This courtroom, Judge Llewellyn Fieldings, down at the end of a damp, drafty hallway on the third floor of the Island County Courthouse , was run down and small as courtrooms go. Pg 4
That narrator is explaining what the courtroom looks like. This quote helps us imagine what the setting of one of the main storylines looks like. It's a good setting for this book because there is an actual trial going on but there is a trial for Ishmael and Hatsue too, as we get taken into their lives and their perspective of the other main storylines. These are similar to each other because the point of view Ishmael and Hatsue give are like the testimonies in the trial. This is right at the beginning of the story where the narrator is explaining the setting.
He hoped it would snow recklessly and bring to the island the impossible winter purity, so rare and precious, he remembers fondly about his youth.
Ishmael wished it would recklessly, like in his past. This quote gives me an image of a snow globe, because the snow looks pure. It also tells the reader that Ishmael wants to go back to the past, and shows his refusal of change. This also happens before the trial starts in Ishmael's mind.
He didn't like very many people anymore or very many things, either.
Ishmael was recollecting about his past, he saying that after he lost his arm, that he didn't like many people or things anymore. This is explaining the effect on war on people's character in specific Ishmael. After the war, his thoughts and views on the world changed making it gloomier, this is probably Carl's and Kabuo's view on the war too since they aware all participants, but what make Ismael different is he can't let go of his past. This happens after the testimony of Art Moran, the county sheriff.
The arm was a grim enough thing without that, and he felt sure it was entirely disgusting. He could repel people if he chose by wearing a short-sleeved shirt that revealed the scar tissue on his stump. He never did this, however. He didn't exactly want to repel people. Anyway, he had this view of things - that most human activity was utter folly, his own included, and that his existence in this world made others nervous.
Ishmael was recollecting his past, and in the end of it he was talking about his arm on how he thought he can repel people by showing them is stump. He also thinks about his views on people and life, which were most human activities were crazy and how his existence made people nervous. This quote gives us more details on Ishmael's character. He feels isolated from the other citizens, and thinks his arm is a defect or a curse, a physical representation to the emotional void in his life. He thinks his past and his arm were the reasons why he's like how he is now, no wife, no children, but it's actually his ability to not let go of his past that is affecting him. This happens after the testimony of Art Moran, the county sheriff.
"Kendo?" said Art Moran. "Stick fighting," Horace explained. "Japs are trained in it from when they're kids. How to kill with sticks."
The sheriff and the coroner were searching for clues doing an examination on Carl's body (victim). They found a deep wound in Carl's head, and they immediately assume the Japanese did it using kendo (stick fighting). This quote shows the racism towards the Japanese, because their first conclusion to the wound was from the Japanese hitting him. People could say it was non-biased, but the coroner called them "Japs" a derogatory term while explaining the whole thing. The racism between the Japanese and the American is one of the major themes in the story. This happened after the testimony of the sheriff
Thirty-nine Japanese worked at the Port Jefferson mill, but the census taker neglected to list them by name, referring instead to Jap Number 1, Jap Number 2, Jap Number 3, Japan Charlie, Old Jap Sam, Laughing Jap. Dwarf Jap, Chippy, Boots, and Stumpy - names of this sort instead of real names.
They were talking about how and when people of Japanese descent started moving to San Piedro Island, and when they did the census count, they used derogatory terms and mean nicknames to name them instead of their actual names. This quote shows there island has a long history of prejudice against the Japanese, and another example of one of the main themes in this story, racism. This happens after the sheriff tells the wife of the victim the bad news and the narrator is telling the history of the Japanese immigrants.
But Hatsue feared, walking home over forest trails from Mrs. Shigemura's, that despite her training she was not becalmed. She dallied and sometimes sat under trees, searched for lady's slippers or whit trilliums to pick, and contemplated her attraction to the world of illusions - her craving for existence and entertainment, for clothes, makeup, dances and movies. Pg 83-84
Every Wednesday, Hatsue (child) would go to Mrs. Shigemura's house and learn Japanese traditions and etiquette. While she walks home after the lessons, she questions herself about whether she wants to live and act like Japanese or American. This quote explains her inner conflicts with herself. She wants to live like an American but she is Japanese, but ironically she wants to get rid of the urge because her parents won't approve of it. This happens when Hatsue was talking to Kabuo at the county jail and she was thinking of her own childhood.
