Dear America Wiki
Dear America Wiki

Piper pictured on the cover

All of the characters that appear in The Fences Between Us.

Main characters[]

Piper Davis[]

Main article: Piper Davis

Piper Davis (born August 17, 1928)[1] was the youngest child of Mrs. and Emery Davis. She had two older siblings, Margie and Hank. Her father was a minister at Seattle Japanese Baptist Church. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Piper and her family worried for days about Hank, whom was serving in the Navy. They eventually learned that he was okay and he continued keeping in touch through letters. Later on, she became close friends with Betty Sato and her brother Jim. Her support of the Japanese community caused conflict with her best friend Trixie Burke and boyfriend Bud Greene. Piper later went to Minidoka with her father, whom wanted to be close to his congregation after they were relocated.

Supporting characters[]

Betty Sato[]

Betty Davis (née Sato; born March 18,[2] 1927 or 1928)[3] was Mr. and Mrs. Sato, and the sister of Jim, Mikey, and Tommy. Her family was of Japanese descent. Betty was smart and talented at playing the piano. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the FBI came to the Satos' home to arrest Betty's father. She later became good friends with Piper. The following May, Betty and her family were evacuated to Camp Harmony. They were then sent to Minidoka in late August. In early 1943, Betty became mad at Jim for enlisting. However, before he left, she made him a senninbari. Betty later married Hank Davis, having corresponded during the war, and had three children. In her fifties, she wrote a memoir about Minidoka with Piper.

Bud Greene[]

Bud Greene was a classmate and later boyfriend of Piper. She described him as "handsome" with green eyes. His father was a fireman, which he hoped to be someday. In November 1941, Bud became closer to Piper after partnering on a project. She was often mad at Bud, such as when he attended Debbie Sue Wilkins' New Year's party or when Bud took Debbie Sue to the Valentine's Day Ball. Bud later asked Piper to "be his girl" which she accepted. They had another fight when Bud disagreed with her on the Japanese being relocated. They made up and went on a trip with his parents during the summer. Bud broke up with her when she revealed that she was moving. He later started dating Debbie Sue.

Emery Davis[]

Pastor Emery[4] Davis ("Pop") was the father of Margie, Hank, and Piper. His wife died sometime after Piper's birth. He was the minister of the Seattle Japanese Baptist Church. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Emery spoke out for the Japanese community. He continued to advocate for his parishioners when they were evacuated to Camp Harmony. After they were relocated to Minidoka, he decided to move near there with Piper. Emery later volunteered to be chaplain for the all Japanese regiment, but his church higher-ups thought he could do more at Minidoka. After Minidoka closed, Emery returned to his church. He retired in 1979 and nearly one thousand people attended a banquet in his honor.

Hank Davis[]

Hank Davis (born c. 1923)[5] was Piper's and Margie's brother, and the only son of Mrs. and Emery Davis. He joined the Navy shortly after graduating high school in June 1941. Hank was stationed on the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. During the attack, he saved several men from drowning, including his friend John Anderson. Hank was later stationed on the USS Enterprise in the Pacific. He became interested in learning how to fly after befriending some pilots. Hank later returned to the United States in May 1943 to train as a naval aviator. After the war, he went to college on the GI Bill. He worked in sales before becoming a pastor like his father. Hank married Betty and had three children.

Jim Sato[]

Jim Sato (c. 1925[6] – October 1944)[7] was the oldest child of Mr. and Mrs. Sato, and the older brother of Betty, Mikey, and Tommy. In January 1942, his father was arrested following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Shortly later, Jim started becoming friendly with Piper whom previously thought of him as being shy. In May, he and his family were evacuated to Camp Harmony. He refused to sign up for college, which would allow him to leave. At Minidoka, Jim began to crush on Piper. However, after his sister told her, Piper admitted that she saw him as a "big brother." Jim agreed to remain friends. In early 1943, he decided to enlist in the army. Jim died in France in October 1944 at the age of nineteen.

John Anderson[]

John Anderson (born March 1, 1920)[8] was the twin brother of Delbert "Del". The twins were both stationed at Pearl Harbor, where they befriended Hank and became the "Three Musketeers." He lost his brother during the Japanese attack on the base. John was saved by Hank, but lost an arm. He was sent to Seattle to recover. The Davis family, particularly Piper, visited him often at the hospital. In April 1942, he was cleared to return home to Minnesota. John gave Piper a blank photo album before leaving. He keep in touch with the Davis', writing to them often. The following fall, John started going to college. There he met Donna Brown, his later fiancée. He invited Emery to officiate the wedding.

Margie Davis[]

Margie Robinson[9] (née Davis; born July 14, 1921)[10] was Hank and Piper's older sister. She was usually calm and rarely cried. Margie attended college with plans to become a pharmacist afterwards. In January 1942, she became engaged to her long-time boyfriend, Stan Robinson. They were married the following month on Valentine's Day. Stan shortly left for basic training, before being shipped out to England. Margie later decided to put school on hold for a while and started working at Boeing. She stayed in Seattle when Piper and their father went to Minidoka. Margie came out for a visit that Christmas. Otherwise, she kept in touch with them through letters and occasional phone calls.

