Tokyo Rose
July 12, 2005 10:07 AM   Subscribe

"Now you fellows have lost all your ships. Now you really are orphans of the Pacific. How do you think you will ever get home?" Tokyo Rose was the name given to any female propaganda broadcaster for the Japanese during WWII’s battle for the Pacific, but it has stuck most tightly to Iva Toguri D'Aquino, an American who studied zoology at Berkeley and unwisely went to visit a relative in Japan in 1941 without a passport.

Her sultry voice was heard across the Pacific during her radio show “The Zero Hour,” which earned her about $7 per month. After the war, "Orphan Annie" returned to the U.S., where she was tried for treason in the most expensive trial in history. Her story has been made into movies and documentaries, and as of 2003 she was running a store in Chicago. You can listen to her broadcasts online and apparently even email her.
posted by gottabefunky (10 comments total)
Cool, thanks for the post. Just when I thought I ran out of good surfing material, more comes along.
posted by rolypolyman at 10:21 AM on July 12, 2005

Is she podcasting?
posted by keswick at 10:30 AM on July 12, 2005

More Relevant Surfing Material:
Axis Sally
posted by joecacti at 10:44 AM on July 12, 2005

I have know this story awhile now, it's heart breaking. She went to see a relative in Japan then the US would not let her back in (she was born in California) and the Japanese didn't wnat much to do with her either as she was American, the only job she could get was at a radio station and only becasue she spoke english. I think this ties it all up how she was screwed over:

Chosen out of the NHK/Radio Tokyo typing pool to be a disc jockey by the very Allied POW's being beaten and starved into writing her shows, she became an adept at sabotage of her own broadcasts, trained to read and eventually write her segments of "The Zero Hour" the way the POW saboteurs intended, while helping to keep these soldiers alive at mortal personal risk with food, medicine, clothing and hope during her almost daily visits to their cells. Though employed to broadcast pro-japanese propaganda, her outspoken support of the Allies off-mike (while cleverly concealing it within her message and delivery on-air) resulted in numerous arguments and even fist fights at work, and continual harrasment at home and elsewhere. She literally cheered in the streets as U.S. Gen. Doolittle's Raiders flew over Tokyo, and cheered yet again when the first American B-29's appeared over Tokyo in the fall of '44

And for that she was jailed? Everytime I go to chicago and see a little asian woman at a gift shop (becasue I collect snowdomes) I want to ask if her name is Iva.
posted by Dome-O-Rama at 11:46 AM on July 12, 2005

And lest we forget, there was Lord Haw-Haw as well.
posted by alumshubby at 12:58 PM on July 12, 2005

What's left of Chicago's Japantown is anchored at one end by the corner of Clark and Belmont; I used to live around there. When he learned my address, a friend e-mailed to ask "so, have you been to Tokyo Rose's store?" I was astonished.

Turns out that right at that corner is a store called Toguri Mercantile. It's a big, dusty store with slightly shopworn-looking Japanese goods. Whenever I'd go in, there would be three little old ladies sitting in the back. I always wondered which one was her.
posted by adamrice at 2:08 PM on July 12, 2005

excellent post, gottabefunky - thanks! nice to see you around & posting - don't be a stranger
posted by madamjujujive at 9:29 PM on July 12, 2005

Thanks! I loved this post!
posted by halonine at 11:19 PM on July 12, 2005

Great post gottabefunky and timely. In the last fortnight I'd been reading about Mata Hari and had a vague thought about an FPP on fabled wicked women.
posted by peacay at 2:11 AM on July 13, 2005

Wow. She deserves a medal.
posted by bugmuncher at 6:36 AM on July 13, 2005

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