Ayako Yoshimura

Japanese Studies Librarian

Ayako Yoshimura

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.  


Degrees:

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)

 

Research interests:

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). 

 

Publications: 

“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.