Summaries

The following are summaries of each section of reading that we discussed:

Discussion 1 Chapters 1 - 8: Kabuo Miyamoto, a Japanese-American man, is on trial for the murder of Caucasian Carl Heine. They were both fishermen, toiling away in San Piedro to make a living. The sheriff and his deputy board Carl Hein's boat to find that all of the lights are still on, and that no one is on board. Lifting up his fishing net, they make the tragic discovery that he had drowned and had been caught in his net. When taken to the coroner, a blow to Carl's head was discovered, and Horace, the coroner, says that it is a similar wound to those inflicted by Japanese soldiers. The story also reveals a childhood relationship between Hatsue, Kabuo's wife, and Ishmael Chambers, a journalist.

Discussion 2 Chapters 9 - 10: The Miyamotos purchased seven acres from the Heines, Carl Sr. and Etta. They agreed to buy the land in payments, when the government declared that everyone of Japanese descent were to be sent to Japanese internment camps. Carl Sr. told the Miyamotos that they could finish their payment once the ordeal was over. However, he passed away before the Miyamotos returned, and Etta, his racist wife, sold their land, including the Miyamoto's to Ole Jurguson. Kabuo requested his land back, but Etta refused and Ole would not sell the land to him. Years later, due to his health, Ole agrees to sell the farm to Carl Jr., which angers Kabuo who goes to talk to Carl.

Discussion 3 Chapters 11 - 16: Kabuo believes that his current predicament is payment for the lives that he took while fighting in WWII. He reminisces on his past, remembering his training in kendo, which is supposedly how he killed Carl Heine. The relationship between Hatsue and Ishmael is expanded upon, and the two of them know that the world would never accept them being together. Ishmael feels though that their love will transcend all, while Hatsue feels guilt for lying to her family. As war erupts from the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor, Ishmael's father, the town's editor, prints papers that expound ton the positivity of the Japanese community, trying to remind people that they are their allies and neighbors. Soon though the FBI take away the prominent Japanese men of the community, and eventually the families are forced to leave as well. Hatsue's mother discovers Hatsue and Ishmael's secret romance through a letter delivered to the camp, and Hatsue writes a letter to Ishmael explaining that it is over between them. Ishmael goes to war and his hatred grows for the Japanese, stemming from Hatsue's rejection.

Discussion 4 Chapters 17 - 22: The trial continues as a storm begins to gather. The sheriff describes his account, realizing that what lead him to suspect Kabuo was Horace's remark on Japanese kendo. He arrests Kabuo, who proudly says that he has nothing to hide, and that he did not kill Carl. Susan Marie, Carl's wife explains that Ishmael came by to discuss purchasing his land back from Carl. After giving Hatsue a ride home, she implores him to write an article describing the unfairness of her husband's trial. He snidely remarks on the unfairness of her treatment towards him.

Discussion 5 Chapters 23 - 27: Ishmael discovers that Carl was killed by a freighter. The trial continues with Kabuo describing that he and Carl reached an arrangement on the land the night he was killed.

Discussion 6 Chapters 28 - 32: Ishmael resolves to move on with his life after re-reading Hatsue's rejection letter. He reveals that Carl was killed by a passing freighter, and Kabuo is set free. Ishmael finishes the story by concluding that the only force that man can control are "the chambers of the human heart."