One of the major themes of the novel the the clash between cultures that Hana experiences while she is adjusting to life in the United States. Everything she learned from her Japanese upbringing is questioned in the United States. Her style of dressing, her language and even her manners are questioned because they are different. All of Hana's dreams about life in America are dashed and she ends up living a much different life than what she expected. In addition, the theme of love vs. friendship forms much of the tension in the novel. Two times during the novel, Hana is forced to choose between sexual, romantic love and friendship. She is not attracted to Taro, her arranged husband, but learns to be his friend because he works so hard and tries to be a good husband to Hana. Finally, the theme of coming-of-age develops as Hana learns to adapt to the United States and the hardships she must endure at the hands of Americans.