Manzanar is most widely known as the site of one of ten camps where over 110,000 JapaneseAmericans were imprisoned during World War II. Located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada in California's Owens Valley between the towns of Lone Pine to the south and Independece to the north, it is approximately 230 miles (370 km) northeast of Los Angeles. Manzanar (which means "apple orchard" in Spanish) was identified by the United States National Park Service as the best-preserved of the former camp sites, and was designated the Manzanar National Historic Site.
After Japan declared war on the United States, all Japanese Americans living in California were rounded by and transported to camps like Manzanar. Upon hearing this, the Japanese propaganda ministry had thundered loudly about this to the citizens of Occupied Hawaii. It was hearing this news that kept Kenzo Takahashi from trying to sail from Hawaii to California, after he realized that maybe the Japanese weren't lying through their teeth about that piece of news.