The book Snow Falling on Cedars is a story about a Japanese-American fisherman named Kabuo Miyamoto who is accused of murdering a well-known local fisherman, Carl Heine, he is outcast because he is Japanese and the trial takes place right before the anniversary of the Japanese bombings in Hawaii. Everyone on the island has an anti-Japanese feeling towards Kabuo and his family but they are not open about it. The people alienate him because he is Japanese. This alienation shows how the surrounding society assumes he is guilty, they stereotype him because of his culture, and their values are shown through betrayal and hatred.
The local sheriff, Art Moran, does not even suspect foul play until Horace Whaley, the coroner, says that the wound on Carl Heine's head reminds him of wounds he saw in WWII, when soldiers got into hand-to-hand combat with Japanese soldiers trained in kendo. They all assume it was Kabuo because he knows kendo and he is Japanese. They assume just because he is Japanese it must have been him. During the trial all the Japanese-Americans who live on San Piedro sit together in the back, they are segregated because of their ethnicity. When Kabuo approaches Ole to buy the land his father had started to purchase, he says no because he had already gotten a down payment from Carl Heine Jr. He says he was just too late. Because of WWII the whites residents of San Piedro feel resentment towards the Japanese-American residents. Ishmael learns to hate Hatsue because she left him. Carl dislikes the Japanese because he has to leave his farm to fight in the war. The people of San Piedro assume the Japanese are all alike and not to be trusted. This is the reason for putting Kabuo on trial in the first place. .
Kabuo is stereotyped in many instances during the book. The kendo wound on Carl Heine's head is an example. Because Kabuo knows kendo and is Japanese he is stereotyped as the murderer.