52 pages 1 hour read

Asha Lemmie

Fifty Words for Rain

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2020

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Character Analysis

Noriko “Nori” Kamiza

Nori’s life is complicated from the very beginning. She is the child of a Japanese aristocrat and a Black American soldier at a time when war is brewing and social class still holds meaning. Her very existence is a secret; without official documentation, she is trapped in a country that discriminates against her for being a foreigner because of her dark skin and curly hair. This leaves her dependent on a family that rejects her for her illegitimacy. Her mother’s love for her was contingent on her father’s existence; after his death, Seiko views her as a burden. Yuko houses her but punishes her for Seiko’s sins; only Akira loves her for just being herself.

Nori spends most of her time sheltered and restricted from the outside world, so she is often naive in her worldview. As a child, her understanding of the world around her is dependent on the influence of those around her; in this way, she is obedient and malleable. However, the constant rejection of her biracial heritage  and illegitimacy leads to her expulsion from the Kamiza estate. It is this experience that truly kickstarts her understanding of the world—it is only when she is separated from her family and no longer housebound that she can learn to be herself.