Last modified on May 19, 2019, at 18:07

Tokyo Rose

A mug shot of Iva Toguri, taken at Sugamo Prison on 7 March 1946. A caption on the reverse of the photograph reads, "Captain Denton took me to Iva Toguri's house and made her wear the light tan coat and had her put on her rimless glasses. I recognized her as the same girl who broadcast on the Zero Hour program. (Signed) Emi Matsuda.", 03/07/1946

Tokyo Rose, so named by Allied forces,[1] was one of at least twelve, and possibly more, English-speaking women who made propaganda broadcasts on behalf of the Japanese Imperial Forces, during World War II. They taunted the American soldiers, highlighting their hardships and sacrifices, and playing familiar music from home, in an attempt to demoralize them.[2]

The women used for this purpose were mostly of American or Canadian descent. Included amongst them were the American Ruth Hayakawa, and Canadian June Suyama, known as "The Nightingale of Nanking", who also broadcast on NHK's Radio Tokyo. There was Foumy Saisho, who broadcast as "Madame Tojo", Margaret Yaeko Kato, Katherine Fujiwara, Katherine Morooka, Mieko Furova, and Mary Ishi'ti, as well as Myrtle Lipton, Radio Manila's "Little Margie".[3] However, none ever actually broadcast using the pseudonym "Tokyo Rose".

The name has, however, become synonymous with American-born Iva Ikuko Toguri D'Aquino (4 July 1916 - 26 September 2006), who broadcast on Radio Tokyo's "Zero Hour" program, using the name "Orphan Ann". She was arrested after the war and tried for treason in 1949. The jury found her innocent on seven of the counts of treason against her and guilty on one count, for which she was sentenced to ten years in prison and a $10,000 fine. In addition, she was stripped of her US citizenship.

Subsequent investigations after her release, during which time she had to work to pay back the outstanding amount of the $10,000 fine, revealed that she had assisted Allied POW's working at the station, and had been abused and threatened by the Japanese Secret Police because she had refused to relinquish up her US citizenship and accept Japanese citizenship. Throughout the war, she had been hoping for, and confident of, an Allied victory.

It also transpired that several Japanese witnesses, who had testified at her trial, later admitted to perjuring themselves. However, these admissions only came after the occupying forces no longer had jurisdiction over Japan, thus exempting them from the threat of US prosecution. On the grounds of this new evidence, President Gerald Ford granted her a full pardon on 19 January 1977 and reinstated her US citizenship.

Early life

Iva Ikuko Toguri was born in south-central Los Angeles on 4 July 1916, the daughter of a Japanese immigrant. This made her a nisei (二世 lit. "Second generation", or a first generation American citizen, of Japanese descent). Her mother was crippled because of diabetes. She was raised a Methodist, joined the local Girl Scouts, and dreamed of becoming a medical doctor, fuelled in part by having to care for her mother.

She graduated from UCLA, with a bachelor's degree in Zoology in 1941. Her aunt Shizu, who lived in Japan, then took ill and Iva was chosen to go to Japan to represent the Toguri family at her aunt's bedside. Her travel documents listed her occupation as "pre-med student".

She sailed for Japan on 5 July 1941, aboard the Arabia Maru. However, she left with no passport. The State Department refused to issue one on such short notice and instead, gave her a Certificate of Identification, saying that this document would be sufficient to get her to and from Japan. However, when she applied to return to the U.S. in November 1941, becoming more fearful of the situation in Japan, she was refused on the grounds that there was no evidence that she was an American citizen, and the document provided by the State Department was unacceptable. She was thus left stranded in Japan when war broke out in December.

Alone in a Hostile Land

As a foreign national, Iva was regarded as an enemy alien by the Japanese authorities, who instructed her to renounce her American citizenship and register as a Japanese citizen. She refused, requesting instead to be sent to an interment camp along with other foreign nationals. Her request was refused, because of her gender and also because she was of Japanese descent. Alone, frightened, knowing little of Japanese culture, and unable to read and barely able to speak Japanese, she returned to live with her uncle.

However, problems arose when she was overheard expressing happiness at the Doolittle Raid and neighbours accused her uncle of harbouring an enemy spy. In order to protect them, she left their house, renting a small apartment. She gave piano lessons to pay the rent, as well as for Japanese lessons.

