Andrea Boccardi


In 2012, I started my bachelor’s degree in East Asian Studies at La Sapienza University of Rome, with a focus on Japanese Studies. During my third year, I spent a year abroad as an exchange student at Sophia University in Tokyo (April 2015–February 2016), where I could perfect my Japanese.

After the completion of my BA in Rome in 2016, I enrolled in the Asian Studies MA programme at Leiden University in The Netherlands, where I could nurture my research skills and my competence in the Japanese language. During the second year of my MA, I spent another year at Sophia University (April 2017–March 2018; MA in Global Studies) in order to improve my Japanese and conduct fieldwork for my MA research project.

After I graduated from Leiden University, I started a PhD in Japanese Studies at the University of Manchester (September 2018–November 2018), which I had to leave after a few months due to personal reasons. Before joining the East Asian Studies programme at the University of Leeds as a PhD student in October 2020, I spent six months at Keio University (September 2019–March 2020) in Tokyo as a visiting researcher thanks to the Keio Studentship for Italian Citizens.

My PhD project is funded by the LCS Studentship Award for Excellence.

Research interests

My research project focuses on Japanese and Okinawan literature and the geopolitical position of Okinawa vis-à-vis mainland Japan and the United States.

Exploring the oeuvre of the Okinawan author Medoruma Shun, I am especially interested in understanding how literary modes of narration and representation can be employed to depict and criticise the contemporary Okinawan society and its internal mechanisms in confronting the external authorities represented by the Japanese and American central governments. More broadly speaking, my research interests lie in media representation of Okinawa and other minority groups within Japanese society, postcolonialism, and the decolonial turn as it is perceived and portrayed in literature. 


  • MA in Asian Studies (Leiden University)
  • BA in East Asian Studies (La Sapienza University of Rome)