Stay away from white men, said Mrs, Shigemura, and marry a boy with her own kind whose heart is strong and good. Pg 84
At one of her lessons, she told Hatsue to stay away from white men and marry a boy that's her own descent. This quote explain that racism is a two way street, the Japanese also are insulting the Americans, so the Japanese aren't doing anything to bring the two closer together, but ironically they live together. This happens when Hatsue was thinking about her past, and happened during one of her conversations with Mrs. Shigemura.
"Oceans don't mix" said Hatsue. "They're different temperatures; They have different amounts of salt." "They mix underneath," said Ishmael. "It's all really just one ocean."
When Hatsue and Ishmael were little kids, they were childhood friends. One day, they were arguing about whether the oceans mix or not. This quote is a simple interpretation of one of the main themes in this story, racism. Hatsue is arguing that the oceans don't mix and they're named different, which is like the races and their differences, while Ishmael argues that it's all just one ocean or just water, which he means like we're all just people. This happens when Ishmael is thinking about their childhood together.
This was a matter of honor, he'd explained to her and he had no choice but to accept the duty the war imposed on him. At first she refused to understand this and had insisted that duty was less important than love and she hoped that Kabuo felt the same way. But he could not bring himself to agree with this: love went deep and meant life itself, but honor could not be turned from. He was not who he was if he didn't go to war, and could not be worthy of her.
This was in Kabuo's past when he had to tell her wife Hatsue that he had to go to war and told he good bye. This quote tells us about Kabuo's character. He is thoughtful, calm, and disciplined. We also know his views on love. He puts love second to honor because he thinks without honor he doesn't deserve Hatsue, and their relationship is based on mutual respect. Whereas Ishmael puts love first and puts her relationship with Hatsue like love in romance books or movies, always spending time with each other. This is while Kabuo is in Jail thinking about his past.
Inside their cedar tree, for nearly four years, he and Hatsue had held one another with dreamy contentedness of young lovers.
The cedar tree is the place where Ishmael and Hatsue always meet secretly because their love Is forbidden by Hatsue's parents. This quote represents the main setting when they were together, and the cedar tree represents their love, and nothing can break it when they're inside. There were no restrictions because it was their place and they can do anything they want. No racism or cultural differences to split them up. This was taking place in Ishmael mind after the testimony of the victim's mother (Etta Heine).
"We can't go out, were trapped inside this tree" said Hatsue
Before the Japanese had to go to Mazanar Ishmael and Hatsue meet in the cedar tree the last time to plan how their relationship would work out. She tells Ishmael that this relationship wouldn't work out in the outside world, and it would only work inside the tree. This quote tells us the conflicts between the two characters and society because society, specifically their parents won't let the relationship happen. This happened when Ishmael was thinking about his teenage life when Hatsue had to go to Mazanar and wanted to talk to Ishmael for the last time
"Ishmael," she whispered and in that moment he pushed himself inside of her, all the way in, his hardness filling her entirely, and Hatsue knew with clarity that nothing about it is right. It came as an enormous shock to her, this knowledge, and at the same time it was something she had always known, something until now hidden, She pulled away from him - she pushed him "No," she said. "No, Ishmael. No, Ishmael. Never."
Before the Japanese had to go to Mazanar, Ishmael and Hatsue meet in the cedar tree the last time to plan how their relationship would work out. So the two started to have sex but right as they started Hatsue pushed Ishmael backed and said no to his marriage proposal. This quote is example of how he character has grown up and made a big decision because Hatsue finally decided she wants to be Japanese, and ironically she did this when Ishmael was in her, because she literally and figuratively shut him down. This happened when Ishmael was thinking about his teenage life when Hatsue had to go to Mazanar and wanted to talk to Ishmael for the last time.
Fujiko removed her glasses carefully and, as was her habit, rubbed her eyes. "On the train," She said. "What did you decide?" "Nothing at first" said Hatsue. "I couldn't think very clearly/ There were too many things to think about, Mother. I was too depressed to think." "And now?" said Fujiko. "What now?"
