Majapahit


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Majapahit

 

(Mojopahit), Indonesian empire that had its center on the island of Java (1293 to about 1520).

The Majapahit period was the era of greatest centralization in medieval Indonesia. Basing themselves in the densely populated, economically highly developed regions of central and eastern Java and the trading towns along the northern Java coast, the Majapahit rulers gradually created a vast island empire, uniting most of the feudal states of Indonesia. The empire’s founder, Vijaya (Kertaradjasa), began by recovering the territories of the Javanese state of Singhasari; he was a descendant of the dynasty that had ruled there. At the same time Vijaya expanded and strengthened the international political and economic ties of the Javanese state established by his predecessors.

Vijaya and his son Djajanagara, having unified the Javanese lands while following a broad pan-Indonesian policy, often faced rebellions by the Javanese feudal lords (the revolts of Rangga Lawe in 1295, Sora in 1298-1300, Nambi in 1309-16, and Koeti in 1319). In the course of the struggle to centralize the state, Gadjah Mada (Gajah Mada) came to the fore. He was an energetic politician and talented diplomat who gradually became the de facto ruler of Majapahit, holding the post of mapatih (chief minister) from 1331 on.

After the suppression of the last feudal rebellions (1331), Majapahit became a centralized state. State ownership of the land was strengthened, the main administrative departments of the feudal state were reformed, and the taxation of the communal peasantry (who were under strict governmental control) was put into better order. A clear system of land allotments to the feudal lords in state service was worked out, and a new code of laws was introduced.

The island of Bali was made part of Majapahit, all of Java was unified, and many of the more highly developed areas of Sumatra, Madura, Sumbawa, Kalimantan, and Sulawesi were annexed, as well as a number of regions in the Moluccas and the Malay Peninsula. The consolidation of Indonesian territory was accompanied by an intermingling of Buddhism with Shivaism and of both with local beliefs.

Javanese culture reached its zenith in the 14th century: the historical narrative poem Nagarakertagama was created, the construction of temples was expanded, and art flourished. The decline of Majapahit began in the mid-15th century when it lost most of its territorial possessions and thereby control of the trade routes to the Spice Islands, the Moluccas. The Vijaya dynasty ruled until 1451, but the final period was full of internecine wars. In 1478 a coalition of Muslim trading principalities that had arisen in northern Java succeeded in seizing the Majapahit capital. The last contemporary reference to Majapahit dates to the year 1516; by about 1520 it had evidently been permanently broken up into a number of principalities.

D. V. DEOPIK

References in periodicals archive ?
It was subjugated briefly by the Java-based Majapahit Empire but soon regained its independence and once again rose to prominence.
Rates for the Asia Pacific region are as follows: The Oriental, Bangkok, HK$1,799 (US$209) (weekdays), HK$1699 (US$209) (weekends); Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, US$230 (weekdays), US$217 (weekends); Mandarin Oriental, Jakarta, US$119 (weekdays), US$99 (weekends); Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur, MYR419 (US$110) (weekdays), MYR379 (US$99) (weekends); Mandarin Oriental, Macau, HK$999 (US$128) (weekdays), HK$299 (US$166) (weekends); Mandarin Oriental, Manila, US$99 (weekdays), US$89 (weekends), The Oriental, Singapore, SGD199 (US$118) (weekdays), SGD179 (US$106), Mandarin Oriental, Hotel Majapahit, Surabaya, US$89 (weekdays), US$79 (weekends), The Excelsior, Hong Kong, HK$1,299 (US$166) (weekday), HKD1,099 (US$140) (weekends).
Pateh Gajah Mada of Majapahit died in 1364, (2) whereas the sultanate of Johor was not founded until 1512, or even later (sometime between 1530 and 1536, according to Andaya and Andaya).
As the Philippine government readies 200 election monitors for the elections in Indonesia next month, its long history of ties with Jakarta's Majapahit empire, its Catholicism and its stable democratic institutions are factors favoring Manila having a strong presence in the Aug.
contains]]an and battling physically to defeat demonic spirits"; transmogrified in Java into the ratu, heir to the great fourteenth-century Majapahit empire, he united in his person servant and lord, kawula and gusti, this world and the one invisible to the senses.
Tanjungpura reappears in the context of links between the ruling family with that of Majapahit (Brown 1970).
In Klokke's thorough search for relationships and sources for the Javanese Tantri Kamandaka, she comes to the surprising conclusion that this text, which dates to the Majapahit period (fourteenth to sixteenth centuries) - or just about the same time as the reappearance of the Tantri reliefs on eastern Javanese monuments - is most closely related in India to an obscure south Indian Sanskrit Pancatantra text, the Tantropakhyana, and its Tamil adaptation.
The powerful Hindu kingdom of Majapahit, based on Java, gained control of the Malay peninsula in the 14th century.
59) (3) Apparently, Majapahit influence extended to northern Borneo, the Sulu Islands, and the Moluccas, and it was only at the turn of the century that this influence disappeared; moreover, for some time, according to Chinese sources, there was turmoil in the Sulu-Borneo region, and perhaps Chinese traders who evaded Ming trade prohibitions, risking severe punishments, thought that going through the Sulu zone would be too dangerous and only pose additional risks.
plot land at JI Brigjen Sudiarto Majapahit, Semarang, Central Java.
contends that its use most likely originated in pre-Islamic West Borneo as a new class of leaders arose through unions between immigrant Hindu-Javanese traders (linked ideologically to Majapahit and its many tributaries) and local Dayak.
No definite answer can be given to the first question; however, it is possible that trade links through the Celebes Sea were in a poor condition at that time owing to tension between the Sulus and Majapahit which still maintained its influence over the Moluccas until about 1410.