Kabuo Miyamoto Quotes in Snow Falling on Cedars
All in all, Art decided, Carl Heine was a good man. He was silent, yes, and grave like his mother, but the war had a part in that, Art realized. Carl rarely laughed, but he did not seem, to Art’s way of thinking, unhappy or dissatisfied.
Thus on San Piedro the silent-toiling, autonomous gill-netter became the collective image of the good man. He who was too gregarious, who spoke too much and too ardently desired the company of others, their conversation and their laughter, did not have what life required.
What could he say to people on San Piedro to explain the coldness he projected? The world was unreal, a nuisance that prevented him from focusing on the memory of that boy, on the flies in a cloud over his astonished face […] the sound of gunfire from the hillside to the east—he’d left there, and then he hadn’t left. […] It had seemed to Kabuo that his detachment from this world was somehow self-explanatory, that the judge, the jurors, and the people in the gallery would recognize the face of a war veteran […]. Now, looking at himself, scrutinizing his face, he saw that he appeared defiant instead.
Sitting where he sat now, accused of the murder of Carl Heine, it seemed to him he’d found the suffering place he’d fantasized and desired. For Kabuo Miyamoto was suffering in his cell from the fear of his imminent judgment. Perhaps it was now his fate to pay for the lives he had taken in anger.
Art Moran looked into the Jap’s eyes to see if he could discern the truth there. But they were hard eyes set in a proud, still face, and there was nothing to be read in them either way. They were the eyes of a man with concealed emotions, the eyes of a man hiding something. “You’re under arrest,” repeated Art Moran, “in connection with the death of Carl Heine.”
“I’m not talking about the whole universe,” cut in Hatsue. “I’m talking about people—the sheriff, that prosecutor, the judge, you. People who can do things because they run newspapers or arrest people or convict them or decide about their lives. People don’t have to be unfair, do they? That isn’t just part of things, when people are unfair to somebody.”
“The defense hasn’t made its case yet, but you’re all ready to convict. You’ve got the prosecutor’s set of facts, but that might not be the whole story—it never is, Ishmael. And besides, really, facts are so cold, so horribly cold—can we defend on facts by themselves?”
“What else do we have?” replied Ishmael. “Everything else is ambiguous. Everything else is emotions and hunches. At least the facts you can cling to; the emotions just float away.”
“I’m not interpreting or misinterpreting,” Alvin Hooks cut in. “I merely want to know what the facts are—we all want to know what the facts are, Mrs. Miyamoto, that’s what we’re doing here.”
“I’m an American,” Kabuo cut in. “Just like you or anybody. Am I calling you a Nazi, you big Nazi bastard? I killed men who looked just like you—pig-fed German bastards. I’ve got blood on my soul, Carl, and it doesn’t wash off very easily. So don’t you talk to me about Japs, you big Nazi son of a bitch.”
The citizens in the gallery were reminded of photographs they had seen of Japanese soldiers. The man before them was noble in appearance, and the shadows played across the planes of his face in a way that made their angles harden […]. He was, they decided, not like them at all, and the detached and aloof manner in which he watched the snowfall made this palpable and self-evident.
“The storm,” said the judge, “is beyond our control, but the outcome of this trial is not. The outcome of this trial is up to you now. You may adjourn and begin your deliberations.”
“There are things in this universe that we cannot control, and then there are the things we can. Your task as you deliberate together on these proceedings is to ensure that you do nothing to yield to a universe in which things go awry by happenstance. Let fate, coincidence, and accident conspire; human beings must act on reason.”