She found employment at the Domei News Agency, working as a typist, transcribing English-language news broadcasts for the agency. It was here that she saw the report containing the names of her family in America, who had been shipped off to Gila River Interment Camp in Arizona. Already shocked by this news, she returned home one night, to find her room being searched by the dreaded Kempeitai Military Police. At this point, Iva again requested to be interned, but this too was declined and she was told, with typical Japanese efficiency, that it would cost too much to feed her, especially when she was perfectly capable of earning a salary.

Shortly thereafter, Iva was hospitalized for six weeks, suffering from malnutrition, pellagra, and beriberi. In order to pay the hospital bill, she had to borrow money from her landlady, as well as from a Portuguese national, Felipe d’Aquino, who shared her pro-American feelings, and with whom she had struck up a friendship. In order to pay them back, she took on a second job, working as a typist for Radio Tokyo. Her job was to type up English-language scripts, drafted by the Japanese Propaganda Ministry, which would then be broadcast to the Allied troops in the Pacific war zone.

It was at this moment that she met three Allied POWs, Major Charles Cousens, an Australian and a former Radio Sydney celebrity, who was captured at the fall of Singapore, and his two associates, the American Captain Wallace Ince and the Filipino Lieutenant Normando Reyes, both of whom had been captured after the fall of Corregidor.

Their haggard and underfed state touched Iva and she decided she would try to assist the soldiers who were fighting for her side. Initially, they were suspicious of her attempts at friendship and pro-American attitude, and thought she was a spy planted by the Kempeitai. However, they came to trust her after she began to smuggle food and medicine to them. The result of this is that when Radio Tokyo instructed Cousens to add a female DJ to the "Zero Hour" show, he immediately requested Iva by name.

Orphan Ann

Hello you fighting orphans of the Pacific. How's tricks? This is after her weekend off, Annie is back on the air, strictly under union hours. Reception OK? Well, it better be, because this is all request night and I've got a pretty nice program for all my favorite little family, the wandering boneheads of the Pacific Islands. The first request is for none other than the boss, and guess what? - he wants Ronnie Baker and 'My resistance is low'. My, what taste you have sir.

(The opening lines of the “Orphan Ann” segment of the "Zero Hour" show, broadcast on 14 August 1944)

Meanwhile, the three Allied POWs had been using their "Zero Hour" programme to wage a covert sabotage campaign, undermining the Japanese propaganda efforts. They did this by fluffing their lines on-air, and making use of innuendo, double entendre, sarcasm, or rushed or muffled delivery of their lines. After their overseers caught onto their ruse, they reverted to delivering their lines in a mechanical monotone, sounding like they were being forced to read what was in front of them. Now that a fourth member was to be added to the team and thus their conspiracy, they needed somebody they could trust. In their current circumstances, that person was Iva Toguri.

She agreed to join them, although reluctantly at first and on the condition that she broadcast anonymously. However, when the authorities insisted that all announcers had to have a name, she chose "Ann", taking the name from the abbreviation of "announcer" - ANN - that appeared in front of her lines in the script. Cousens added the "Orphan" and 'Orphan Ann" was born. They created a personality to go with the name, combining Iva's natural bubbly personality with that of the popular "Little Orphan Annie" radio character and tied in with her phrase "Orphans of the Pacific”, which described her audience of Allied GIs. Cousens' genius was in managing to transform a propaganda broadcast into a joke shared between himself and the GIs.

Iva's portion of the 75-minute show only lasted twenty minutes a day, and she spent the rest of her time on her original job, typing up scripts, as well as scavenging for black-market food and medicine for “her” POWs. During her 20-minute slot, Iva would play records, mostly English dance tunes and light classics, which Cousens chose, because he reasoned that these songs would not make American GIs homesick. The remaining time was used to read messages from POWs, play some jazz records, and read a news bulletin, focusing on bad news from the U.S. The show's theme song was chosen by Iva - it was "Strike Up the Band", the battle song of her alma mater, UCLA.

However, things were starting to change for the worse. As the tide of war continued to turn against Japan, Iva's ongoing pro-American stance began to cause problems with her co-workers. She resigned from the Domei News Agency after Felipe d’Aquino, whom she was now dating, became embroiled in a fight, because of something she had said. She took up a position at the Danish embassy and received a portion of her salary in luxury items from the embassy's diplomatic rations. These she later traded on the black market for more food for the POWs.

