Lorie Brau

Associate Professor of Japanese

Photo: Lorie Brau
Email:  lbrau@unm.edu
Curriculum vitae
Office:  353C
Hours:  T Th 3:30-4:45 or by appointment

Research Area/s:

East Asian Studies,  Japanese


Lorie Brau teaches courses on Japanese literature and culture and advises East Asian Studies.  She received her MA in Japanese Literature from the University of Michigan and her PhD in Performance Studies with a focus on Japanese performance in 1994 from New York University.  As part of her research for her dissertation and book, Rakugo: Performing Comedy and Cultural Heritage in Contemporary Tokyo (Lexington 2008), she became a disciple of the storyteller Kokontei Engiku and from time to time performs rakugo stories in English.  Her essay, "Oishinbo's Fukushima Elegy: grasping for the truth about radioactivity in a food manga" was published in the volume, Fukushima and the Arts: Negotiating nuclear disaster (Routledge 2017.)  She is currently writing a book called Gourmanga: Reading Food in Japanese Comic Books for U. of Hawaii Press.

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 teach classes on Asian theatre and food in Asian culture.

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 advise students for the Japanese minor and am the advisor/director of the East Asian Studies major.