Study Guide

Heart of a Samurai Chapter 38

By Margi Preus

Chapter 38

The Daimyo

  • Setting: Fall 1851 (5th year of Kaei, Year of the Rat)
  • Manjiro's in prison.
  • It's a nice prison; in fact, it's more like a peaceful Zen garden. But still… it's prison.
  • A couple of seasons have passed already.
  • The guys have been denied their families; they can't even send messages to them.
  • Officials interrogate and observe them.
  • The guys manage to tell the officials things like how thunderstorms and the Milky Way exist or can be experienced in other parts of the world.
  • One day, Manjiro is ushered into a room for a solo interrogation.
  • Lord Nariakira—a daimyo—wants to know about America.
  • Manjiro gives simple information, like how American women look like and how American toilets are, but the daimyo isn't satisfied.
  • So Manjiro tells him about the technological innovations America has made, like the telegraph and the railroad.
  • Manjiro gives details at length about whaling ships, as well as the structure and philosophy of the American government and military.
  • The daimyo really wants to know about weapons, though.
  • Manjiro tells the daimyo how fortified America's ports are, but he adds that America's too busy building itself to go on the offense against other countries.
  • Then he shows the daimyo the map and what Americans want: The ability to land in Japanese ports in order to refuel and restock.
  • The daimyo says that the weather is changing.
  • Manjiro adds that so is the world, but that this is going to be a good thing.