I chose the novel Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson because I have heard from many people that it is a compelling story which truly depicts the inhumanities of racism. Human emotions are intensely conveyed in such riveting detail that one can not read this book without it leaving a permanent mark on their heart. Furthermore, I was not very familiar with the Japanese encampments of the mid nineteen hundreds. I knew that reading this novel would broaden my horizons and lead me into unknown territory. Plot Summary
A well liked fisherman named Carl Heine mysteriously turns up dead in the small island community of San Piedro Island. World War II is beginning and there is high suspicion of traitors among the islands Japanese immigrants. Kubuo Miyamoto is accused of this crime and is put on trial at a time of high prejudice. Miyamoto and Heine had been childhood friends but in their later years, their was an honorable dispute over land. Many signs pointed to Miyamoto’s guilt, but in the end, the cause of death is determined tragically accidental and Miyamoto is set free after spending three lonely, freezing, winter months in his desolate cell. A secret love affair existed between Hatsue, now Miyamoto’s wife, and Ishmael Chambers, the islands journalist when they were adolescents. They would meet in the dense shelter of the cedar forests where they would prove their lustful love for each other. Hatsue being Japanese and Ishmael being white was not only against all of societies morals, but against everything Hatsue had ever known; her entire culture and history. As tensions boil among the islands natives, the Japanese immigrants were subject to profuse searches, stripped of every priceless belonging, and deported to work camps. Among the confusion, families were torn apart left with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Ishmael and Hatsue were forced apart and Ishmeal joined the army and their efforts against the Japanese. Though many years have passed, Ishmael has never healed from the heartbreak of losing Hatsue and he is still desperately in love with her.
Kabuo is of Japanese decent. He emits an aura of honor, pride, and grace. His deep dark eyes seem to show no emotion. He portrays great physical strength. His features are very smooth and angular. His hair is cut very close to his skull. He has a great sense of protection and feels he has a duty to care for his family.