David Guterson based his novel, Snow Falling On Cedars, during a racially charged time of history. This book takes place during the time period of 1940 to 1955. The setting of this novel is a small town, Amity Harbor, on the island of San Piedro. This is a small island, and Amity is the largest town on the entire island. This island is home to Japanese strawberry farmers and one-man gillnetting boats. This novel is based around the murder trial of Carl Heine Jr. The accused man is Kabuo Miyamoto, a Japanese gill-netter as well as a World War II veteran. By non-fiction facts, from historical documents, and fiction facts from the novel itself, Kabuo Miyamoto was accused solely because of his race.
On December 7, 1941, aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. About half the United States fleet was at Pearl Harbor at the time. More than 2,400 American servicemen and civilians were killed. Another 1,200 were wounded. Eight battleships of the Pacific Fleet were damaged or sunk, though the fleet's aircraft carriers were at sea. Hundreds of aircraft were destroyed. The same day, or shortly thereafter, the Japanese launched attacks against Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Guam and Wake Island. Because of the swift advances of the Japanese military, many Americans concluded that an invasion, either of Hawaii or the West Coast, was inevitable. (Leitich 1)
In February 1942, Lieutenant General John DeWitt, the commanding general of the Western Defense Command, which included California, Oregon and Washington, urged the evacuation of all Japanese American citi...
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...anese decent then they are the ones that fought against and killed American soldiers during World War II. Many of the American’s of Japanese decent fought and died for the same country, the same cause, and the same humanity that the American soldiers did, but this was never looked at, never taken into consideration, and never respected.
Guterson, David. Snow Falling On Cedars. New York: Vintage Books, 1995.
Internment Camps. Ed. 04/15/2001. <http://www.asd.k12.ak.us/schools/west/education/bookgroupproject/Gute rson/camps.htm>.
Japanese Internment. Ed. Lamb, Judith. St. Francis Xavier School. 04/5/2001. <http://topcat.bridgew.edu/~kschrock/ED560/lamb/Japanese.htm>.
Leitich, Greg H. Japanese American Legal History: Internment/Relocation. 04/17/2001. 04/5/2001 <http://www.cynthialeitichsmith.com/niseiww2.htm>.
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