The Enemy

Dr. Sadao Hoki

Dr. Sadao Hoki is the protagonist of the story and Hana’s husband. A skilled surgeon educated in America, Sadao is wholly responsible for saving the life of Tom, an American prisoner of war… (read full character analysis)


Hana is Dr. Sadao Hoki’s wife. The couple met at a university in America, but “waited to fall in love” until their parents back in Japan could properly approve of and arrange the marriage… (read full character analysis)

Tom / The American

Tom is a teenage American prisoner of war who was captured and tortured by the Japanese but somehow escaped. He washes up on the beach near Dr. Sadao Hoki and Hana’s isolated house, and… (read full character analysis)

The General

The General is a sickly man in the Japanese military who suffers from some sort of physical condition that Dr. Sadao Hoki treats. According to Sadao, the General will only be able to survive one… (read full character analysis)

The Gardener

The elderly gardener is one of the servants who works for Dr. Sadao Hoki and Hana. Like the cook, he’s been an instrumental part of the household ever since Sadao was just a… (read full character analysis)
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Yumi is one of the servants at Dr. Sadao Hoki and Hana’s house. She largely tends to the children and is seen with them far more than Hana herself is. Like the gardener(read full character analysis)

The Cook

The cook is one of Dr. Sadao Hoki and Hana’s servants. She is critical of her “young master,” implying that she is more loyal to Sadao’s father, even though he is dead. Like… (read full character analysis)

Sadao’s Father

Dr. Sadao Hoki’s father is dead from the outset of the story, but his presence lingers throughout the story due to Sadao’s reflections and the servants’ loyalty to their “old master.” At the start… (read full character analysis)

Sadao’s Anatomy Professor

As he’s performing an emergency surgery on Tom to remove the bullet lodged near his kidney, Dr. Sadao Hoki thinks back fondly on his strict anatomy professor from college in America. The professor was adamant… (read full character analysis)

The American Landlady

When Dr. Sadao Hoki moved to the United States for college, he struggled to find housing because he was Japanese. Only one landlady—“fat and slatternly”—welcomed him into her home. Instead of feeling grateful for her… (read full character analysis)

General Takima

General Takima is a famed Japanese war hero. While observing Tom’s peculiar wounds—which indicate that he’s endured some type of torture at the hands of the Japanese—Hana reflects on how General Takima “beat his… (read full character analysis)