Sacred Space

Sacred Space (HM1C5V)

Location: St Augustine, CA 32084 Inyo County
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Country: United States of America
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N 36° 43.548', W 118° 9.744'

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Manzanar National Historic Site

Life at Manzanar was uncertain, but the prospect of dying behind barbed wire, far from home, may have been unthinkable. On May 16, 1943, Matsunosuke Murakami, 62, became the first of 150 men, women, and children to die in camp. He and 14 others, most infants and older men without families, were laid to rest in this cemetery outside the barbed wire fence in an old peach orchard from Manzanar's farming era. Here, in the shadow of majestic Mt. Williamson, their somber funerals and memorials were attended by hundreds of mourners.

While some deceased were sent to hometown cemeteries, most were cremated and their ashes held in camp until their families left Manzanar. Giichi Matsumura, an internee who died in 1945 while exploring the Sierra, is buried high in the mountains above you.

Today, only six graves here, including Matsunosuke Murakami's, contain remains; families requested the removal of others after the war.

(Right side of the marker - additional photo):
The Japanese Kanji characters read "Soul Consoling Tower." Master stonemason Ryozo Kado, a Catholic, and Buddhist minister Shinjo Nagatomi designed this iconic monument as a permanent tribute to Manzanar's dead. Kado built the obelisk with the assistance of Block 9 residents and a young Buddhists' group, funded by 15-cent donations from each family in camp. Rev. Nagatomi carefully inscribed the monuments's characters—including "Erected by the Manzanar Japanese, August 1943" on the west side.

While Rev. Nagatomi and Ryozo Kado live on in the memories of family and community, Kado also left his legacy in cement and stone. He built the sentry posts at the camp entrance and other camp features in his distinctive faux wood style. Compare the posts surrounding his monument to those near the sentry posts and look for other examples of Kado's craftsmanship around Manzanar.
HM NumberHM1C5V
Placed ByNational Park Service and US Department of the Interior National Wild and Scenic River Systems
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, September 19th, 2014 at 11:28am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)11S E 396201 N 4065084
Decimal Degrees36.72580000, -118.16240000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 43.548', W 118° 9.744'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 43' 32.88" N, 118° 9' 44.64" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)904
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 73-79 Unnamed Road, St Augustine CA 32084, US
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