As for the "Zero Hour", Cousens had suffered a heart attack and was taken off air; as was Ince, who was removed for insubordination. Reyes had been declared a "friendly alien", following Japan's annexation of the Philippines. This left Iva, who carried on, re-writing Cousens' old scripts to keep the feel (and subversive elements) of the show.

Despite the upheaval in the "Zero Hour" team, the show was seen as a success by the Japanese Army. This was based on reports they received from the neutral Portuguese and Swedish embassies in Japan that American forces were following the broadcasts of "Tokyo Rose". However, nobody at Radio Tokyo knew whom "Tokyo Rose" was, but nevertheless, officials were happy the enemy were listening.

Orphan Ann was not Tokyo Rose

Post-war interviews with servicemen revealed some interesting disparities in just who "Tokyo Rose" was. Their descriptions of the content of the shows, suggested that they were listening to “Orphan Ann”, but their descriptions of the voice seemed to point more towards Foumy Saisho's “Madame Tojo” or Ruth Hayakawa's “Nightingale of Nanking” - certainly not Iva's somewhat unprofessional (as she had no formal training) delivery style. Whilst many of those interviewed, recalled listening to - and enjoying - the "Zero Hour", they also recalled being especially fond of a Sunday program hosted by a female Japanese DJ, whom they knew as "Tokyo Rose".

This, however, confuses the issue even more, because although "Zero Hour" aired every day at 6:00 p.m., Iva did not work on Sundays, and was usually replaced by Ruth Hayakawa. However, Hayakawa's voice did not match the low-pitched, seductive voice GIs attributed to "Tokyo Rose", nor did her broadcast contain information about impending air attacks or warnings to male listeners that their wives and girlfriends back home were cheating on them, both of which "Tokyo Rose" was said to do with relish, and was more a feature of "Madame Tojo's" broadcasts.

In addition, the first recorded print version of the name "Tokyo Rose" appeared in YANK Magazine's 20 August 1943 issue, which reported that "Tokyo Rose" had jeered Lt. Edward H. “Butch” O’Hare's feat of shooting down five enemy planes in a day. The article read, “The Japs jeered. Butch O’Hare was a one-battle fighter, they said. He was afraid to return to the Pacific. Tokyo Rose, Japan’s Lady Haw-Haw, declared that he was probably dead.”[4] Iva only started work at Radio Tokyo on 23 August 1943, and then only as a part-time typist. She only began broadcasting in November of that year.

End of the War

By now, Iva and Felipe were living together, and Iva was avoiding going to work at Radio Tokyo as much as possible. Iva and Felipe were married, following Iva's quick conversion to Catholicism, although the ceremony was interrupted by an air raid.

Iva was forced to return to work, after being threatened by a plain-clothes member of the Kempeitai, but by then the writing was on the wall and within three months, she was cheering as Emperor Hirohito broadcast Japan's unconditional surrender. She began to make plans to return to America, but unfortunately, events conspired against her.

The Hunt for "Tokyo Rose"

Following the Japanese surrender in September 1945, the search began for Japanese military leaders and others who may have committed war crimes. The military took the lead in this, with the press joining in the hunt, often following, but sometimes beating the military in tracking down the suspects.

Two of these reporters, Henry Brundidge, from Cosmopolitan, and Clark Lee, from INS, set out to find “Tokyo Rose", unaware that no such person existed and the name was created by American troops. The United States Office of War Information had even reported, after a brief investigation, that, "There is no Tokyo Rose; the name is strictly a GI invention. The name has been applied to at least two lilting Japanese voices on the Japanese radio…Government monitors listening 24 hours a day have never heard the words "Tokyo Rose" over a Japanese-controlled Far Eastern radio."[5]

Undeterred, they continued to investigate - and the offer of $250 [6] for information leading to Tokyo Rose - eventually led them to Iva Ikuko Toguri d’Aquino. Iva's name was provided to them by Leslie Nakashima, a nisei working at Radio Tokyo and Clark Lee promptly released this information to the public at large.

Upon meeting Iva, Brundidge and Lee offered her $2,000, which they later reneged on paying, for exclusive rights to interview her. Iva agreed, and signed a contract that identified her as “the one and only Tokyo Rose”.

However, not only did Brundidge's editor at Cosmopolitan reject the story, he also refused to authorise the $2,000 payment. The only way Brundidge could avoid paying the money out of his own pocket was to void the contract. He presented Lee's comprehensive notes to 8th Army Counter Intelligence Corps commander General Elliot Thorpe, claiming that she should be arrested for treason and the notes contained her confession. At the same time, he arranged for Iva to hold a joint press conference with some 300 journalists, thus negating the terms of his own "exclusive" contract and saving him $2,000.

