Densho Digital Archive
Frank Abe Collection
Title: James Omura Interview II
Narrator: James Omura
Interviewers: Frank Abe (primary); Frank Chin (secondary)
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: August 1993
Densho ID: denshovh-ojimmie-03-0005

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FA: You were in Denver, you were editor of the Rocky Shimpo, how did you receive the bulletins from the Fair Play Committee? Did they come through the mail or how did you get them?

JO: I believe the, the bulletins from the FPC came through the mail.

FA: Okay, what role did any go-between play in your receiving the bulletins of the Fair Play Committee?

JO: The first time that I ever heard about the Fair Play Committee was on March 3rd. It so happened that on February 28th I had written the editorial "Let Us Not Be Rash," and I took it as a response to that editorial. I was approached by a hakujin woman who was very edgy. She came up the stairs, the office told me they were sending up someone, you know, and she was very edgy and she looked behind her, the side of her, to see if she was being followed. I noticed all this because I was waiting for her. And when she arrived at the desk, why, she told me that she was a good friend of Kiyoshi Okamoto, and that she thought he was a genius. And later on I read what I received and I didn't think he was a genius at all. [Laughs] But anyway, she pushed, she suddenly pushed all this material she was carrying in her hand into my hand and says, "I'll have to go, I'm double parked outside." Actually, I don't believe she even had a car, but that's the excuse she gave me, that she was double-parked, and she took off, and here I have this material and I start reading it. I read about thirteen pages of the biggest one which was his declaration of policy or something to Attorney General Francis Biddle. And I, after reading it, that's when I decided this man was no genius. He wrote some real nice words and sentences, but he kept repeating himself. Not repeating in the same way, but in various different ways, eventually coming down to the same doggone thing. And it gets monotonous when you do that, see. And I said to myself, "I can't see any busy person like the attorney general having the time and the patience to go through this thick of a declaration."

FA: So what did you do then about the Fair Play Committee?

JO: Oh, I decided then to take the whole darn shebang home and study it over the weekend. And that night after supper I decided to start with the easy one, which was single page or double page or something of that sort. And here I ran into this, this deal about the Fair Play Committee, the formation of the Fair Play Committee. Now, that was news to me. And so I wrote an article on the formation of the Fair Play Committee and published it.

FA: What did you think of the Fair Play Committee?

JO: Their purpose as declared in these documents was to protest the constitutional right, and I thought that that was exactly what I was protesting from way before. So I liked it.

FA: And had you ever met Kiyoshi Okamoto, Frank Emi, Paul Nakadate, any of these men before?

JO: I had never met any of the members or leaders of the Fair Play Committee.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 1993, 2005 Frank Abe and Densho. All Rights Reserved.