ENG 283E: Our Premodern Epics: How Epics Create Culture and Vice Versa

Don Quixote: One Piece - How The Donquixote Family Started, Japan

This clip is from the popular Japanese TV anime series, One Piece. The original artwork of One Piece was done by Eiichiro Oda in the city of Kumamoto in Japan. This clip features the rise of the Donquixote family, a mafia family. The creator of One Piece adopted this family name from Don Quixote, the Spanish epic. The child in the clip, who the other characters refer to as “Doffy”, is the boss of the organized crime group. Doffy and Don Quixote are both misfits with augmented views of the world. These two characters both have their own desires of how the world should be and how the world should view them as. Both characters want to be respected, however, their approaches are completely opposite. Doffy earns his respect through fear and through the threats that his mafia family brings. In the clip, it shows that Doffy's subordinates follow his commands and fulfill his desires thoroughly. The subordinates are willing to destroy a town simply because the roads of the town are uneven. On the other hand, Don Quixote earns his respect through chivalry and his seemingly righteous actions. Don Quixote dreams to be “righting every kind of wrong, and exposing himself to peril and danger from which, in the issue, he was to reap eternal renown and fame” (Cervantes 1).  Another reason that might contribute for the artist’s use of this family name is that the epic of Don Quixote has a strong influence of modern Japanese literature. The epic was introduced to Japan by early merchants. The chivalry theme in the book is widely accepted in Japan because traditional Japanese warriors, Samurais, also had a similar code of honor called Bushido. Many researchers in the late 1900s agreed on that Don Quixote is present in many modern Japanese literature. A group of researchers concluded that “although certain authors do not explicitly mention Don Quixote, one can note examples of Don Quixote-like characters” (Bantarō and  Prichard 141). One Piece is a good example of this culture fusion in literature. In this case, the character Don Quixote is not shown but the name is shown. Doffy inherited the augmented view of Don Quixote but in a twisted and destructive way. This signifies that the epic of Don Quixote is the original recipe of modern Japanese literature; through out time, modern Japanese writers add their own ingredients to perfect the recipe and produce great literature.


Bantarō, Seiro, and Prichard Franz. "Modern Japanese Literature and "Don Quixote"" Review of Japanese Culture and Society
18 (2006): 132-46. Web.

Cervantes, Miguel De. "Chapter I." Don Quixote. Trans. John Ormsby. The University of Adelaide. 17 Dec. 2014. Web. 31 Oct.



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