Bojonegoro Regency

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Motto: Jer Karta Raharja Mawa Karya (official)
(Javanese: Hard Works Are Needed to Prosper )
Bojonegoro Bangkit (official)
(Indonesian: Rise Bojonegoro)
Bojonegoro Matoh (informal)
(Javanese: Great Bojonegoro)
Location in East Java
Location in East Java
Bojonegoro is located in Indonesia
Location in Indonesia
Coordinates: 7°09′S 111°52′E / 7.150°S 111.867°E / -7.150; 111.867
Country  Indonesia
Province East Java
Capital Bojonegoro
 • Regent Drs. H. Suyoto, M.Si
 • Total 2,307.06 km2 (890.76 sq mi)
Elevation 14 m (46 ft)
Population (2012 [1])
 • Total 1,472,865
 • Density 638/km2 (1,650/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+7 Western Indonesian Time
Area code(s) +62353

Bojonegoro Regency (Indonesian: Kabupaten Bojonegoro, older spelling is Kabupaten Bodjanegara) is a regency in East Java, Indonesia, about 110 km west of Surabaya. Bojonegoro is located in the inland part of northern Java plain, on the banks of the Bengawan Solo river, the largest river in Java.

Previously known as a major producer of teak and tobacco, Bojonegoro is a focus of attention in Indonesia as a new oil field has been found in this area. This oil find is the biggest oil discovery in Indonesia in three decades[2] and one of the biggest reserve in Indonesia.[3]


Across the eastern border of Bojonegoro is the Lamongan Regency, to the north is Tuban while to the south is Ngawi, Madiun, Nganjuk and Jombang. Blora is located to the west, in Central Java.

Bojonegoro occupies an area of 2,307.06 km2. Much of it consists of low plains along the river Bengawan Solo, with hilly areas in sothern part of the Regency. As with most of Java, the Bojonegoro landscape is dominated with rice paddy fields. In the Bojonegoro area, the Bengawan Solo river changes its course from northward to eastward.

Climate in Bojonegoro is tropical with six months of rainy and dry seasons. Seasonal conditions are often very contrasting. In the rainy season, rain will fall almost daily while in dry season, rain will not come for months, causing widespread drought and water shortages.[4] This problems have been compounded with the lost of forest and other green areas. Teak forest was once covering much of Bojonegoro but has since considerably reduced due to over exploitation.

Floods in the rainy season of 2007 were bigger than in previous years. Bengawan Solo river's water level rose due to heavy rain, especially in the upper valley in Central Java, forcing the Gajahmungkur dam there to be opened. The resulting flood submerged 15 districts, with water as high as 1.5 m, and displaced 2,700 families. A further 2.5 hectares of rice fields were damaged. No casualties were reported.[5]


The area near the Solo River is fertile and has been settled since early history by the Javanese. However, these settlements never developed into a major urban center, except for several coastal cities. Rather, villages are dependent on a weekly market which rotates among them and bakul (traveling peddlers) who collect and distribute agricultural and manufactured products among the villages.

The Bengawan Solo river played a major role in the development of these settlements. It acted as source of water and fertile soil, and a means of transportation. A set of copper plates of the Ferry Charter (1358 C.E.) lists over twenty ferry crossing on the lower stretch of the Bengawan Solo river, downstream from Bojonegoro. Inland settlements would trade agricultural products via trading centres in the coastal cities, like neighbouring Tuban, for spices from Spice Islands, ceramics from China and other commodities.[6]

The authority over these settlements, including the territory of modern-day Bojonegoro, was held by the dominant power in central Java, and later east Java, the kingdoms of Mataram, Kediri, Singhasari and Majapahit.

As a territory in northern Java, the area of modern-day Bojonegoro was one of the first to accept Islam. The Bengawan Solo river area and most of Java would became part of the Sultanate of Demak and its successor the Sultanate of Mataram.

The modern regency (kabupaten) was founded on October 20, 1677 with Mas Toemapel as the first Regent (Bupati), with capital in Jipang village (currently around Padangan subdistrict in the westernmost part of Bojonegoro). It was founded as a response to the loss of Mataram's coastal area to the Dutch East India Company. Bojonegoro than became important border town. In 1725 the capital was moved to its current location.

Bojonegoro town, East Java, Indonesia. Circa 1950

After the Dutch took over Java in the 18th and 19th centuries, Bojonegoro and the neighbouring regencies of Tuban and Lamongan were administered under Bojonegoro Residency, with a Dutch Resident in Bojonegoro town. The resident acted as an advisor and supervisor to the regents, positions which were held by native Javanese nobility (priyayi).

