Snow Falling on Cedars | Study Guide

David Guterson

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Snow Falling on Cedars | Characters

Character Description
Ishmael Chambers Ishmael Chambers is a lifelong island resident who was romantically involved with Hatsue Miyamoto in high school. He had an arm amputated after an injury in World War II and returned to the island to run the newspaper his father founded. Read More
Kabuo Miyamoto Kabuo Miyamoto is a Japanese American man, a lifelong island resident and a veteran of World War II. He is married to Hatsue and now stands accused of murder. Read More
Hatsue Miyamoto A Japanese American woman, Hatsue Miyamoto was romantically involved with Ishmael in high school. Now she is worried about whether her husband, Kabuo, will get a fair trial. Read More
Carl Heine A lifelong island resident and World War II veteran, Carl Heine is a fisherman and aspiring strawberry farmer. His unexplained death leads to Kabuo's trial for murder. Read More
Arthur Chambers Arthur Chambers is a World War I veteran and the founder of the San Piedro Review newspaper. He is Ishmael's father, and although he died years ago, he is still highly respected by many island residents.
Helen Chambers Helen Chambers is Ishmael's mother and Arthur's widow. She finds a way to enjoy life in spite of her grief, and she hopes someday Ishmael can do the same.
Judge Lew Fielding Judge Lew Fielding is the only judge in town; he presides over Kabuo's murder trial.
Nels Gudmundsson Nels Gudmundsson is an elderly man serving as Kabuo's defense attorney. Although his body is failing, his mind is sharp and he believes in Kabuo's innocence.
Carl Heine Sr. Carl's father, Carl Heine Sr., is a strawberry farmer who made an agreement with Kabuo's father, Zenhichi Miyamoto.
Etta Heine Carl's mother, Etta Heine, helps on the family strawberry farm. She dislikes the Japanese farmers and disapproves of her husband's deal with Zenhichi Miyamoto.
Susan Heine Carl Heine Sr.'s wife and the mother of his children, Susan Heine grieves deeply after his death.
Alvin Hooks Alvin Hooks is the prosecutor for Kabuo's trial.
Fujiko Imada Hatsue Miyamoto's mother, Fujiko Imada, disapproves of her relationship with Ishmael and distrusts all white people.
Hisao Imada Hisao Imada, Hatsue Miyamoto's father, is a strawberry farmer who tries to support her during her husband's trial.
Ole Jurgensen Ole Jurgensen is a farmer who bought the Heine's farm, including the land that should have belonged to the Miyamotos. When his health deteriorates, he offers to sell, and both Kabuo and Carl wish to buy it.
Sergeant Maples Sergeant Maples was Kabuo's instructor during Army training; after seeing Kabuo do kendo, the sergeant decides to study it himself.
Abel Martinson Abel Martinson is the sheriff's deputy. He is young and inexperienced, and struggles to look at Carl's dead body.
Zenhichi Miyamoto Kabuo Miyamoto's father, Zenhichi Miyamoto, arranged to buy farm land for Kabuo, but the deal was ruined when the Miyamotos were sent away to an internment camp. Zenhichi's family were important samurai in Japan and he saves many heirlooms, which Kabuo later recovers.
Art Moran Art Moran is the island sheriff who investigates Carl's death. He doesn't expect to find anything, but the evidence leads him to arrest Kabuo.
Alexander Van Ness Alexander Van Ness is the lone juror who doesn't immediately agree to convict Kabuo.
Horace Whaley The coroner and medical examiner, Horace Whaley identifies Carl's head wound and suggests a kendo strike might be the cause of death.
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