Study Guide

Heart of a Samurai Chapter 8

By Margi Preus

Chapter 8

The Invitation

  • Setting: December 1841, Oahu, Sandwich Islands
  • They've landed at Oahu, and the Japanese fishermen are overjoyed.
  • The captain has found them places to live in Oahu, which means they can wait around until they can find a boat going to Japan.
  • Only Denzo has something more to say to Manjiro: The captain has invited Manjiro to stay on the John Howland as his son.
  • It's up to Manjiro to decide, but he can't come to a decision.
  • He takes the next few days to mull the thing over and gets Goemon to walk with him on the beach.
  • He starts discussing Longfellow's (or "Long Fellow," according to Manjiro) poem that Captain Whitfield recited earlier.
  • Of course, Goemon needs a lesson in what the poem means, so Manjiro tells him the gist of what he thinks it means: that they can go on to do "great things."
  • But Goemon's not down with the idea because he still buys into the belief that only the upper-ups can do anything important or big; he thinks the captain has totally perverted Manjiro's thought process and values.
  • Manjiro thinks about what Goemon says, and he also can't help but feel bad about his mother and family. What would she do if he didn't return?
  • But then there's Captain Whitfield and all their great conversations—these two are definitely becoming good friends.
  • Decisions, decisions.