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Snow falling on cedars

             Kabuo Miyamoto, a local fisherman and World War II veteran is on trial for the murder of Carl Heine, another fisherman and respected veteran. The novel takes place on San Piedro Island, located in the Puget Sound off the coast of Washington. It is a small, isolated island and there are many underlying tensions between the townspeople. Kabuo and his wife, Hatsue Miyamoto, believe that it will be impossible for him to receive a fair trial due to the prejudices against Japanese-Americans on San Piedro. In addition, the evidence seems to point directly to Kabuo. .
             Kabuo has had several disagreements with Carl Heine over land. Before the war, Carl Heine Sr. had sold some of his land to Zenhichi Miyamoto, Kabuo's father. During the war, while the Miyamotos were away in internment camps and after Carl Sr.'s death, Carl's anti-Japanese mother sold the farm, breaking the informal agreement made years earlier between Carl Sr. and Zenhichi. After the war, Carl beats Kabuo to the land and purchases his former home. However, Carl agrees to consider selling him the land that Zenhichi Miyamoto had originally purchased. The following day, Carl goes fishing only to have his boat run out of power. Fortunately, Kabuo finds Carl stranded in the fog and helps him, causing Carl to agree to sell the land. Unfortunately, later that night Carl dies after being knocked down from his mast by the wake of a large freighter and hitting his head on the edge of his boat. .
             The following morning, Kabuo immediately becomes the prime suspect after Carl's drowned body is discovered with a suspicious head wound. After searching Kabuo's boat, the local sheriff finds a fishing gaff with Carl's unusual blood type on the handle. When this evidence is added to the well-known land feud, it seems Kabuo will be convicted of a crime he did not commit. .
             However, Ishmael Chambers, another war veteran who is the editor of the town newspaper, receives a plea from Hatsue to prove Kabuo's innocence.

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