More than 11,000 Japanese-American internees were enclosed by barbed wire in this mile square camp between 1942 and 1945. Some still rest in Manzanar's tiny cemetery -- including "Baby Jerry Obata." It is customary to leave broken offerings its graves as remembrances -- somebody has decorated this child's grave with a broken Elvis doll.
There are a number of incongruities in this image – the name is engraved in both Japanese and English; the fact that this is the grave of a baby whose entire short life may well have been spent behind barbed wire fences; and of course the broken Elvis doll lying helplessly, arm extended, amidst the stones left on the grave. The state of the doll is particularly poignant. It is a child’s toy, but Baby Jerry Obata never was able to play with it. Its legs have been twisted off, revealing a spring within the body. It was built for pleasure, but it was left here in sadness.