Elisha Ager

Thesis title: An investigation of folklore representation in anime and how the visuals and narrative suggest nostalgia.


BA (Hons) Japanese Studies - Oxford Brookes University (OBU)

MSc Japanese Society and Culture - University of Edinburgh

Postgraduate teaching

Teaching Assistant for the Undergraduate Course "Supernatural Japan: Doing Japanology through Yokai"

Course Leader: Yoko Matsumoto-Sturt

Research summary

Investigating visual semiotics and worldbuilding in anime & film to consider how nostalgia can be seen through cultural memory. 

Keywords: Nostalgia, Yokai Studies (妖怪学), Folklore Studies (民俗学), Semiotics, Worldbuilding, Anime, Edo Japan, Kimono, 

Current research interests

Visual signifiers that suggest themes of nostalgia in the yokai seen in anime. Frameworks for research include: Visual semiotics, worldbuilding, character design, anime studies, and media studies. Yokai studies (boundaries, other, otherworld, transformation, shintoism, buddhism, emaki) Restorative/Reflective Nostalgia, Cultural nostalgia, Collective Memory (presented in yokai, and in anime)

Past research interests

How yokai theories are presented in anime and incorporated into the story. Keywords: Boundary Theory (境界), Other (異人), Otherworld (異界), Transformation (化ける), Nostalgia (懐かしい記憶)

Conference details

International Conference "Japan: Pre-Modern, Modern, Contemporary" Bucharest, Sept.1-3, 2023

Publication: Ager, Elisha. “An Investigation of How the World-Building in Recent Folklore-Related Anime Can Suggest Themes of Nostalgia.” Linguistics, Literature and Methodology of Teaching, Annals of “Dimitrie Cantemir” Christian University, 22, no. 1 (2023). https://aflls.ucdc.ro/doc/FLLS_Anale_1_2023.pdf.