The first gallery can be found when visitor enters the building, at the end of the main staircase. Within each gallery, visitors will see a gallery title that represents the focus of the story being told.
The first gallery is “Japan in the Archipelago” which shows the early interaction between the Japanese and Indonesian people. The opening narrative in this gallery describes the first time Japan landed in Indonesia when Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC), the Dutch East India Company, employed ronin (samurai without a lord) as mercenaries to quell the resistance of Banda people in 1621. The 19th century saw the arrival of Japanese women to the archipelago. Visitors can revisit the history through photographs, paintings and archives such as residence permits.
The second gallery is “War and Trade” which tells of the trading activities of the Japanese people in the archipelago before 1942 as seen in the pictures of shops owned by Japanese citizens in Indonesia.
The third gallery is named “Under the Rising Sun” which tells the interaction between the two nations that continued up until 1942. After the Dutch left, the Japanese came no longer as ronin, but army. Under Japanese rule, all aspects of people’s lives were transformed according to Japanese rules.