Manzanar Cemetery is within Manzanar National Historic Site.
The second tallest mountain in California 14,389 foot Mount Williamson watches over Manzanar Cemetery from approximately 9.2 miles to the west. Manzanar means “apple orchard” in Spanish.
In 1943 internee and Master stonemason for the Los Angeles Catholic diocese Ryozo Kado, along with block 9 residents and members of the Buddhist Young Peoples organization, constructed the Cemetery Memorial obelisk. The inscriptions on the monument were written by Manzanar’s Buddhist minister Rev. Shinjo Nagatomi. The three characters on the front or east side of the memorial literally translate as “soul consoling tower”. On the back or west side the left hand column reads “Erected by the Manzanar Japanese,” the right hand column “August 1943.”
Over 140 prisoners died at Manzanar, most were sent home for burial but 15 were buried there. The six existing sets of remains in Manzanar cemetery are: Three adult males in their early 60’s Matsunosuke Murakami, Minoru Kihara, Shinnojo Fukumoto, and two infants Noriyuki Arasuna, Midori Susan Furuya, and an unnamed stillborn infant in an unmarked grave.
There are 9 empty memorial graves (cenotaphs) where the families of the deceased removed the remains of their loved ones to other cemeteries: two adults, George Kaechi Takeuchi and Midori Takayama. six Infants/babys Sachiko Sawamura, Baby Sakamoto, Toshiro Gerald Ogata, Toshiro Nozawa, Edna Hitowi Muraoka and Tetsuo Kusaba.