Analyzing be an aspect of his life

Analyzing the diverse characters that Okada portrays in this novel certainly prompts the audience/readers to gain a thorough historical understanding of the consequences that widespread ignorance in America prompt. As Ichiro’s narrative develops, so does his identity as an American citizen; the experiences he obtains from interacting with characters like Kenji, influence the approach Ichiro eventually takes to deal with the problematic situations he is forced to endure as a Japanese American and more so, after being categorized a “No-No Boy”. The relevance that Kenji’s character holds in regards of Ichiro’s search for cultural identity, is that whether he (Ichiro) had joined the American troops to fight Japan or decided to reject that option, this fragmented sense of self would still be an aspect of his life as a American of Japanese descent. Moreover, the message or question that Okada delivers through Kenji’s character appears to be, how much of yourself are you willing to sacrifice for this country that does not conceptualize you American enough? I think that this concept becomes deliberately clear through Kenji’s experience, with his leg, and also, the way in which his outlook on life completely shifts as he looses more and more of himself. The imagery that Okada creates through Kenji; having your leg slowly amputated because it is rotting itself away due to a conflict that was not meant to be solved by American citizens but by those authorities who actually created it, delves into a symbolic critique of the concept of war. It is a disease started by the wealthy and spread to the average citizen through ignorance, it rots away the cultural identities of those who are not visibly American enough according to society. Towards the end of the novel, Ichiro comes to understand that, in some aspects, the fight he was constantly facing at “home” (living in a society that is easily brainwashed into believing a rhetoric of hate, discrimination and racism) was way more problematic for his life than the evident battles that Kenji fought.