Notes on Objects & Places from Snow Falling on Cedars

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Snow Falling on Cedars Objects/Places

San Piedro Island: San Piedro is a small island off the coast of Washington State. Its residents are mostly Eastern European Immigrants, along with a few Japanese settlers. The main crop is strawberries. As in many small towns, secrets and gossip abound. When Carl Heine is found dead, it is nearly impossible for a fair trial to be held.

The Susan Marie (Boat): Carl Heine’s boat. An indication of his love for his wife (it is named after her) and the scene of Carl’s death and his meeting with Kabuo.

Carl Heine’s head wound: The cause of much debate in the trial of Kabuo Miyamoto. It is behind the left ear.and shaped as if it were made by a two-inch-thick stick. It causes much disgust on the part of Abel and Art.

Kendo Stick: A type of stick used by Japanese fighters to quickly kill by blows to the head. Many Japanese are trained from a young age in the art. Horace Whaley had seen them in the war and began to wonder if the wound on Carl Heine’s head might have been caused by one.

Tree: Hatsue uses the tree as a place to think. Ishmael finds her there and remembers it as a place they used to share. They spend more and more time in the tree, and it becomes a central way to hide their relationship, as well as to make it more precious.

Alien Land Act: A law which in the early part of the twentieth century stated that a noncitizen could not own land. Also, in 1906 the U.S Attorney General ordered courts to deny naturalized citizenship to Japanese immigrants.

Hatsue’s Letter: Hatsue sends Ishmael a letter from the camp. In it, she says she never loved him, really, and that she always felt things were wrong between them. Ishmael keeps the letter for years, until it almost disintigrates, but he can’t bring himself to throw it away.

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