During Dutch rule, tobacco and maize was introduced from the Americas, which would later became major commodities in Bojonegoro.

In 1894, the trans-Java railroad, which linked Batavia and Surabaya and passed through Bojonegoro, was finished, increasing transportation and improving the teak industry. Urbanisation also progressed under Dutch rule.

Since the Indonesian National Revolution, Bojonegoro regency has been administered as part of East Java province, with RMT Suryo, the grandson of the former Bojonegoro regent as its first governor. in 1968 the first non-nobility Regent was elected. The current regent is Santoso, a former army officer. In 2008, Bojonegoro people elected its first directly-elected Regent, following an amendment in the constitution. Suyoto of National Mandate Party was elected as regent.[7]

Administrative divisions[edit]

Bojonegoro Regency is divided into 27 districts. These 27 districts are further divided into 430 administrative villages.


Bojonegoro Great Mosque
St. Paul Catholic Church
Hok Swie Bio Confucian Temple

Bojonegoro regency has a population of 1,156,652 people (As of 2000 census). Most of the population work as farmers or foresters. Many still live in poverty, especially in the southern part of the regency, where the soil is less fertile. The major population centre is Bojonegoro town, located on the southern bank of Bengawan Solo river.

Ethnic groups[edit]

The racial makeup of this regency is mainly Javanese, with a minority of Chinese, Madurese, Balinese, Batak people, and other Indonesian ethnic groups.


Most local residents speak Indonesian and Javanese.


Most Javanese and Madurese are Muslim, with small number belonging to Christian sects. Chinese follow various religions, often with an aspect of syncretism with traditional Chinese culture.



Drying tobacco leaves in Bojonegoro during colonial period.

Agriculture has been the regency's main industry. The Bengawan Solo river provides fertile farming area for rice. The main crops are rice and tobacco, as well as maize. In 1984, the area of maize harvested reached 67,000 hectares with yields ranging from 1 to 1.28 t/ha.[8] A typical farmer grows rice in the rainy season, when water is abundant, and tobacco or maize in dry season. There is a high risk in agriculture because of seasonal uncertainty. Rice growing will fail if the rainy season ends before its time, and tobacco growing will fail if rain comes early.

Bojonegoro is one of the biggest producers of tobacco in Indonesia, with a total value of Rp 1,2 trillion (around US$100 million) and employing 57 percent of workforce.[9] The majority of tobacco planted is Virginia varieties. However, Bojonegoro tobacco suffers from a high proportion of chlorine,[10] and uncertain rainfall. Most tobacco is used to make clove cigarettes (kretek).


An old jati (teak wood) tree in Bojonegoro during colonial period, 1900-1940.

Bojonegoro is also known for its hardwood tree (teak) production. There is an annual Bojonegoro Teak Fair in late January to early February where local craftsmen display their products. Teak is mainly used in shipbuilding and furniture making. A teak cutter is called blandong in the local dialect.

Teak forestry faces a major problem in illegal logging, as with other parts of Indonesia. In 2001 alone, the area looted covered 3,000 ha; looters stole an estimated 27,000 trees. The regional police reported impounding 550 large trucks of stolen timber, approximately 2,000 m³, with an estimated local market value of US $1,000,000. Several riots have happened when tension arise from teak claims and when police tried to enforce the law on local thieves.

These riots were the worst during the period of turmoil between president Abdurrahman Wahid and Megawati Sukarnoputri in 2001. However, after that situation calmed, enforcement became better, but illegal logging is still a significant problem, with police and bureaucratic officials often accused of cooperating with timber thieves.


The recent discovery of oil and gas fields in the area is providing new economic opportunities.

The oil/gas fields locations include Banyu Urip, Alas Dara, Alas Tua West, Alas Tua East, Jambaran, Cendana (ExxonMobil 45%, Pertamina 45%, local companies 10% - under Joint Operating Agreement) and Sukowati (Operated under Joint Operating Body - Petrochina Pertamina East Java).

The Banyu Urip oil and gas field has proven oil reserves of over 250 million barrels (40,000,000 m3), with peak production of about 165,000 barrels (26,200 m3) per day, accounting for 20 percent of the present national crude oil production.[11]

The main exploration started officially when a cooperative contract signed on September 17, 2005 with Mobil Cepu Ltd., a subsidiary of ExxonMobil as main operator. A Joint Operation Agreement (JOA) between state oil company Pertamina was signed in March 2006. Pertamina and ExxonMobil concluded a 30-year production-sharing contract in which each company would share 45 percent interest in the block. The remaining 10 percent would go to the local governments.[12] Foreign companies, mainly from China, have started to invest in Bojonegoro in various projects related with the planned exploration and exploitation of the Cepu Block oil fields with total value of US$8 million.[13] According to the former minister and ambassador to the United States, Dorodjatun Kuntjoro-Jakti, Tuban and Bojonegoro would resemble Texas, because of its gas and oil resources.[14]

Communities in Bojonegoro has benefited from community development projects by foreign companies like ExxonMobil, which have built houses of worship, schools, community health centers, and infrastructure.[15] However, oil production is becoming a source of controversy.

