Snow Falling On Cedars Resources

In conjunction with the performance of Snow Falling on Cedars produced by Bainbridge Performing Arts, in March 2015, Only What We Can Carry has prepared this resource list for those who would like to learn more about what informed the author in writing the original book and more about the history and heritage behind behind this historical fiction.  Set before and after the exclusion of Japanese Americans by the US government during WWII, the historical setting in Guterson’s tale is drawn from Bainbridge Island’s past, with clear relevancy in the 21st century.

Here is a list of sources that informed author David Guterson when writing Snow Falling on Cedars, first published in 1994.

Seamanship, Fishing & Pacific Northwest Island Life
The Lighthouse by Dudley Wilson, an architectural and pictorial history (1989)

Piloting: Seamanship and Small Boat Handling, by Charles R. Chapman (1971)

Guide to Boatmanship, Seamanship and Small Boat Handling, by Brandt Aymar and John Marshall (1960)

Disaster Log of Ships, by Jim Gibbs, a pictorial account of shipwrecks from California to Alaska (1971)

Island in the Sound, by Hazel Heckman, a psychological and cultural portrait of island life in Washington (1976)

Alaska Blues: A Fisherman’s Journey, by Joe Upton, about commercial fishing in coastal waters (1979)

Stepping Westward: The Long Search for Home in the Pacific Northwest, by Sallie Tisdale, with descriptions of the Pacific Northwest woods (1992)

World War II
A Short History of World War II, by James L. Stokesbury (1980)

Iwo Jima, by Richard F. Newcomb (1965)

Island Fighting (World War II), by Rafael Steinberg (1981)

The Battle of Leyte Gulf, by Edwin P. Hoyt (1992)

The Good War: An Oral History of World War II, by Studs Terkel (1984)

76 Hours: The Invasion of Tarawa, by Eric M. Hammel and John E. Lane (1980)

Asian American History & Culture
Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans, by Ronald Takaki (1990)

Nisei Daughter, by Monica Sone, about Japanese American families before, during, and after World War II (1979)

Through Harsh Winters: The Life of a Japanese Immigrant Woman, by Akemi Kikumura, about Japanese American families before, during, and after World War II (1981)

The Japanese Cult of Tranquility, by Karlfried Graf von Durckheim (1991)

The Japanese Tea Ceremony: An interpretation for Occidentals, by Julia V. Nakamura (1965)

The Way of Zen, by Alan W. Watts (1957)

U.S. Legal System
Anatomy of a Jury, by Seymour Wishman, an account of our criminal justice system (1986)

Justice at War: The Story Of The Japanese American Internment Cases, by Peter Irons (1983)

The Japanese American Internment
Japanese Americans: From Relocation to Redress, edited by Roger Daniels, Sandra C. Taylor, and Harry H. L. Kitano (1991)

Manzanar, by John Armor and Peter Wright, with photographs by Ansel Adams and commentary by John Hersey (1988)

Bainbridge Island History
Bainbridge through Bifocals, by Elsie Franklund Marriott (1975)

A History of Bainbridge Island, by Katy Warner (1968)

They Cast a Long Shadow: A History of the Nonwhite Races of Bainbridge Island, by the Bainbridge School District (1975)

“Garden Nostalgia” column by Junkoh Harui in the Bainbridge Garden’s Garden News

“For the Sake of the Children” photography exhibit by the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community Association

Click Here for Additional and More Recent Resources on the Bainbridge Island and Japanese American Exclusion

Click Here for Additional Resources for Educators and Students on the Larger Experience of Japanese American Exclusion