European Association for Japanese Studies

Marcos Centeno

Lecturer at University of Valencia, Honorary Research Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London, Research Associate at the Japan Research Centre, SOAS, and University of London


The EAJS has become an instrumental association for bringing together scholars and helping them to decolonise the curriculum across disciplines, challenging old Eurocentric approaches. I believe the EAJS has the potential now to create forums for discussions about traditionally neglected voices in Japanese Studies (such as minorities, migrants, LGBTQ, gender and transnational perspectives)

It has always been a great pleasure to participate in EAJS activities and collaborate in several roles such as a section convenor for the EAJS International Conference and as academic advisor in the EAJS Workshop for Doctoral Students. If elected, I would be committed to keep the EAJS a friendly and inspiring environment for its members to exchange ideas and build networks. Also, I would like to explore creative ways to support researchers, particularly by promoting prizes and grants, expanding those already existing, finding alternative ways of funding and creating new opportunities.

The EAJS has quickly adapted to the online environment as a result of the pandemic experience, and I think it is in a position to support the proliferation of new digital initiatives that reduce costs while becoming accessible to a wider audience. This may also help to consolidate the EAJS as a forum that is truly opened to the world: beyond the obvious links with Japan and the U.S., EAJS may encourage exchanges in regions where Japanese Studies is becoming an emerging field, such as Latin America, the Pacific, and other Asian countries. Also, I would be delighted to work on establishing closer links with other national associations (as I am an active member of some of them) and help to promote the EAJS and Japanese Studies in less-visible contexts. 


Marcos Centeno is lecturer in Film, Media and Japanese Studies at the University of Valencia and honorary research fellow at Birkbeck, University of London, where he has been the Japanese Programme director and was responsible for setting up the single honours BA in Japanese Studies. He is also Research Associate at the Japan Research Centre, SOAS, and University of London. Previously, he had been lecturer for the Department of Japan and Korea at SOAS, where he coordinated the MA “Global Cinemas and the Transcultural” with a strong component on Asian and Japanese film cultures. He has been guest lecturer at the Centre for Japanese Studies, Nanzan University (2021-22) and at Ochanomizu University (2019) and during his PhD studies he was Research Associate at Waseda University (2009-2012). He has regularly acted as academic advisor for BAJS (British Association for Japanese Studies) and is board member of the AEJE (Association of Japanese Studies in Spain).

His main research interests revolve around the Japanese visual culture, particularly documentary film, avant-garde theory produced in the post-war period, transculturality and the visual representation of minorities, mainly the Ainu people and memory of World War II. His full-length documentary film, Ainu. Pathways to Memory (2014) which revolves around contemporary problems of representation and promotion of Ainu culture inside and outside Japan was screened in around fifty film festivals, was translated into several languages (English, Japanese, Spanish and Italian) and received several prizes. He has recently led projects on “Haneda Sumiko. Authorship and Gender Discourses” (2019-2022) and “Japanese Transnational Cinema” (2018-19) which have been funded by Sasakawa, Daiwa, Japan Foundation and MEXT-the Japanese Ministry of Education. He currently holds a grant from the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University for a project on “Tsuchimoto Noriaki´s documentary school (1962-69)” (2022-23).


Centeno, Marcos. 2022. “The Ainu in Documentary Films: Promiscuous Iconography and the Absent Image”. In David Desser (ed.) Companion to Japanese Cinema. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Blackwell, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2022, pp. 271- 293

Centeno, Marcos and Raine, Michael (eds.). 2021. “Special Issue: Developments in the Japanese Documentary Mode”, Arts, 2021.

Centeno, Marcos and Morita, Nori (eds). 2020. Japan beyond its Borders: Transnational Approaches to Film and Media, Tokyo: Waseda University-Seibunsha.

Centeno, Marcos. 2020. “Re-editing the War in Asia. Japanese Newsreels in Spain (1931-1945)”, L´Atalante. Revista de Estudios Cinematográficos no.29, 101-119.

Centeno, Marcos. 2018. “The Limits of Fiction: Politics and Absent Scenes in Susumu Hani’s Bad Boys (Furyōshōnen, 1960). A Film Re-reading through its Script”. Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema, vol.10, 2018, pp 1-15.