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Lorie Brau

Associate Professor of Japanese

Photo: Lorie Brau
Office:  353C
Hours:  T Th 12:30-1:45 or by appointment

Research Area/s:



Educational History:

1994, Ph.D., in Performance Studies, New York University.


Kimono Comics: The Performance Culture of Rakugo Storytelling
Advisors: Barbara Kirschenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara Ruch (Columbia University).

1994, Columbia University Summer Institute, in Japanese Language Pedagogy.

1980, M.A., in Japanese Literature, University of Michigan.

Master's Essay:

The Story of Clam Princess: An Annotated Translation of an Otogi-zoshi.
Advisor: Robert Brower.

1977, Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies. Tokyo, Japan.

1976, B.A., Magna cum laude, Folklore and Mythology (Ethnomusicology), Harvard University.

Research Interests:

My research interests include the folklore, food culture, theatre, traditional music, and popular culture of Japan. I am presently writing a book entitled, Gourmanga: Reading Food in Japanese Comic Books.  

Selected Publications:


  • Rakugo: Performing Comedy and Cultural Heritage in Contemporary Tokyo.
    (Lexington Books 2008)
    for more information

Articles & Book Chapters:

  •  “Oishinbo’s Fukushima elegy: Grasping for the truth about radioactivity in a food manga.”  In Kristina Iwata-Weickgenannt and Barbara Geilhorn, co-eds., Fukushima and the Arts -- Negotiating Nuclear Disaster. New York and London: Routledge (2017).
  •  “Staging Soul/Food in Rakugo and Shōgekijō: Food and Theatre in Japan.”  In Dorothy Chansky and Anne Folino White, co-eds., Food and Theatre on the World Stage. New York and London: Routledge (2016). (Co-written with David Jortner)
  • New Plots and Playful Schemes: Shukō in Rakugo, Japanese Comic Storytelling.
    In Text and Presentation. (2006).
  • Rakugo Fans at Play.  In Fanning the Flames: Fans and Consumer Culture in Contemporary Japan.  ed. William Kelly. State University of New York Press. (2004).
  • Oishinbo’s Adventures in Eating: What Japanese Comics Communicate about Food and Cultural Identity. In Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture 4.4. (2004).
  • The Women’s Theatre of Takarazuka. In TDR (The Drama Review). T128-Winter. (1990).

Teaching Interests:

I teach second-year Japanese language courses as well as inter-disciplinary classes on Japan that introduce its society, folklore, performance, and literature. I plan to teach classes on Asian theatre and food in Asian culture starting in 2011.

Representative Courses:

  • JAPN 201     Intermediate Japanese I
  • JAPN 320 -   Japanese Culture
  • JAPAN 341  Pre-modern Japanese Literature and Culture in Translation
  • JAPN 345    Supernatural Japan
  • JAPN 411    Gender in Japanese Popular Culture

Other Information:

I am on leave until January 2018.  I advise students for the Japanese minor and am the advisor/director of the East Asian Studies major.