the north, by Pasuruan regency to the south, by Mojokerto regency to the west and by the Madura Strait to the east. It has an area of 634.89 km², making it the smallest regency in East Java. ...

. The toll road
Toll road
A toll road is a privately or publicly built road for which a driver pays a toll for use. Structures for which tolls are charged include toll bridges and toll tunnels. Non-toll roads are financed using other sources of revenue, most typically fuel tax or general tax funds...

 highway networks was built and expanded since Suharto era until now, connecting major urban centres and surrounding areas, such as in and around Jakarta
Jakarta
Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Officially known as the Special Capital Territory of Jakarta, it is located on the northwest coast of Java, has an area of , and a population of 9,580,000. Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political centre...

 and Bandung
Bandung
Bandung is the capital of West Java province in Indonesia, and the country's third largest city, and 2nd largest metropolitan area in Indonesia, with a population of 7.4 million in 2007. Located 768 metres above sea level, approximately 140 km southeast of Jakarta, Bandung has cooler...

; also the ones in Cirebon
Cirebon
Cirebon is a port city on the north coast of the Indonesian island of Java. It is located in the province of West Java near the provincial border with Central Java, approximately 297 km east of Jakarta, at .The seat of a former Sultanate, the city's West and Central Java border location have...

, Semarang
Semarang
- Economy :The western part of the city is home to many industrial parks and factories. The port of Semarang is located on the north coast and it is the main shipping port for the province of Central Java. Many small manufacturers are located in Semarang, producing goods such as textiles,...

 and Surabaya
Surabaya
Surabaya is Indonesia's second-largest city with a population of over 2.7 million , and the capital of the province of East Java...

. In addition to these motorways, Java has 16 national highways.

See also


  • The spread of Islam in Indonesia (1200 to 1600)
    The spread of Islam in Indonesia (1200 to 1600)
    Islam was brought into Indonesia by traders from Gujarat, India during the eleventh century, although Muslims had visited the archipelago early in the Muslim era. By the end of the 16th century, Islam, through conversion, had surpassed Hinduism and Buddhism as the dominant religion of the peoples...

  • List of monarchs of Java
  • History of Indonesia
    History of Indonesia
    The History of Indonesia was shaped by its geographic position, its natural resources, the series of human migrations, contacts, economy and trade, conquests and politics. Indonesia is an archipelagic country of 17,508 islands stretching along the equator in South East Asia...