Talk:Tokyo Rose

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Thanks for writing this. No one wants to make false accusations, so it's good when we can get the real story. --Ed Poor Talk 11:06, 26 November 2008 (EST)

Thank you, Ed-san. I am finding it fascinating. I knew the name and thought it might be worth writing about, based on the biography I have, but finding the extra information, especially the FBI files, has me really excited now. This might just become my favourite article on here (when it is finally done!). Hopefully I can show all sides of the story. --KotomiTohayougozaimasu 11:11, 26 November 2008 (EST)
It is important for Japanese-American relations. It is my wish that our countries, which were formerly enemies, can become good friends. --Ed Poor Talk 11:13, 26 November 2008 (EST)
I think Japan-US relations are ok at the moment (well, as good as they could get (I would like to see Obama and our PM Asō getting together, as two newcomers to the scene), both in the world of politics and allowing that we as a race are still very distrustful of foreigners, and that includes people like me who have lived outside the country - we get called "returnees" and it takes a while for locals to accept that you are not going to infect them with strange Western culture!), especially as we move generations away from the war. To be honest, the Bombs will probably always be an issue - it does something to the national psyche to be the only (thank goodness!) country to be nuked. (Strangely, I found similar feelings living here in South Africa, where there are Afrikaners (not all!) who still carry a grudge because of what happened to their families in the Boer War concentration camps.) Another thing that would help a great deal, is the closing of the US bases in Okinawa (although that's a feeling more prevalent amongst my generation, it seems). We almost feel the Cold War is over, you no longer need it there, and in a way it is just a reminder of who won and who lost (not that I am saying we should have won!). Also, sending a nuclear carrier to Japan was poor public relations and I admit I agree with the protesters on that one. --KotomiTohayougozaimasu 11:32, 26 November 2008 (EST)
PS. I think there is nothing wrong with Japanese/US relations here on CP {^_^}


I read the Hans Sherrer account of Iva's innocence today. [1]

It seems that "Tokyo Rose" was a composite rather than an individual.

I'm also interested in transcripts of whatever female, English-speaking ANN's (i.e., announcers) broadcast to American fighting men. The only information I have comes from WWII movies, but it's not clear whether (1) the music from home was demoralizing or a morale-builder; (2) the 'Roses' ever said things like, "Don't volunteer for anything" or "You GIs are going to lose" or what.

In other words, what was the actual effect of the Tokyo Rose broadcasts, and did it really amount to treason? --Ed Poor Talk 12:09, 28 November 2008 (EST)

That is a good point. I have not come across any analysis yet, but it could make for an interesting footnote. It is already clear that Zero Hour was making a mockery of the propaganda efforts and it is possible the troops had realised this. Interestingly, I have been doing some side reading on Hanoi Hanna and Lord Haw Haw (funny how one thing leads to another) and it seems as if both were popular among Allied troops, but not for the intended reasons. Apparently 6 million English used to tune into Lord Haw Haw, because it was just about the only way they could learn if missing airmen were alive or not. It is probably a case that the voice coming out of the radio was one they "loved to hate". I did see a comment that there are no documented cases of desertion as a result of Tokyo Rose. However, the only references I can find to boosting morale, refer to Iva. Most of the comments seemed to focus on things like the girlfriend they left at home cheating on them, reminding them of their discomforts, like mosquitoes, etc. (There is a link to a full Zero Hour broadcast at the bottom of the article).
Listening to and reading some of the excerpts I have found, it seems pretty tame, but then we live in very different times and I am not crouched in a foxhole as I listen to them...
Regarding treason, that is a tricky one. I suppose simply put, it was a case of "you are one of us, but you worked for the enemy, therefore...". There was also maybe an element of a "witch hunt", but it is hard to say on one case - especially this one, where she was clearly set up to take a fall. Might be interesting to try and track down some of the other "Roses" and see what their fates were. --KotomiTohayougozaimasu 13:16, 28 November 2008 (EST)
I appreciate your thoughtful and nuanced analysis. Sorry I took so long to reply. --Ed Poor Talk 21:00, 3 December 2008 (EST)

The person and the role

Considering that there never was any one person called "Tokyo Rose", maybe we should organize this article differently. Here are the sections (or pages) we need:

  • Iva's biography, focusing on her career as a wartime radio announcer, the US gov't investigation into her career, legal actions (arrest, punishment, pardon)
  • Japanese radio broadcasts aimed at lowering GI morale, including any English speaking announcers who volunteered or were coerced, the effects these broadcasts actually had, and how the moniker "Tokyo Rose" came to be applied (and how many different 'Tokyo Roses' their were). Were there similar European broadcasts? How about in later wars, e.g., Hanoi Hanna?

I think you'd be the best writer to report on these aspects. --Ed Poor Talk 07:36, 17 December 2008 (EST)

Thank you for your comments Ed. There is merit to what you say, although I should also say why the article is currently structured as is. I think it is fair to say that Iva is essentially synonymous with Tokyo Rose (interestingly, the FBI still refer to her as "Tokyo Rose") and the two stories are linked. I feel it makes for a better article to have the histories linked, than say an article for "Tokyo Rose" (which would really only be the opening 2 paragraphs) and then a link to Iva's page. (WP does that, I know, but it looks messy to me).
Also, there is almost no information available online on any of the other Roses mentioned in the article. Any reference to them is usually as an aside to Iva. Possibly because they were never prosecuted and just vanished back into the melting pot of post-war Japan. I have managed to list the names of those I could find.
I agree there could be an ancillary article on the overall effect of the broadcasts (that would take some research), but it could also probably fall under a larger "propaganda" article. We have a short article on Lord Haw-haw, but nothing on Axis Sally, Hanoi Hannah, etc. Hopefully somebody with a better knowledge of European or American history can help out there. Even with the origins of the name, there appears to very little. The first written mention is in YANK magazine, so it had become common slang by then.
As for time, that is lacking at the moment, as I shall be away on holiday from Friday, but maybe it is something to consider during the new year. Personally though, (but that is editor bias speaking) I am loathe to see the Tokyo Rose article being broken up - for better or worse, they are technically "each other". --KotomiTohayougozaimasu 08:33, 17 December 2008 (EST)