Iva Toguri, "Tokyo Rose," 1916-2006 (updated).

Posted: 02 Oct 2006   Print   Send a link
"Taunting millions of servicemen with stories of infidelity on the home front, false reports of battle outcomes meant to demoralize them and frequent spins of pop songs to keep them listening, the broadcasts of Radio Tokyo were notorious instruments in the propaganda war. Many American sailors and soldiers found the broadcasts cartoonishly incredible, which (Toguri) said was exactly her intention." Washington Post, 28 September 2006. "The Los Angeles native was the only Tokyo Rose to be prosecuted. She was convicted of treason in 1949 and served more than six years in prison." Los Angeles Times, 28 September 2006. "Toguri lived with that stigma until 1977, when she received a presidential pardon following a flurry of media attention, including a series in the Chicago Tribune in which two of her chief accusers said their testimony had been coerced." Chicago Tribune, 27 September 2006. "Ms. Toguri hid in plain sight, living on Winnemac Avenue on the North Side and working the register at her family's store." Chicago Sun-Times, 28 September 2006. "Born July 4, 1916, in Los Angeles, the young college graduate was visiting a sick relative in Japan when she became trapped there as war broke out. Starving and sick, unable to speak Japanese, she answered an ad to become an English-language typist for Radio Tokyo." Reuters, 27 September 2006. See also the "Orphan Ann" Home Page. And a 50-minute "Biography" television documentary about Iva Toguri is available on DVD. Update: "Directed at American and Australian troops in the Pacific, Zero Hour was the only truly popular Japanese wartime program ever made. Cast in the style of a regular commercial program, its announcers kept up a patter of jokes and amusing stories. More importantly, they played the latest American music: hot and cold jazz, the big bands, dance music and the popular classics of the Boston Pops were the standard fare." Judith Keene, The Australian, 2 October 2006.