A number of Regional Representatives Council (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat, DPD) members grouped in the People's Front for the Salvation of the Cepu Block (GRPBC) have called for the cancellation of the Joint Operation Agreement (JOA) between the government and ExxonMobil on the Cepu Block oil fields. They demand it to be cancelled because the agreement had been signed "in an atmosphere rife with suspected corruption, collusion and nepotism, and on the basis of a public lie" and will make the Indonesian government lose US$1.32 billion of revenue.[16] And Now, New Bojonegoro Leader (Bupati Bojonegoro) are waiting for new re-agreement with ExxonMobil to avoid corruption, collusion and nepotism.

Oil exploration and production activity has also caused several accidents. On August 31, 2006, a gas leak in Sukowati-5 oil well (Operated by JOB Pertamina Petrochina East Java) released hydrogen sulfide gas to residential areas. At least 16 villagers had to be treated for suffocation because of the gas inhalation.[17]

The environmental effects of the oil industry have become a concern of Bojonegoro residents. Some villagers claimed the presence of the oil well has not caused any improvement of the local economy and the village. Since the exploration of the Sukowati oil well in an area measuring five hectares in July 2005, the village's land has become drier and harvest significantly reduced.[18] There is also concern that income distribution inequality could cause social unrest, when compounded with the Indonesian notorious reputation of corruption.




Indonesian National Route 20 traverses Bojonegoro from east to west, then goes south to Ngawi.[19]


Bojonegoro is well served by trains operated by PT Kereta Api Indonesia. The train service began after the completion of the trans-Java railroad which connecting Batavia and Surabaya in 1894. A double track railway connecting Semarang and Surabaya via Bojonegoro is now under construction and will be finished at end of 2013.[20][21]

The largest railway station in Bojonegoro is Bojonegoro Station. The train services available are:

Origin Preceding station Train service Following station Destination
Surabaya Pasar Turi Lamongan Station Rajawali Cepu Station Semarang Tawang
Surabaya Pasar Turi no stopping Sembrani Cepu Station Jakarta Kota Station via Jakarta Gambir
Surabaya Pasar Turi no stopping Gumarang Cepu Station Jakarta Kota Station via Jakarta Pasar Senen
Surabaya Pasar Turi Babat Station Kertajaya Cepu Station Jakarta Tanjung Priok via Jakarta Pasar Senen
terminus terminus KRD Bojonegoro Kapas Station Surabaya Pasar Turi
Cepu Station no stopping Cepu Ekspres Kapas Station Surabaya Pasar Turi
terminus terminus Blora Jaya Ekspres Cepu Station Semarang Poncol






Ledre is a snack from Bojonegoro. It is made from banana, especially from the local variety called Pisang Raja.

Performing arts[edit]

Visual arts[edit]


Local Media[edit]

Bojonegoro has a local television network called B-One TV.


Football (soccer) and badminton are the most popular sports in Bojonegoro. The regency football team, Persibo Bojonegoro, is currently playing in Indonesian Premier League, the highest level of professional competition for football clubs in Indonesia since 2011.[22] Their home stadium is Lt Gen Sudirman Stadium, Bojonegoro.[23]

Badminton was either introduced by Dutch colonists or, more likely, by ethnic Chinese. Ethnic Chinese in Sumatra introduced badminton from Malaya by inviting Chinese players in early 1930s. In the mid-1930s, a player from Batavia, Oei Kok Tjoan, visited cities in East Java on a number of occasions, raising the popularity of badminton. The game began to penetrate the small towns such as Tuban, Bojonegoro, Malang, and Jember, and became one of the most popular sports in Java.[24]

In archery, athletes from Bojonegoro have dominated many national and international archery championships. Puspitasari Rina Dewi[25] and I Gusti Nyoman Puruhito Praditya[25] have competed in national and international archery competitions, including the 2004 Summer Olympics. As of October 2006, Puspitasari Rina Dewi is ranked 39th in the Recurve Women category with 59.95 points[26] Praditya is ranked 52 in the Compound Man category with 41.2 points.[27]

Samin people[edit]

