Purity in Circle K Cycles by Karen Tei Yamashita Essay

Purity in Circle K Cycles by Karen Tei Yamashita Essay

Length: 2804 words (8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

What makes a Japanese person pure? Is it their lineage? Is it the fact they live in Japan? Circle K Cycles written by Karen Tei Yamashita revolves around the concept of what is pure. Yamashita uses her own personal encounters, along with stories in order to try to understand the concept of what makes an ethnicity pure, and the hybridization of ethnicities. As a writer, Yamashita tries to explore the essence of purity by using different forms of writing. Yamashita, throughout the book, refers to her own experience of migration to Japan and Brazil. When reading we are able to see different levels of racism between the two countries. In order to explore the relevance of purity between Japan and Brazil within Circle K Circles, Yamashita uses her personal encounters, short stories, form, and language.
Yamashita begins Circle K Circles with the concept of introducing the term of being “purely Japanese.” Yamashita is a Japanese American that has traced her father’s “family back fourteen generations” (Yamashita 11). By tracing both of her family’s lineage, Yamashita came to the conclusion that she was pure Japanese, “They were Meiji Japanese” (Yamashita 11), with no foreign blood. The only thing that was different was that she was a third generation American. When Karen moved back to Japan, she physically looked like a “typical American sansei from California” (Yamashita 11). As a result, it wasn’t unusual for her to be asked about her ancestry. When Yamashita relates her lineage to the questioner and justifies that her family had originated from Japan that they exclaim: “Ah, then you are a pure Japanese” (Yamashita 12)! It is here where Yamashita asks us “What could it mean to be a “pure Japanese” (Yamashita 12)?
Yamashita, aroun...

... middle of paper ...

...we are given insight to how “unpure” Dekasegi’s are treated within Japan through Miss Hamamatsu and Ze Maria. Not only does Yamashita’s use of short stories, but she also uses form to show the clash of cultures. By using form we see how different conservative Japanese juxtaposed against the animated Brazilians. However, despite the Japanese need of trying to maintain “all things Japanese” we shown that Japanese is a language that isn’t pure in itself. Yamashita plays with the idea of impure language by hybridizing Japanese with Brazilian words. In the end, we are shown both that Japans advocating of keeping Japan pure, somewhat fails.

Works Cited

"Japanese Brazilian." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 17 Mar. 2011.
Yamashita, Karen Tei. Circle K Cycles. Minneapolis, MN: Coffee House, 2001. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Karen Tei Yamashita's Tropic of Orange Essay

- ... However, they take on this responsibility because of the love they have for their grandchildren. Not only are these grandparents voluntarily taking care of their younger grandchildren, they are “providing care for their grandchildren in informal, private care arrangements without the involvement of the child welfare system” (Letiecq, et al., 2008, p. 996). At age 10 years old, Larry was adopted back into his biological family with his aunt and uncle. He then began to discover his childhood dreams in which were established with his foster brothers as a younger boy....   [tags: novel analysis]

Term Papers
2233 words (6.4 pages)

Essay on Yamashita's Tropic of Orange

- Yamashita's Tropic of Orange This paper studies Yamashita’s Tropic of Orange as a magical realist text and examines the implications for such a style on the notion of the urban. Specifically, I will explore how Yamashita uses magical realism to collapse boundaries and socially transform Los Angeles into an embattled utopia for the disenfranchised. First, however, magical realism is a loaded term and some definitions are in order. In addition to important recent innovations in the form and its purposes, magical realism is in dialogue with a longer history of writing, including the epic, chivalric traditions, Greek pastoral, medieval dream visions, romantic traditions and Gothic fictions, a...   [tags: Yamashita Tropic Orange Realism Essays]

Term Papers
2452 words (7 pages)

Karen Horney's The Distrust Between the Sexes Essay

- Karen Horney's "The Distrust Between the Sexes" In Karen Horney's "The Distrust Between the Sexes," she attempts to explain the problems in the relationships between men and women. She writes that to understand the problem you must first understand that problems stem from a common background. A large amount of suspiciousness is due to people's intensity of emotions. Early in Horney's essay, she defines passion and discusses why it is rare. People do not feel safe putting all of their faith and trust in only one other person....   [tags: Karen Horney Distrust Between the Sexes]

Term Papers
734 words (2.1 pages)

