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The exposition of Journey to Topaz consists of the reader learning all about Yuki Sakane and her family. They are living in California during the time of World War II. Yuki has typical teenage problems and thinks about how she can be more involved with her friends and more accepted at school.
The inciting incident of this book (which some people call the conflict) is absolutely when the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. This is when the American attitude changes towards all Japanese Americans. Talk of putting all Japanese Americans into internment camps in order to keep them confined starts to circulate.
The rising action really begins with the arrest of Mr. Sakane and the Japanese family's forced evacuation from Berkeley, California. They are forced to Tanforan and then the actual internment camp at Topaz in Utah. The Sakanes are there for the entire war. The many incidents that happen in the camp show how they struggle against inhumanity and hardship and depression and boredom.
Fear has made this country do something she will one day regret, Mr. Kurihara, but we cannot let this terrible mistake poison our hearts. If we do, then we will be the ones to destroy ourselves and our children as well.
In regard to the climax, I believe that the fourteenth chapter holds this part of the plot: the death of Mr. Kurihara. Though he is always misunderstood by Yuki (until she is fully mature), the people of the camp learn to understand Mr. Kurihara despite his attitude. His death is followed by a huge cry of sorrow and despair.
The falling action and resolution continue after Mr. Kurihara's death with less and less suspense. There are still many incidents that happen, but Mr. Sakane again joins his family, Ken enlists in the Army, and the actual resolution would be the Sakanes living in Salt Lake City (albeit under sponsorship).
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