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Kabuo Assumed Guilty Because of Japanese Heritage in Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson

analytical Essay
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1339 words
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Kabuo Assumed Guilty Because of Japanese Heritage in Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson

In the novel, Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson, Kabuo Miyamoto is arrested for murder without any substantial evidence. He was charged with a crime he did not commit. He was accused based strictly on his race. Kabuo’s trial was unfair because there was racial conflict with the Japanese following World War II.

The racial conflict with Japanese-Americans began when the Empire of Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. On December 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, a military naval base located in the state of Hawaii. “Behind them they left chaos, 2,403 dead, 188 destroyed planes, and a crippled Pacific Fleet that included 8 damaged or destroyed battleships” (“Attack” 1). The next day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared war on the Empire of Japan. The fear that resulted from the attack on Pearl Harbor caused many white Americans to hate the Japanese-Americans. Many Japanese were accused of being spies and were arrested without proof. “Rabid anti-Japanese American racism surfaced the first days after Pearl Harbor. The FBI and the military had been compiling lists of "potentially dangerous" Japanese Americans since 1932, but most were merely teachers, businessmen or journalists” (Thistlethwaite 1). In February of 1942, all of the Japanese on the West Coast of the United States were sent to internment camps.

Japanese Internment Camps were established to keep an eye on everyone of Japanese decent. The internment camps were based on an order from the President to relocate people with Japanese Heritage. This meant relocating 110,000 Japanese people. “Two thirds of these people were born in America and were legal citizens, and of the 10 people found to be spying for the Japanese during World War II, not one was of Japanese ancestry” (Friedler 1). Thus, there was no reason for these internment camps, but people do irrational things when driven by fear. In theinternment camps, many of the Japanese became sick or even died because of lack of nourishment in the food provided at these camps. The conditions in the internment camps were awful. One of the internment camps, Manzanar, was located to the west of Desert Valley in California. “Manzanar barracks measured 120 x 20 feet and were divided into six one-room apartments, ranging in size from 320 to 480 square feet.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that japanese internment camps were established to keep an eye on everyone of japanese decent. they were based on an order from the president to relocate people with japanese heritage.
  • Cites lerner law books' "ex parte endo, 323 u.s. 283 (1944).
  • Analyzes how kabuo miyamoto's trial was unfair because there was racial conflict with the japanese following world war ii.
  • Analyzes how the supreme court sided with endo in korematsu vs. united states in 1944, and how nels gudmundsson tries to get kabuo to tell the truth about the murder.
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