Trixie Burke[]

Trixie "Trix" Burke[11] (born c. 1928)[12] was Piper's best friend and classmate at Washington Junior High in Seattle. She was occasionally insensitive towards Piper, usually out of ignorance or her preference for talking about happy and sometimes shallow topics. Nevertheless, Trixie was often shown to genuinely care for Piper, such as when she cried with her over Hank being safe. She dated Eddy in the seventh grade. Trixie often wanted Piper to go on doubles date with her, Eddy, and Bud. She would be annoyed whenever Piper declined. At the end of the school year, Trixie threw a party to celebrate. She was sad when Piper left Seattle, but hardly wrote to her as she was too busy with her social life.

Minor characters[]

  • Mr. Afton was Piper Davis's history teacher.
  • Al James, a classmate of Piper whom she interviewed for a class project.
  • Anky Arai, a Japanese student at Piper's school. He was usually the "class clown." After Pearl Harbor, a classmate left a mean note on his desk.
  • Mr. Crofton was a café owner in downtown Eden, Idaho. He refused to serve Piper and her father because of their connections with the Japanese. Mr. Crofton began watching their house, which he eventually bought in order to have them evicted.
  • Danny West (c. 1923 – December 1941)[13] was Sally's brother. He was a member of the Flying Tigers unit. His family was notified of his death via telegram.
  • Mrs. Davis was the mother of Margie, Hank, and Piper, and wife of Emery Davis. She passed away sometime after Piper was born.
  • Dean, a farmhand whom worked with Jim Sato harvesting sugar beets. He helped protect Jim from the farmer's sons. Jim also changed his mind about Japanese people.
  • Debbie Sue Wilkins, a classmate and rival of Piper. Her parents were both prejudiced towards Japanese people. She had a crush on Bud Greene, whom took her to the Valentine's Day Ball. Debbie Sue seemingly accepted his and Piper's relationship, though she still openly disliked Piper. After their break-up at the start of eighth grade, Debbie Sue started dating Bud.
  • Delbert[14] "Del" Anderson (March 1, 1920[8] – December 7, 1941)[15] was John's twin brother. They became friends with Hank after being stationed at Pearl Harbor. Del was killed during the attack.
  • Donna Brown, a girl John Anderson met at college. They were later engaged.
  • Donna Murray was Piper's classmate whom was known for being nice.
  • Eddy was a friend of Bud. He dated Trixie Burke and took her to the Valentine's Day Ball. They had broken up by October 1942.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt, the President of the United States. He signed Executive Order 9066, which led to the evacuation and internment of Japanese citizens.
  • Mrs. Fujiwara, a member of Emery's congregation.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Greene were Bud's parents. He was a fireman. Mrs. Greene pressured her son to take Debbie Sue Wilkins to the Valentine's Day Ball since she was friends with her mother. In July 1942, they invited Bud's girlfriend Piper to their Fourth of July picnic at Green Lake.
  • Mrs. Harada, the wife of Mr. Harada. She was a long-time friend of the Davis family and had helped take care of the children when they were little. A few months after her husband was arrested, Mrs. Harada was evacuated to Camp Harmony, where Piper and her father visited her. She was relocated to Minidoka, where she would eventually reunite with her husband.
  • Ike Terada and Tom Watanabe were friends of Hank during high school.
  • Jeanne Takahashi, a girl whom stayed with the Davis family for a while before heading to Chicago for a nursing job. She took care of Piper while she was sick.
  • Kenji Tokita, the baby son of Mr. and Mrs. Tokita. He did not recognize his father at first when he was released from Fort Missoula.
  • Mrs. Lee, a grocery store owner in Seattle whom Piper took a photo of. Margie sent the photo to The Seattle Times, which won first prize for Piper.
  • Mr. Lindstrom was a nosy neighbor of the Davis family. He saw Piper holding hands with Bud, which he reported to her father.
  • Miss Mahon, the principal of Piper's school in Seattle.
  • Margaret Bourke-White, a famous photographer. She was the subject of Piper's project for Miss Wyatt. Piper became engrossed in learning about Margaret, leading to her annoying her friends.
  • Mr. (died December 1 or 2, 1942)[16] and Mrs. Matsui (died November 30, 1942),[17] an elderly couple Piper befriended at Camp Harmony. He was artist, but was unable to bring his supplies to the camp. At Minidoka, he began carving small animals out of wood for Piper. Mrs. Matsui, whom had been sickly, passed away of pneumonia. The following day, a grief-stricken Mr. Matsui ventured away from the camp and froze to death. Piper was devastated by both of their deaths.
  • Miss McCullough, a missionary whom had been to Japan. She played the organ at the Seattle Japanese Baptist Church. Miss McCullough later joined Piper and her father in Idaho.
  • Mikey (born c. 1934)[18] and Tommy Sato were Mr. and Mrs. Sato's sons, and the younger brothers of Jim and Betty.
  • Myrna Edwards, a classmate of Piper. She had a "trade-last" for Piper, revealing that Bud said she could be "Maureen O'Sullivan's movie double."
  • Norma Schanzenbach, a coworker of Margie at Boeing. Her boss called her "Schanzy."
  • Sally West was a classmate of Piper whom she had wanted to interview for a project. Her brother Danny was killed during the war.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Sato were the parents of Jim, Betty, Mikey, and Tommy. He arrested by the FBI in January 1942 and sent to Fort Missoula the following month. Mrs. Sato and her children were evacuated from Seattle a few months later. Thanks to Emery's help, Mr. Sato was eventually able to join his family at Minidoka.
  • Stan Robinson[9] was Margie's husband. He proposed to her in January 1942 and they married the following month. Stan, having enlisted earlier, shipped out two days later for basic training. He was later sent to England.
  • Teddy Baker, a soldier on the USS Arizona whom survived the attack. He was sent to Seattle to recover like John. Teddy was from Kansas.
  • Pastor Thomson was a friend of Emery whom was also an advocate for the Japanese community.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Tokita were a married couple whom went to Emery's church. They had a baby named Kenji. He was arrested like Mr. Harada and Mr. Sato and later sent to Fort Missoula. Mrs. Tokita and her son were evacuated the following May and later sent to Minidoka. There Mrs. Tokita taught nursery school. Mr. Tokita was released and came to Minidoka in March 1943.
  • Tozuko[19] Harada was the husband of Mrs. Harada. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Mr. Harada was arrested like many Japanese men and later sent to Fort Missoula. With help from Emery, he was released and reunited with his wife at Minidoka.
  • Miss Wyatt was the language arts teacher at Piper's school in Seattle. She complimented Piper's photographs and encouraged her talent.
  • Yosh Nakata was a good friend of Jim. He had also been friends with Hank during high school. Like Jim, Yosh was also sent to Minidoka. He signed up with Jim to harvest sugar beets.
  • Miss Young was an English teacher at Minidoka whom started a glee club. She picked four boys to be a quartet, which was disbanded when they enlisted in the army.