Main article: Saminism Movement

One of the distinctive communities in Bojonegoro is the Samin people. They were ethnically indistinguishable from other Javanese people; however, they followed a communalism movement. Samin people are follower of Surosentiko Samin, a local farmer who preached pacifist resistance to Dutch colonial rule in the 1890s.[28] Samin was incited by acquisition of local teak forest by Dutch colonial authority. Dutch officials refused access to the forest for local people, as it was claimed as Dutch property. Rather than rising in a violent uprising, Samin taught peaceful resistance, such as refusing to pay taxes to the colonial authority, and continuing to take teak from the forest as they had for generations.[29] Samin people are nominally Muslim, but do not practice many Islamic rituals, such as fasting or regular prayer. Rather, they emphasize the spiritual aspect, as well as honesty, modesty and simplicity.[30] In this, they are similar to Kejawen followers. Samin people reside in the southwestern part of Bojonegoro (in the heart of its teak forest) and in Blora Regency, Central Java, across the river Solo.

People from Bojonegoro[edit]


  1. ^ "Jumlah Penduduk Menurut Kecamatan dan Jenis Kelamin 2012". Badan Pusat Statistik Kabupaten Bojonegoro. Retrieved 2014-02-01. 
  2. ^ "Indonesia: Energy Highlight March 2006". US Embassy in Jakarta. 
  3. ^ "Dari Humpuss ke ExxonMobil". Kompas. 2006-03-21. 
  4. ^ "Water shortages spread". The Jakarta Post. 2004-08-26. 
  5. ^ "Bojonegoro Siaga III-Kritis Hadapi Luapan Bengawan Solo". Antara News Agency. 2007-04-25. 
  6. ^ Christie, Jan Wisseman (October 1991). "States Without Cities - Demographic Trends In Early Java". Cornell Southeast Asia Program. Cornell University. Retrieved 2007-02-08. 
  7. ^ "Bupati Bojonegoro Pimpin PAN Jatim Lagi". Kompas. 19 June 2010. 
  8. ^ Djauhari, Aman; Adimesra Djulin; Irlan Soejono (1988). Maize Production in Java (PDF). Intl Specialized Book Service Inc. p. 11. ISBN 979-8059-14-X. 
  9. ^ "Kabupaten Bojonegoro" (PDF). Departement of Health. 
  10. ^ "Cl content problem of virginia tobacco grown in Vertisols in Bojonegoro". Departement of Agriculture, Indonesia. 
  11. ^ "Cepu Block development to create 3-8 billion dollars in multiplier effect". Antara News Agency. 2006-03-14. 
  12. ^ "Pertamina, Exxon to jointly run oil block". Antara News Agency. 2006-03-13. 
  13. ^ "Seven foreign companies ready invest in Bojonegoro". Antara News Agency. 2006-03-28. 
  14. ^ "Tuban-Bojonegoro Will Resemble Texas". Harvest International's Journal For Decision Makers Vol. IV No.8, August 2002. 
  15. ^ "ExxonMobil helping community development in Bojonegoro". Antara News Agency. 2006-03-15. 
  16. ^ "DPD members call for cancellation of Cepu Block agreement". Antara News Agency. 2005-03-28. 
  17. ^ "Sukowati oil well belches gas (H2S) kick again". Antara News Agency. 2005-08-31. 
  18. ^ "Farmers want review of environmental impact analysis on Sukowati oil well". Antara News Agency. 2005-03-26. 
  19. ^ (Indonesian)
  20. ^ "Pembangunan Jalur KA Double Track Surabaya-Bojonegoro Dimulai". detikSurabaya. 
  21. ^ "Wamenhub Inspeksi Double Track Surabaya-Bojonegoro". 
  22. ^ "Tentang IPL". Indonesian Premier League. 
  23. ^ "Stadiums in Indonesia". World Stadiums. 
  24. ^ Brown, Professor Colin (2006-07-02). "Sport, politics and ethnicity: Playing badminton for Indonesia" (PDF). 15th Biennial Conference of the Asian Studies Association of Australia, Canberra, 29 June-2 July 2004. Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) & Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies (RSPAS), The Australian National University, Canberra. 
  25. ^ a b :: FITA / Web Site Management Screens ::
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  27. ^ [2]
  28. ^ 2. The Malayan Archipelago, 1890. 2001. Retrieved 2007-02-08. 
  29. ^ Peluso, Nancy Lee (June 1992). Rich Forests, Poor People - Resource Control and Resistance in Java. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-08931-0. 
  30. ^ Shiraishi, Takashi (October 1990). "Dangir's Testimony: Saminism Reconsidered". Cornell Southeast Asia Program. Cornell University. 

External links[edit]

Bojonegoro travel guide from Wikivoyage