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According to the book “The New History of the Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD)” records that in 674 AD, there was a Chinese traveler named I-Tsing who visited the land of Holing or Kaling or Kalingga. The country is also called Java or Japa and is believed to be located in the Keling area, in the eastern region of Jepara. Kalingga Kingdom is led by a queen (female leader) named Queen Shima. This queen is known for her very strict nature.
History of the City of Japan
According to a Portuguese writer named Tome Pires in his book “Suma Oriental”, Jepara was only known in the XV century (1470 AD) as a small trading port which was inhabited by 90-100 people and led by Aryo Timur and was under the government of Demak. Then Aryo Timur was succeeded by his son named Pati Unus (1507-1521). Pati Unus is trying to build Jepara into a commercial city.
Pati Unus is known to be very persistent against Portuguese colonialism in Malacca which became the link of the archipelago’s trade chain. After Pati Unus died, he was replaced by the ruling brother-in-law of Faletehan / Fatahillah (1521-1536). Then in 1536 by the ruler of Demak, namely Sultan Trenggono, Jepara was handed over to his son and daughter-in-law, namely Ratu Retno Kencono and Prince Attending husband. However, after the death of Sultan Trenggono in a Military Expedition in Panarukan, East Java in 1546, there was a commotion over the struggle for the throne of the Demak kingdom which ended with the death of Prince Attends by Aryo Penangsang in 1549.
The death of loved ones made Queen Retno Kencono very sad and left the palace life to be imprisoned on the hill of Danaraja. After the killing of Aryo Penangsang by Sutowijoyo, Ratu Retno Kencono was willing to step down from the hermitage and be sworn in as ruler of Jepara with the title NIMAS RATU KALINYAMAT. During the reign of Queen Kalinyamat (1549-1579), Jepara developed rapidly to become the main trading port on the island of Java, serving export and import. Besides that, it is also a Naval Base which has been pioneered since the time of the Demak Kingdom.
As a ruler of Jepara, who was gemah ripah loh jinawi because of Jepara’s existence at that time as a bustling trading port, Queen Kalinyamat was known to have an anti-colonial patriotism spirit. This is evidenced by the sending of his war fleet to Malacca to attack the Portuguese in 1551 and 1574. It is no exaggeration if the Portuguese at that time referred to the Queen as “RAINHA DE JEPARA” SENORA DE RICA”, which means the King of Jepara, a very powerful woman. and rich.
The Queen’s brave attack involved nearly 40 ships containing approximately 5,000 soldiers. However, this attack failed, when the Kalinyamat soldiers carried out a ground attack in an effort to surround the Portuguese fort in Malacca, the Portuguese troops with full weapons managed to break the Kalinyamat army’s siege.
However, the Queen’s patriotic spirit never faded and she was afraid to face the Portuguese colonizers, who in the 16th century was at the peak of its glory and was recognized as a brave nation in the world.
Twenty-four years later or October 1574 to be precise, the Queen Kalinyamat sent a larger military fleet to Malacca. This second military expedition involved 300 ships including 80 large junks with a crew of 15,000 selected soldiers. The sending of this second military fleet was led by the most important commander in the kingdom who the Portuguese called “QUILIMO”.
Although in the end this second war which lasted for months the Kalinyamat army did not succeed in expelling the Portuguese from Malacca, but it had made the Portuguese afraid and deterred from dealing with the King of Jepara, as evidenced by the freedom of the island of Java from Portuguese colonialism in the 16th century.
As a historical relic of the great war between Jepara and the Portuguese, until now there is still a grave complex in Malacca known as the Tomb of the Javanese Army. In addition, the figure of Queen Kalinyamat is also very instrumental in cultivating the ART OF CARVING which is now the mainstay of the Jepara economy, namely the combination of Majapahit carving with the carving art of Patih Badarduwung from China.
According to historical records, Queen Kalinyamat died in 1579 and was buried in the village of Mantingan Jepara, next to the tomb of her husband, Prince Hadi. Referring to all the positive aspects that have been proven by Queen Kalinyamat so that Jepara becomes a prosperous, strong and famous country, the determination of Jepara Anniversary which took the time he was crowned the ruler of Jepara or which coincided with April 10, 1549 has been marked by Candra Sengkala TRUS KARYA TATANING EARTH or continue to work hard to build the region.