Epilogue characters[]

  • Seth Brown was Piper Davis's husband. He was an artist attending the same college as her. They married during their final year of college.


See also[]

Dear America characters
Main characters

Remember "Mem" Whipple | Deliverance Trembley | Lozette Moreau | Catharine Logan | Prudence Emerson
Abigail Stewart | Lucinda Lawrence | María Rosalia de Milagros | Hattie Campbell | Mary Driscoll
Florence "Florrie" Mack Ryder | Susanna Fairchild | Clotee Henley | Amelia Martin | Emma Simpson
Sarah Nita | Phillis "Patsy" Frederick | Libby West | Priscilla "Pringle" Rose | Mary "Polly" Rodgers
Nannie Little Rose | Angeline Reddy | Sarah Jane Price | Teresa Viscardi | Anetka Kaminska
Zipporah Feldman | Minette "Minnie" Bonner | Angela Denoto | Margaret Ann Brady | Kathleen Bowen
Simone Spencer | Lydia Pierce | Nell "Nellie Lee" Love | Bess Brennan | Minerva "Minnie" Swift | Grace Edwards
Julie Weiss | Madeline Beck | Amber Billows | Piper Davis | Dawn "Dawnie Rae" Johnson | Molly Flaherty

Supporting characters

Antoinetta Viscardi | Leon Nasevich | Daniel Pierce | Erma Jean Love | Patrick Flaherty

Lists of characters by book

A Journey to the New World | I Walk in Dread | Look to the Hills | Standing in the Light
Love Thy Neighbor | The Winter of Red Snow | Cannons at Dawn | A Line in the Sand
Valley of the Moon | Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie | So Far from Home | All the Stars in the Sky
Seeds of Hope | A Picture of Freedom | A Light in the Storm | When Will This Cruel War Be Over?
The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow | I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly | The Great Railroad Race
Down the Rabbit Hole | Land of the Buffalo Bones | My Heart Is on the Ground | Behind the Masks
My Face to the Wind | West to a Land of Plenty | A Coal Miner's Bride | Dreams in the Golden Country
A City Tossed and Broken | Hear My Sorrow | Voyage on the Great Titanic | A Time for Courage
When Christmas Comes Again | Like the Willow Tree | Color Me Dark | Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Christmas After All | Survival in the Storm | One Eye Laughing, the Other Weeping
My Secret War | Early Sunday Morning | The Fences Between Us | With the Might of Angels
Where Have All the Flowers Gone?