Essay about The Wedding Dance By Karen Dunak

- In As Long As We Both Shall Love: The White Wedding in Postwar America, Karen Dunak reflects the traditional white wedding through the displays of the aspects of the ritual. Through Dunak’s research, she encompasses all of the crucial aspects of a white wedding ritual, such as the purity of the white dress, the religion of the Church, as well as the publicity of the wedding. Throughout the book, Dunak proves the significance of such events to the wedding culture. In relations to my parent’s wedding, they combined many of Dunak’s white wedding elements with unique elements of their own to accommodate the ritual to their liking....   [tags: Wedding, White wedding, Marriage, Family]

Term Papers
1223 words (3.5 pages)

Purity And Filth : Blurred Lines Essays

- Purity vs Filth: Blurred Lines Purity and filth have been on opposite sides of the fence ever since a distinction was made between the two. The purity vs filth battle can be seen in many aspects of life, whether that be displayed in race, religion, or even geographically. This brings into question, where is the division between filth and purity, or is there a division at all. This division is called out in Joe Weil’s “Ode to Elizabeth”, Nicolás Guillén’s “What Color?”, and possibly even in William Carlos William’s “This is Just to Say”....   [tags: Adam and Eve, Garden of Eden, White]

Term Papers
880 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on The Gay Movement, And The Purity Movement

- The “Ex-Gay Movement” and the Purity Movement in the 1990s offered a solution for those wishing to reconfirm their faith with Jesus Christ. The Ex-Gay Movement consisted of ministries, with a focus on the New Hope ministry described in Straight to Jesus within this paper’s realm, that worked to rehabilitate those who wished to abandon their homosexual practices in favor of a heterosexual, Christian life. The Purity Movement, with a focus on the re-masculinization of men, True Love Waits and Silver Ring Thing described in Virgin Nation, within this paper’s realm, served as a sex education organization with a focus on abstinence-only until marriage....   [tags: Gender, Male, Gender role, Sexual intercourse]

Term Papers
1008 words (2.9 pages)

The Desire to Perpetuate the Purity of Children Essay

- In The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss wrote, “When we are children we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind.” Children live in a world full of innocence, ignorance, and bliss. They are not affected by the corruption of the world; therefore, naiveté is preserved. In J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, innocence is shown through the pond and Holden’s desire for being a “catcher in the rye”; through Phoebe, Allie, and Sunny for their adolescence; and through the carrousel and the Museum of Natural History for their conservation....   [tags: J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye]

Term Papers
1189 words (3.4 pages)

Sexual Purity And The Bible Essay

- Sexual purity plays an important role in the Bible. In fact, it has one of the most central roles in the Bible due to its beginning. From the very beginning, God created man and then woman because it was not good for man to be alone. (Gen. 2:18) God created sex as a gift to Adam and Eve. It is an act that follows after marriage and unifies male and female into ‘one flesh.’ (Gen. 2:24). Sex is an act so intimate that is written, “Adam knew Eve.” (Gen. 4:1) Genesis, the beginning and basis for the rest of the Bible, shows that God had intended male and female to be together in a monogamous relationship where sex only occurred between them as a unifier and procreation....   [tags: Sexual intercourse, Marriage, Human sexuality]

Term Papers
1114 words (3.2 pages)

Purity Culture and Sexual Shame Essay

- The scene is the same in Christian youth groups across denominational lines. The youth leader holds up the object of a purity--an unmangled rose, a paper clip with elegant and manufactured curves. Cue the entrance of sexual sin and shame--greedy fingers disfiguring the frail flower, violent grip bending the paper clip beyond repair. The leader explains that sexual sin is the one thing that harms you irreversibly, that makes you ‘damaged goods,’ that could ruin your relationships and spiritual journey for the rest of your life....   [tags: Christian Youth Groups, Sex]

Term Papers
1807 words (5.2 pages)

The Deception and Destruction of Purity in The Italian Essays

- The Deception and Destruction of Purity in The Italian Purity in the Gothic genre can be perceived from so many points of view. It involves sex, beauty, perception, and people's position in society. "The Italian" has many characters that behold either one or more of these traits. In this paper, we will explore how Ann Radcliffe uses purity and the deception and destruction of it to enhance her character's role in the Gothic genre. "The sweetness and fine expression of her voice attracted his attention to her figure, which had a distinguished air of delicacy and grace; but her face was concealed in her veil....   [tags: Italian Essays]

Term Papers
1051 words (3 pages)