Unaware of Brundidge's double-dealing, both Iva and the press corps agreed and the conference was held at the Yokohama Bund Hotel. She also gave interviews to "Yank" and "Pacific Stars & Stripes" and even recorded mock "Orphan Ann" broadcasts for the newsreels. Ignorant of the brewing trouble (news that “Tokyo Rose” was an American citizen, who intended to return to her home in California, had sparked a series of angry protests), Iva was under the impression that “Tokyo Rose” was the GI's popular darling, exactly as "Orphan Ann" was intended to be. Under the misguided impression that she was now a radio celebrity, she signed autographs and posed for pictures as “Tokyo Rose.”

Iva was taken into custody on 17 October 1945, and upon her arrival at the 8th Army HQ brig, was informed that she was under arrest, although no warrant had been issued and no charges were filed.

Another mug shot of Iva Toguri, taken at Sugamo Prison on 7 March 1946. It bears the same caption as the photograph above.

Even though Iva's arrest for treason had been publicly announced, she was never informed why she was being held. After a month in the brig, she was transferred to Sugamo Prison, where she was placed in a cell on "Blue Block", where diplomats and women accused of war crimes were held. here she spent the next eleven and a half months, locked in a 6 by 9 cell. Her husband was allowed one 20-minute visit a month and she could take a bath once every three days. At the same time, she learned of her mother's death whilst en route to the Gila River Interment Camp in Arizona and her family's subsequent move to Chicago.

While this was going on, Major Cousens was tried for and acquitted of treason by the Australian Army for his work for the Japanese, whereupon he returned to work at Radio Sydney. Similarly, not only was Captain Ince cleared of all wrongdoing, but he was also promoted to Major.

Iva meanwhile, was interrogated by the FBI and Army CIC. There was overwhelming evidence that "Tokyo Rose" was a composite figure and that Iva had not committed treason. Despite this the interrogators refused to believe anything she told them, even ignored copies of her scripts which were presented to them.

Finally, on 25 October 1946, having spent a year, a week and a day in military custody without ever being charged, Iva was released "without condition". She left the prison flanked by an honour guard and carrying a bouquet of flowers, presented by the Sugamo Prison commandant, Colonel Hardy.

One again, she tried to apply for a passport to return home, but the same lack of documentation that had left her stranded there in the first place, continued to frustrate her efforts. At the same time, she lost her first child, shortly after he was born in January 1948. It is possible her long confinement contributed to the baby's death. During the late 1940s another reporter, Walter Winchell, had also found Toguri to be a target and worked to continue the image portrayed in the press with his radio broadcast.[7]

The Treason Trial

In the U.S., pressure was mounting to either have “Tokyo Rose” brought back to stand trial, or be prevented from ever returning as a citizen. Brundidge, who had since joined the Nashville Tennessean, together with former FBI Special Agent John B. Hogan, an attorney with the Immigration & Naturalization Service Division, persuaded the U.S. Department of Justice to support their efforts to have Iva sign Clark Lee's notes. Brundidge returned to Japan and confronted Iva, who was still recovering from the loss of her son. Mentally and physically exhausted, and wanting only to return home, she signed the document. Two months later, word of her "confession" spread when Brundidge published a 10-part series, that opened with, "Arrest of “Tokyo Rose” Nears: She Signs Confession To “Sell-Out”. Three months later, in June 1948, Attorney General Tom Clark formally announced that Iva Toguri d’Aquino would be tried for treason in the 12th District Court in San Francisco.

Iva was re-arrested at her Ikejiri apartment and was presented with a warrant charging her with “treasonable conduct against the U.S. government” during World War 2. She was shipped off to San Francisco, leaving behind her husband, whom she never saw again. The ship docked at San Francisco harbour on 25 September 1948. She had lost 30 pounds during the sea voyage and was suffering from chronic dysentery. Despite this, she was taken to the San Francisco county jail, where she spent the next nine months, being held without bail, where she was charged with eight counts of treason, for "adhering to, and giving aid and comfort to, the Imperial Government of Japan during World War II".

During this time, she received legal representation for the first time since her initial arrest in 1946 and her lawyer, Wayne Mortimer Collins, was able to intercede and stop attempts by the FBI to remove her from jail and interrogate Iva without counsel. Normando Reyes, who attending university in the U.S., was subpoenaed as a witness against her.

