Andrej Bekeš, born in Celje, Slovenia, studied mathematics at University of Ljubljana, and Osaka University, later switching his interest in Japanese linguistics, receiving his MA from Osaka University of Foreign Studies in 1981 and his PhD in linguistics (bungaku hakushi) from University of Tsukuba in 1986. After that he worked as a researcher at Iskra Delta and at Jožef Stefan Institute, and as assistant professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana. From 1990 to 1995 he served as Invited Foreign Professor at the University of Tsukuba. In 1995 he was appointed the first head of the newly established Department of Asian Studies, University of Ljubljana, first as Associate Professor and then as Full Professor of Japanese Studies. From 2010 to 2013 he was Professor at the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba. Since 2013 he returned to University of Ljubljana. He retired at the end of 2016 but still teaches courses at graduate school and Masters program. He also held several visiting researcher positions and lectured at universities in Japan, Korea, EU and in USA. From 2017, Professor Emeritus of the University of Ljubljana.
His areas of interest are Japanese text linguistics (text pragmatics), teaching Japanese as a second language, language policies and writing systems.
Also co-founder and editor of the journals "Asian and African Studies" and "Acta Linguistica Asiatica".
From 2004 - 2008, leader of the research project "Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa", and until 2017, member.
His main publications are:
- Books, author: Tekusuto to sintakusu. Tokyo: Kurosio, 1987; Text and boundary : a sideways glance at textual phenomena in Japanese, (Zbirka Razprave FF). 1. izd. Ljubljana: Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakultete, 2008; co-author: Nihongo bunkei jiten = A handbook of Japanese grammar patterns for teachers and learners. Tokyo: Kuroshioshuppan, 1998/2015.
- Chapter in a book: Bunmyaku kara mita bunmatsu hyôgen to shudai no jizoku. In: Abe, Jirô (ed.), Iori, Isao (ed.), Satô, Takuzo (ed). Bunpô danwa kenkyû to nihongo kyôiku no setten. Tôkyô Kuroshio shuppan, 2015; Possibility of content shifts as predictors of the wa-topic in Japanese narrative. In Kikuko Nishina (ed.) Nihongo gakushuusha shien no kouchiku gengo kyouiku koopasu shisutemu kaihatsu. Tokyo: Bonjinsha, 2012;
- Articles: Images of pre-WW II: national language policies as reflected in the field of ‘national language studies’ itself. Acta linguistica asiatica, 1-1: 39–51, 2011.
In 2008 Decorated with 'The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette' from the Government of Japan. In 2017 awarded the Japan Foundation Award.