In 1942 Japan invades Indonesia. In East Java several kiais (kiai, a venerated elders of a pesantren/Islamic learning institution) from different pesantrens are arrested on account of fomenting resistance. KH (Kiai Haji, or Hajj Kiai) Hasyim Asy’ari as the leader of Pondok Pesantren Tebu Ireng is arrested because he fights against the Japanese. The arrest causes insurgence in Tebu Ireng and provokes reactions from his sons, namely KH Wahid Hasyim, Karim Hasyim and Yusuf Hasyim, not to mention a host of santris (students at pesantren) such as Baidlowi (Hasyim As’ari’s son-in-law), Kang Solichin (Hasyim’s confidante) and three others Harun, Kamid and Abdi.
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