The treason trial lasted thirteen weeks, and at the time was the most expensive trial in U.S. history, costing some $750,000.[8] General consensus amongst people who knew Iva was that she was not guilty and even the local press corps voted 9-to-1 amongst themselves in favour of acquittal.

The prosecution presented a total of 46 witnesses, many of whom were flown in from Japan at government expense and who received $10 per-diem allowance. Iva's defense, paid for by Iva's father, could only afford to present depositions from witnesses in Japan, many of whom had already been visited by the FBI and CIC. Evidence of perjury in the Grand Jury that had indicted Iva was ruled inadmissible by the judge, because the alleged perjurer (Brundidge) was not testifying at the actual trial. Brundidge never did testify at Iva's trial, due to this taint of perjury, nor was he prosecuted for subornation of perjury. Recordings of the shows, which were present in the courtroom were never entered into evidence, nor played to the jury and all references to Iva's work with the POWs was also ruled inadmissible as being irrelevant to the question of treason. Most of the witnesses proved to be ineffective, and their stories were picked apart during cross-examination by Collins. Even the Japanese Army's chief of propaganda at Radio Tokyo, Major Tsuneishi, admitted on the stand that "Zero Hour" never was the morale-draining propaganda weapon he had envisioned it to be.

However, the most damning evidence against her came from two former co-workers, Kenkichi Oki and George Mitsushio. Both were former nisei, both of whom had given up their American citizenship. They worked on "Zero Hour" with Iva and the POWs, although Iva was never close to them, due to their renouncing of their citizenship. Both were bought in to testify, because a person can only be convicted of treason if there have been at least two witnesses to each overt act of treason. Their testimony was clearly well-prepared, almost identical in wording and devastating for the defence. Both claimed that during a broadcast following the Battle of Leyte Gulf, she made reference to the loss of U.S. ships during the battle and had spoken the following words into the microphone: "Now you fellows really have lost all your ships. Now you really are orphans of the Pacific. How do you think you will ever get home?" Iva denied ever speaking these words, or even writing them in her script, during her testimony and she appeared clearly shocked by their testimony.[9]

The defense was bolstered, however, by the arrivals of Charles Cousens, who flew from Australia at his own expense, and Wallace Ince. Both delivered glowing testimony in her favour. In addition, Normando Reyes recanted his earlier testimony for the prosecution and claimed his statements had been coerced.

Sent to consider their verdict, the jury, led by foreman John Mann, remained hung, unable to unanimously declare Iva's guilt or innocence. The judge, Federal Judge Michael J. Roche, issued the jury with an "Allen Charge", informing them - in contravention of the guidelines of such a charge - that the trial had already cost the U.S. government over half a million dollars, before instructing them to resume deliberation and bring in a verdict. The full text of his charge read: "This is an important case. The trial has been long and expensive for both prosecution and defense. If you should fail to agree on a verdict, the case is left open and undecided. Like all cases, it must be disposed of sometime. There appears to be no reason to believe that another trial would not be equally long and expensive... nor does there appear to believe the case can be tried better or more exhaustively..."[10]

In their final determination, the jury found Iva not guilty on seven of the eight counts, returning a guilty verdict on one count (Count VI), which read, "That on a day during October, 1944, the exact date being to the Grand Jurors unknown, said defendant, at Tokyo, Japan, in a broadcasting studio of The Broadcasting Corporation of Japan, did speak into a microphone concerning the loss of ships." This verdict was based on the testimony detailed above. This charge carried a minimum possible sentence of five years imprisonment and a $5,000 fine; the maximum penalty was death. Once again, going against the consensus, who were expecting the minimum penalty, the judge sentenced Iva to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, with Collins, her lawyer, describing the verdict as "Guilty without evidence". At the time, her conviction made her only the seventh U.S. citizen to be convicted of treason.

She was sent to the Federal Reformatory for Women at Alderson, West Virginia, where as Prisoner 9380-W, her official classification was as a “notorious offender”. Despite this, and initial hostility from the inmates (which included Kathryn Kelly, the wife of George “Machine-Gun” Kelly), Iva was soon regarded as a model prisoner for her work around the prison and her recently discovered official prison record [11] found in the Bureau of Prisons “Notorious Offenders” files in the National Archives, speaks most eloquently for itself. For a time she shared a cell with Mildred Gillars Sisk, who was serving a 10 to 30-year sentence for treason, for her “Axis Sally” radio propaganda broadcasts from Berlin.

