Farewell to Manzanar


Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston

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Farewell to Manzanar Characters


The memoir’s writer and protagonist, a Japanese-American girl who is interned with her family at the Manzanar camp at age seven. Jeanne narrates the details of life at Manzanar in a simple and brisk style… read analysis of Jeanne


Riku Wakatsuiki, Jeanne’s mother. Reserved and demure, Mama fulfills the ideal of traditional Japanese womanhood in many ways: she runs an efficient household, gives birth to many children, and supports her husband’s wild schemes and… read analysis of Mama


Ko Wakatsuki, Jeanne’s father. Headstrong and impetuous, Papa immigrated from Japan determined to make his fortune, but he never quite became economically successful in America, constantly changing his career plans and shifting his family from… read analysis of Papa


Jeanne’s oldest brother. After Papa is arrested and taken to Fort Lincoln, Woody becomes the informal head of the family. Having inherited Papa’s resourcefulness and personal flair, he takes to this role well. He’s able… read analysis of Woody


Jeanne’s first friend when she returns to middle school after internment, a Caucasian girl from Texas. Despite Radine’s lack of cultural sensitivity (she’s initially surprised to see that Jeanne can speak English), the two girls… read analysis of Radine
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Jeanne’s older brother, the closest sibling to her in age. Kiyo’s internment experience is most similar to Jeanne’s, and they share many experiences, such as attending the same hostile schools after internment. However, because they… read analysis of Kiyo


one of Jeanne’s older sisters. Eleanor gives birth at Manzanar and undergoes a long and harrowing labor, especially since the Manzanar medical staff lack the supplies and training to save her should something go wrong… read analysis of Eleanor
Minor Characters
Jeanne’s second oldest brother. By the end of the novel, Bill and his wife, Tomi, move to the East Coast in search of better jobs and a less prejudiced climate. Their move contributes to the breakup of the family.
one of Jeanne’s older sisters.
one of Jeanne’s older sisters.
one of Jeanne’s older brothers.
Woody’s wife, Jeanne’s sister-in-law.
Bill’s wife, Jeanne’s sister-in-law.
Mama’s mother and Jeanne’s grandmother. Blind and unable to speak English, she lives with the family both before and during internment.
Sister Mary Suzanne
a Japanese Catholic nun with whom Jeanne studies catechism at Manzanar.
Sister Mary Bernadette
a Japanese Catholic nun with whom Jeanne studies catechism at Manzanar.
Fred Tayama
an internee at Manzanar who collaborates with the camp administration and becomes a scapegoat during the December Riot.
Joe Kurihara
an internee who leads the rebellious forces during the December riot.
Martha’s husband one of Jeanne’s brothers-in-law.
a Quaker volunteer who leads youth programs at Manzanar.
Eleanor’s husband, Jeanne’s brother-in-law.
one of Jeanne’s older sisters.
one of Jeanne’s older sisters.
Aunt Toyo
Papa’s favorite aunt, who loans him the money to buy his ticket to the U.S., and later shows Woody around the family compound when he’s deployed to Japan as a soldier.
Leonard Rodriguez
Jeanne’s high school classmate, who prevents the teachers from rigging the carnival queen election against her.
Lois Carson
Jeanne’s high school classmate, a wealthy and catty girl whom the teachers favor during the carnival queen elections, although she’s not well-liked among students.
A man who questions Papa about whether he is loyal to the US or Japan, and seems not to understand or care about Papa's answers.
One of Mama's brothers.