Japanese Studies Librarian
Ayako Yoshimura joined the University of Chicago Library in June of 2015 after completing a Ph.D. in folklore at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she also served for five years as Japanese studies bibliographer. While remaining active internationally as a folklorist, Ayako assists students, faculty, and independent scholars from all disciplines in their Japanese-studies research across campus and beyond.
Ph.D. in folklore, University of Wisconsin–Madison (2015)
M.A. in folklore, Memorial University of Newfoundland (2009)
B.A. in folklore and cultural anthropology, University of Wisconsin–Madison (2002)
Ethnography, autoethnography, personal experience narratives, vernacular beliefs, the supernatural, material culture (foodways, arts and crafts, ceramics [Japan-style patterns], clothing [the kimono], design and fashion), and public folklore (cultural exchange, community outreach).
“A Glimpse of Meiji Kimono Fashion.” In Digital Meijis: Revisualizing Modern Japanese History at 150, edited by Tristan R. Grunow and Naoko Kato (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Library), 2018.
(Meiji at 150 Podcast Episode 72.)
“Japan.” In Ethnic American Food Today: A Cultural Encyclopedia, edited by Lucy M. Long (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), vol.1:327–337.
“To Believe and Not to Believe: A Native Ethnography of Kanashibari in Japan.” Journal of American Folklore 128.508 (2015): 146–78.
“Folklore and Asian American Humor: Stereotypes, Politics, and Self.” In Asian American Identities and Practices: Folkloric Expressions in Everyday Life, edited by Jonathan H. X. Lee and Kathleen M. Nadeau (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2014), 1–13.
“Asian American Grocery Stores.” In Encyclopedia of Asian American Folklore and Folklife, edited by Jonathan H. X. Lee and Kathleen M. Nadeau (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2011), vol.1:21–23.
“Asian American Humor and Folklore.” In Encyclopedia of Asian American Folklore and Folklife, edited by Jonathan H. X. Lee and Kathleen M. Nadeau (Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2011), vol.1:23–29.
“Kita-Amerika de minzokugaku o manabu 北アメリカで民俗学を学ぶ [Studying folklore in North America]. Nihon-Minzokugaku: Bulletin of the Folklore Society of Japan 263 (2010): 153–78. (In Japanese)
“Kanashibari: Japanese Old Hag—A Case Study of Self-Analysis of Personal Experiences with the Supernatural among Three Japanese Individuals.” Culture and Tradition 27 (2005): 76–93.
American Folklore Society (2004–present)
North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources (2009–present)
- Multiple-Volume Set Project Committee (member, July 2016–June 2017; chair, July 2017–June 2018)
- Digital Resources Committee (member, July 2016–June 2019; co-chair, July 2019–present)