Iva was denied parole whenever she became eligible for it, on the advice of the FBI and Justice Department, but earned an early release after serving six years and two months of her sentence, having accumulated 1,200 days of "meritorious good time". News of her early release sparked a renewed public outcry, and as she walked free on 28 January 1956, she was handed a deportation notice, ordering her back to Japan.

Aftermath and Vindication

It took two years for her attorney, Wayne Mortimer Collins, who had originally defended her at her trial, to successfully oppose the deportation order, during which time Iva lived under his roof. Happy that the nightmare was finally over, Iva moved to Chicago to be with her family again and disappeared from the public eye.

Although she had gone to ground, people were starting to speak up on her behalf. Among the first of these was the former AP Japanese Bureau Chief, Rex Gunn. Later, Petitions for a Presidential Pardon were filed with the Eisenhower administration in 1954, the Johnson administration in 1968, and the Nixon/Ford administration in 1976.

Although the first two applications were unsuccessful, new evidence came to light, which led to the 1976 application. Ron Yates, a Chicago Tribune correspondent in Tokyo from 1974 to 1977, had been reviewing her case, since a reader's letter had informed him that "Tokyo Rose" was living in Chicago. As he read the documentation, he became increasingly aware that something did not seem right with the way the trial had been conducted. As he said in a later interview, "The evidence and the trial itself didn't seem to be done in the right way. If you take it out of the context of the time, you think, 'Why didn't anybody see this?' Well, at the time, three years after the war, 1948, there was a lot of hatred toward the Japanese. A lot of people had lost sons and mothers and fathers. You could kind of get some sense about why she was being prosecuted. But even so, even when you allow for the temper of the time, there seemed to be something wrong."

Now based in Tokyo, Yates tracked down the two men whose testimony had effectively sent Iva to jail. He met with Kenkichi Oki and George Mitsushio in a Tokyo bar in early 1976. After chatting generally, Yates decided to probe the "Tokyo Rose" affair, asking them, "What’s the real story behind Iva Toguri?" He recorded their response and the subsequent conversation that followed in his follow-up article "Tokyo Rose: The Legend, The Woman":[12]

“What do you mean?” Oki asked, in response to my question.
“I mean, the evidence against her seems too flimsy, too contrived,” I said.
Oki and Mitsushio looked at one another and for an instant a mutual, unspoken covenant was established between them. They would finally tell the truth.
Oki cleared his throat. “She didn’t do anything wrong,” he said. He looked at Mitsushio, who nodded. “That’s right, Iva is innocent,” Mitsushio said.
Shocked by what I was hearing, I said, “I’m not sure I understand. It was your testimony that convicted her, wasn’t it?”
“That’s right,” Oki said. “But we didn’t exactly tell the truth.”
“You mean you lied... perjured yourselves?” I responded.
Following a long silence, Mitsushio finally spoke, “We had to do it,” he said. “We were told by the occupation police and the FBI that if we didn’t cooperate, Uncle Sam might arrange a trial, or worse, for us too.”

Oki then burst into tears and said, "She never said those words. I can say that now. Iva never said anything like that. She never did anything wrong, she never uttered a treasonous word, not once. She wouldn’t even work on Sundays or American holidays."

Based on what he had been told, Yates published a series of articles in the Tribune, which were picked up by the international media. Shortly after Yates' stories appeared, he received a telephone call from the White House, requesting additional information regarding Iva's case and the confessions of Oki and Mitsushio. In 1976, Iva's case became public information due to an interview on "60 minutes" between Iva and Morley Safer and the effort to have Iva pardoned gained momentum, led by Wayne Merrill Collins, the son of her former lawyer.

The third application for a presidential pardon was successful and President Ford, as one of his last acts in office, signed the Presidential Pardon on 19 January 1977. At the same time, her U.S. citizenship was restored to her. To this day, she remains the only American citizen, convicted of treason to be pardoned. Ironically, if she had originally renounced her citizenship, not only would she not have been harassed by the Japanese, but she could not have been tried for treason, as she would not have been classed as a U.S. citizen.

