Densho Digital Archive
Frank Abe Collection
Title: Frank Emi Interview II
Narrator: Frank Emi
Interviewer: Frank Abe (primary); Frank Chin (secondary)
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: January 30, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-efrank-03-0015

<Begin Segment 15>

FA: Jumping back a little bit, you were arrested, FBI finally came and arrested you. Tell me about your arrest. It was July 21st. What happened, tell me about that.


FE: Two FBIs came early in the morning to our barrack and they came right in and said, "We're going to arrest you, you're indicted for conspiracy," said the whole thing. Then they started looking around the place and started picking up my papers, so I told them, "Wait, you've got to have a search warrant to search my place." And they said, "No, this is incidental to the arrest. We can do it." So I said, "Well, I'm still protesting that you can't search my barrack." "Well, as long as you're in here," they said, "we can search you, search it here." So I walked out, and they said, "Well, we're already in here so we're going to go ahead and search it anyway." So I walked back in and they went ahead and picked up almost everything I had in the way of notebooks and papers and documents, they had everything.

FA: Were you surprised at your arrest?

FE: I was expecting them, but I didn't, I was surprised at the seizure, you know.

FC: How did your family, your wife and kids react to the FBI? Did they knock on the door first?

FE: Yeah, they knocked on door and came in. They were courteous about it.

FA: Your wife, your kids?

FE: Well, my wife was surprised but she just stayed to one side, didn't say anything. And the kids were very small yet so they were just with my wife. And I had told her that, you know, I expected to be arrested because we felt that the government wouldn't stand still after we came out and said we're gonna refuse to go.

FA: So tell me what happened then. Did they take you away in handcuffs, shackles?

FE: No, they didn't handcuff us. They got me on the car and then I think we picked up Paul Nakadate and Guntaro Kubota and three of us were taken by car to Cheyenne, but we, on the way we stopped at Casper one night, because it was a long drive. Then we, at Casper, I think the lunch, we had lunch at Casper, and when we went to the jail, boy, I had the worst case of food poisoning I ever did. I was up all night from the bottom, top, I thought I was going to die. I was really sick. So, well, we passed the night there.


FA: Did you have any parting words for your wife and your children?

FE: I can't recall but I'm sure we said goodbye but don't worry.

FA: Kids cry?

FE: I don't recall them crying. They, they really weren't that, big enough yet.

FA: So Casper, spent the night, then tell me what happened after that.

FE: Well, we spent the night there, and then we went on to Cheyenne, Wyoming, and we were put into the Cheyenne County jail there. Put into these, it was an old, old dirty jail. Small place. It was a regular cell, you know. Dark cell.

FA: Still, at that point, did you still think it was worth it?

FE: Oh, yeah. We were on the high spirits.

FA: Tell me about that.

FE: Well, we spent our time over there exercising, getting on the bars and chinning ourselves and doing push-ups and things like that. There wasn't enough room to do any running but we tried to keep ourselves physically active doing these things. Like food, like breakfast, they would pass through a pie plate with oatmeal mush, and couple of slices of toast and coffee, was our breakfast. And lunch we would have either spaghetti or macaroni with cheese, or some kind of casserole dish. Never got any steaks.

<End Segment 15> - Copyright © 1998, 2005 Frank Abe and Densho. All Rights Reserved.