"I'm done with him" said Hatsue
At Mazanar, Hatsue's mother figures out that Ishmael had been sending letters to Hatsue, she told her to get rid of his relationship between the two. So after some thinking, Hatsue tells her mother that she will write a letter telling Ishmael to stop talking to her and they're through. This quote is example of Hatsue's decision making and how she grown up, and how she confronted her mother about the things she previously couldn't, her relationship. This is also how she thinks in the contrast of settings, which is ironic because she can make decisions in Mazanar, which practically a prison, but she couldn't in the cedar tree which was her own world and she could do whatever she wanted.
he didn't quite know how to finish his words, he didn't quite know what he meant to utter, "that fucking goddamn Jap bitch" was all he could think to say
During the war, Ishmael lost his arm, and while he was getting his arm amputated, he blamed his arm loss on Hatsue. This quote shows the effect of war on Ishmael's character as it seems to imprison his emotions. Before when they were little children, he said "it's all just one ocean," now he probably changed his mind and the war made him increase the separation between him and the Japanese. This happened when he thought of his experiences in the war.
It was her impression that there remained some measure of feelings between them, that after all this time they held at least the memory of their friendship.
This happened when Carl's wife, Susan Marie was at the witness stand talking about her husband, when she was thinking about her past life with him. She thought that he and Kabuo was still somewhat friends. This quote is important because it shows an unbiased perspective on the two people's relationship. She thinks they're still friends, but she's wrong. They didn't talk to each other after the war. This shows how the war affected the two people's mind. Even though Kabuo was fighting on U.S.A.'s side, just because he's Japanese, Carl doesn't like him anymore.
Ishmael replied coldly "You're right... People don't have to be unfair"
When the power went out at the courthouse, the trial was done for a while. So Ishmael just takes a trip of the whole island, until he saw Hatsue and her parents moving their car that was stuck in snow. So Ishmael takes them instead to their house. When her parents left the car, Hatsue talks to him about writing a newspaper article about the trial not being fair. This quote is tells us that Ishmael is still dwelling on his past on Hatsue breaking up with him because he is American. He thinks that is unfair to him. You see Hatsue grow up, but Ishmael still has conflicts with his past that he can't seem to let go unless he confronts her about it. This takes place after Susan Marie's testimony and when the power goes out for the courthouse.
"What else do we have?" replied Ishmael. "Everything else is ambiguous. Everything else is emotions and hunches. At least the facts you can cling to; the emotions just float away."
After he dropped Hatsue and her parents to their house, he went to his mother's house. At the dinner table, they were arguing about the trial, and Ishmael says you can only rely on the facts. This quote shows Ishmael's state of mind since the war was over. His emotions are gone, and he can't love anymore and only believes in the facts. It also shows his inner conflicts and how he won't have a good life unless he faces his inner demons. This happened after the power went out and he went to his mother's house after he dropped off Hatsue and her parents.
The truth now lay in Ishmael's own pocket and he did not know what to do with it.
This happened after the trial was over. During the trial he found a critical piece of evidence that could make Kabuo innocent. Now the trial is over and the odds aren't on Kabuo's side and Ishmael doesn't know what to do with it. This quote is important because what he does will tell us if Ishmael's all grown up and turns in the evidence, or be like before where he will keep quiet because Hatsue broke up with him. This is the biggest choice that Ishmael has to face, and we will see if he finally solves his inner conflict or not.
"Find someone to marry" she said to him. "Have children, Ishmael. Live."
This happened after the trial was over and the jury were thinking if he was guilty or not. It looked bad for Kabuo because most of the evidence were pretty good making him look guilty. Ishmael visits Hatsue's house and talked for a while. When he was about to leave Hatsue told him to get married and have children. Ishmael faced his inner demons by talking to her about their relationship now. His character changed because before he would be ignorant, talk about the two of them together and he didn't take her feelings into consideration, now he knows that it can't happen and he talks like they were friends, something that he couldn't do previously. It's a big change, and now you can see Ishmael's grown up.
She said finally. "It wasn't something new was it." "A day" answered Ishmael. "I sat on it for a day. I didn't know what I should do." She said nothing in the face of this and he turned toward her silence to see what it might mean. "I'm sorry," he said. "It's inexcusable." "I understand it," answered Hatsue.
Hatsue and Ishmael were discussing their plan to make Kabuo innocent. Ishmael finally reveals the evidence that could make Kabuo free. Hatsue says that he didn't find that just now, but Hatsue forgives him. This quote shows Ishmael finally revealed his evidence and that he grown up, not letting the ending of their relationship be a factor to his choices. He finally got rid of his conflicts and he's finally grown up. This happens after the trial is over and Ishmael finally reveals his evidence to Hatsue.