The “Drunk History” of the Fair Play Committee

We’ll have whatever Randall Park is drinking! “Drunk History” is a weekly, half-hour series on Comedy Central where historical reenactments by A-list talent are presented by inebriated storytellers.

On June 19, tune in for a wild and woozy retelling of the resistance of Frank Emi and the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee. Now millions will know the name of the FPC and its battle cry: “No more shikataganai!”

Thanks Comedy Central for getting most of it right. If anyone wants, we can update later with the parts that are, uh, a little off, but hey, “No more shikataganai!”

For the real deal, get our DVD.

POSTSCRIPT August 15, 2018: We later learned that Frank Emi did use the phrase “No more shikataganai” — not during the wartime resistance but in this 2006 interview with the Japanese American National Museum:

Soon after, we were contacted by the Director of Retail and Visitor Services at JANM with an idea: a T-shirt to be sold in the museum gift shop bearing Frank Emi’s quotable quote. We put her in touch with Frank’s family, who gave permission for the use of Frank Emi’s name.

And in less than two months, Frank Emi is now a T-shirt!


From the JANM online store:

No More Shikata Ga Nai T-shirt

Item # 223112-S.

During the WWII incarceration of Japanese Americans, the expression “shikata ga nai” (it cannot be helped) was meant as a sign of stoicism in the face of unimaginable adversity. But some Japanese Americans came to see passive acceptance as unacceptable. They included Frank Emi, who led the Fair Play Committee moving from protest to resistance when he counseled sixty-three men to refuse to be drafted from the concentration camp at Heart Mountain until their rights were restored and their families freed.“No more shikata ga nai” became the slogan of this resistance.

This is a companion to our Instructions t-shirt, serving as a reminder that all people have a voice and there comes a time when passive acceptance turns to active resistance. Black 100% cotton in adult sizes S, M, L, XL, and 2XL.


2 thoughts on “The “Drunk History” of the Fair Play Committee”

  1. I hate hamburgers lol. Well, uh, there’s some questionable spots but overall, Randall Park did a good job to publicize the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee, although it was really Kiyoshi Okamoto, who started it. And Frank Emi in this segment looks more like Mike Masaoka, no? But thanks Randall!

    1. And of course, Frank Emi never received a draft notice and was not part of the mass trial of 63, but rather the later conspiracy trial of the 7 FPC leaders. What I found remarkable was the shout out to the little-known Frank Inouye, founder of the Congress of American Citizens and the precursor group to the FPC. Also, did you catch the sly throwaway of “oh hell no, no-no” in the voiceover?

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