Ayaka Yoshimizu is an instructor at the Department of Asian Studies and the UBC-Ritsumeikan Exchange Programs. Her research has been concerned with different forms of transpacific media, cultures, and spaces produced as a result of transnational migration from or within Asia. She is interested in the processes in which these forms become sites of memory where experiences of migration are memorialized, (re)presented, and performed.
Her current research looks at cultural memories of Ameyuki-san, Japanese women who were involved in the transpacific sex trade in North America at the turn of the 20th century. At one level, she critically examines how memories of Ameyuki-san are produced today through literary, cinematic and art forms in Japan, Canada, and the United States. At another level, she explores a performative approach to recreate memories of their lives and deaths based on her critical archival and fieldwork research.
“Doing Performance Ethnography among the Dead, Remembering Lives of Japanese Migrants in Transpacific Sex Trade.” Performance Matters 4(3), 2018: 137-154.
Co-author, with Julia Aoki, “Walking Histories, Un/making Places: Walking Tours as Ethnography of Place.” Space & Culture 18(3), 2015: 273-284.
“Bodies That Remember: Gleaning Scenic Fragments of A Brothel District in Yokohama.” Cultural Studies, 29(3), 2014: 450-475.
“Nanay: Drawing a New Landscape of Diasporic Mothers.” Topia: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies, 27, 2012: 153-172.
“Chopsticks, Phone-Bells and Farms: Fuyuko Taira’s Diasporic Spatial Practice.” Gender, Place, and Culture, 19(3), 2012: 313-326.
“‘Hello, War Brides’: Heteroglossia, Counter-Memory, Auto/biographical Work of Japanese War Brides.” Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism, 10(1), 2010: 111-136.
“Sex Workers, Waitresses, and Wives: The Disciplining of Women’s Bodies in the Tairiku Nippo (1908-1920).” In Digital Meijis: Revisualizing Modern Japanese History at 150. Vancouver, BC: BCcampus, 2018. (https://pressbooks.bccampus.ca/meijiat150/)
Aoki, Julia & Yoshimizu, Ayaka. “Walking, Sensing and Making Places: A Reflection on Ethnography of Walking in Yokohama and Vancouver.” Communication, culture, and making meaning in the city: Ethnographic engagements in urban environments (pp.111-125). Lanham: Lexington Books, 2017.
“Bodies That Remember: Gleaning Scenic Fragments of A Brothel District in Yokohama.” In Scene Thinking: Cultural Studies from the Scenes Perspective. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2017. [Reprinted from Cultural Studies]
“‘Affective Foreigners Save Our Elder Citizens’: Media Discourse of Indonesian Migrant Workers in Japan.” In The Political Economy of Affects and Emotions in East Asia (pp.137-153). London; New York: Routledge, 2014.
“homing.” In Maia Joseph et al. (eds.) Tracing the Lines: Writing in Honour of Roy Miki (pp.106-141). Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2012.