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-03-0006

<Begin Segment 6>

FA: Well, yeah, no, we are because this is in February of ('43) and so what happens the rest of, I mean, the rest of 1943, what happened?

FA: Well, actually, the rest of 1943 we didn't do too much except look into some of the injustices that we thought were happening in camp like some of the police, police were sort of harassing the internees and the food situation was kind of very poor so we looked into the food situation. Little things in camp. And also, Mr. Okamoto being at that time a member of the ACLU, corresponded with outside organizations to bring our situation to them. So really weren't too active, although we were having meetings now and then.

FA: Really? You say "we," 'cause you weren't the Fair Play Committee yet then.

FE: No, but we, yeah, we were already. Right, a little after the loyalty questionnaire when we met with Okamoto, at that time he was, he was calling himself the Fair Play Committee of One. And after we got together with him because what he said at this -- oh, backing up a little bit, at this public meeting where Nobu Kawai urged people to answer question 27 and 28 in the affirmative. And at that time, Mr. Okamoto got up and spoke about the, all the unconstitutional acts that were perpetrated on us. So some of us felt that, here's a fellow that has the same feelings that we did and knew what he was talking about. So that's when we got together with him and found out that he was very familiar, he was very knowledgeable about the law and about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which most of us weren't. And after a couple, two or three meetings with him we formed the Fair Play Committee as an organization in 1943.

FA: Tell me about Kiyoshi Okamoto.

FE: He was a brilliant writer. As a speaker he was good but he was very blunt and tended to use a lot of salty words which wasn't too well-accepted, you know, by the public. But I think he was quite a fellow that knew how to express his feelings about this and we really appreciated that because we felt the same way only we weren't quite as knowledgeable about everything.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 1998, 2005 Frank Abe and Densho. All Rights Reserved.