Iva reluctantly divorced Felipe d’Aquino in 1980, having never seen each other since she was shipped back to the U.S. in 1948. Iva refused to leave the U.S. again, fearing that if she did, she would not be allowed back in. Felipe, meanwhile, was forbidden entry as he had been declared "an undesirable alien". Her family said she had never stopped loving him, and his death in November 1996 devastated her.

Iva Ikuko Toguri D'Aquino passed away in Chicago on 26 September 2006.

One of the greatest accolades for Iva Toguri D'Aquino came from Jean Hay, who had herself broadcast to the Pacific troops on the "Reveille with Beverly" show, broadcast via CBS. She was considered a rival of Tokyo Rose during the war. However, after learning the true story behind Tokyo Rose, she regarded Iva as a compatriot. Prior to her death in 2004, Jean Hay was quoted as saying, "Iva, whom I now call my friend, was actually working effectively, doing her part for the United States war effort during World War II. As soon as I learned her true identity, I wrote her a note and addressed it Dear Colleague.”[13]

However, it was Ron Yates, the man who helped Iva clear her name, who probably offered the best summation of Iva's life: "Her entire life was destroyed by a miscarriage of justice, and you couldn't be more American than she was."[14]

See also


  • Masayo Umezawa; Tokio Roze, Koji no Taiheiyou (トキオロゼ、孤児の太平洋); Kodansha Japan
  • Peter Duus; Tokyo Rose - Orphan of the Pacific; Kodansha International/USA; 1979 (a translation of his wife's original work above)
  • Russell Warren Howe; The Hunt For Tokyo Rose; Madison Books; 1990; ISBN 0-8191-7456-4
  • Stephan G. Christianson; The Tokyo Rose Trial: 1949; included in Great American Trials (ed. Edward W. Knappman; Gale Research; 1994)
  • "Convicting a Myth" by Tim G.W. Holbert, published in World War II Chronicles; Quarterly Publication of the World War II Veterans Committee; Issue XXVII; Winter 2004-05
  • Yates, Ronald E; The Legend of Tokyo Rose; The News Gazette; 9 July 2006 (available at

External links


  1. By 1943, American soldiers had already adopted "Tokyo Rose" as a nickname describing several female announcers on Japanese propaganda broadcasts. Veterans embrace 'Tokyo Rose' May, 2006 - Washington Times
  2. During World War II, a dozen female broadcasters, collectively dubbed “Tokyo Rose” by U.S. troops, provided a diversion from the horrors of war. Set up by the Japanese military and using the powerful signal of Radio Tokyo, these Tokyo Roses were on the air nightly, broadcasting English-language shows designed to make American soldiers and sailors nostalgic and homesick. One such Tokyo Rose, U.S. citizen Iva Ikuki Toguri D’Aquino, described her August 14, 1944, broadcast as “sweet propaganda” and played tunes whose titles (for example, “My Resistance Is Low”) were designed to demoralize her listeners. Although some soldiers and sailors may have felt the occasional twinge of homesickness while listening to Tokyo Rose’s broadcasts, most simply ignored the propaganda and insults while hoping to hear their favorite popular songs. “Hello, You Fighting Orphans”: “Tokyo Rose” Woos U.S. Sailors and Marines - History Matters, a project of the American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning of the City University of New York and the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University
  3. Lipton was never arrested, and never stood trial, as did the others. It was rumoured that she disappeared, along with the US Colonel sent to question her. What is known, is that she was never seen again, after the recapture of Manila.
  4. World War II Chronicles; Quarterly Publication of the World War II Veterans Committee; Issue XXVII; Winter 2004-05; Pg 7
  5. World War II Chronicles; Quarterly Publication of the World War II Veterans Committee; Issue XXVII; Winter 2004-05; Pg 11
  6. In post-War Japan, the $250 reward was equal to ¥3,750, or about three year’s income. Likewise, $2,000 was worth over ¥30,000 - a sizeable fortune back then
  7. Convicted as `Tokyo Rose,' She Later Received Honors
  8. $750,000 in 1949 would be worth approximately $6 million today
  9. World War II Chronicles; Quarterly Publication of the World War II Veterans Committee; Issue XXVII; Winter 2004-05; Pg 15
  10. World War II Chronicles; Quarterly Publication of the World War II Veterans Committee; Issue XXVII; Winter 2004-05; Pg 15
  11. A copy of Iva Ikuko Toguri D'Aquino's prison record
  13. World War II Chronicles; Quarterly Publication of the World War II Veterans Committee; Issue XXVII; Winter 2004-05; Pg 18