The story has to do with prejudice; the bigotry shown towards Japanese Americans about10 years after World War 11 ended. In my opinion the theme is right there on page 418. It has to do with the battle of fate, coincidence, and accident versus reason. Reason won but the game changer was truth. It was truth that won a victory for one of the protagonists in the story, the proud, stoic Kabuo Miyamoto. Very good storyline, steamy love scenes, graphic description of an autopsy and of the war, good use of imagery but there was an overabundance of descriptive details which slowed the action.
I was a little disappointed that the much described island of San Piedro, devoted to fishing and strawberry farming, did not actually exist outside the imagination of the writer. I don't know the meaning of the symbolism used, the snow and cedars, but there were constant references to both through out the story. May be the cedars had to do with the quiet, patient, strength of Kabuo. I would have liked to have known if Kabuo got his 7 acres in the long run but that is not clear.
I see on wikipedia that the novel was a bestseller in 1995 and a movie has been made based on it.