Clarinetist Ayako Oshima was born in Tokyo, Japan, and in 1986 she was the winner of the 55th Japan Music Competition. In 1985, she won the International Winds and Percussion Competition in Tokyo. In 1987, she won a bronze medal and Golden Harp Award in the International Jeunesses Musicales Competition in Belgrade. She has played recitals in Casals Hall and Keoi Hall in Tokyo, and has performed at festivals in Germany and Japan.
Oshima has been active in new music, having played premieres of music by Suzuki, Yasuraoka, and Nakagawa with historical instruments. She is a member of the period instrument wind ensemble Mozzafiato. Oshima has made recordings for the Sony, Vivarte, Toshiba, EMI, and Victor labels. Oshima received an advanced degree from the Toho School in Japan and was a special student at the Eastman School of Music.
Oshima is a faculty member at SUNY-Purchase and the Mannes School of Music; she has been a Juilliard faculty member since 1993.