Topics for Discussion

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1. To what extent do you believe Mrs. Yamada was responsible for Ichiro's confused sense of identity?

2. Put yourself in the place of Okada or Ichiro or anyone else forced to answer the loyalty questions. Which choice do you believe you would have made and what factors do you think would have influenced your decision?

3. Do you think Okada regretted his decision to pledge loyalty to the United States and fight in the war?

4. What purpose does Emi serve in the novel?

5. What resolution, if any, do you recognize in the novel?

6. How does Ichiro relate to his mother after his return from prison?

7. Why do you think Mrs. Yamada and others cling to the belief that Japan has won the war?

8. Why do you think that Okada's novel was not well-received by the Japanese- American community?

9. Why do you think Ichiro was ostracized by his friends?

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