Study Guide

Heart of a Samurai Chapter 3

By Margi Preus

Chapter 3

We've made it to Part 2, "The Barbarians."

  • Setting: June 27, 1841
  • Manjiro and his island gang get picked up by these "barbarians" who look totally different from what the boys are used to.
  • The sailors have all different eye, skin, and hair colors; they have shoes made of animal skin; they have big noses.
  • They're also just big in general.
  • The sailors take the boys to the big ship—the John Howland—which is also huge.
  • The boys notice how the rooms of the ship keep getting nicer, and then they meet Captain Whitfield, who is huge, imposing, and authoritative.
  • The boys are asked to sit on benches, which is totally weird and barbaric to them since they're used to sitting on the ground.
  • Manjiro starts thinking of rice and memories of home when a bowl of steaming rice is placed in front of him. Phew.
  • They also get other food, like soup and this weird, crusty thing called "bread."
  • They're given forks, which they're not used to, but they eat everything up despite their stranger-danger.
  • After they eat, they get new clothes—with buttons and pockets. This is all new to them.
  • That night, Manjiro starts practicing his English.
  • Goemon thinks this is a bad idea because, you know, English is the barbarians' language and that's no good.
  • Eventually, they fall asleep, but Manjiro wakes up in the middle of night to see blue eyes staring meanly at him.
  • Manjiro shuts his eyes and tries to calm himself, but the whole thing is freaky to him.