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Ain't she cute?!?

"Orphan Ann"
("Tokyo Rose")

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Iva_Toguri_behind_bars.jpg She was probably the most listened-to disc jockey in history, yet hardly anyone remembers her as such today, in spite of, or perhaps because of, the lingering infamous legend surrounding her. Brought up by her immigrant Methodist parents to think of herself as an American, Iva Ikuko Toguri (1916 - ), a first generation Japanese-American ("Nisei") was forced to broadcast propaganda for Japan during World War II, after her native U.S. abandoned her there mere days before the Pearl Harbor attack, and despite her continual efforts throughout the war to return home.

Iva_Toguri_before_NHK_microphone.jpg 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 (the first one was a BR-29 reconnaissance craft named "Tokyo Rose").

Iva_Toguri_06.jpg When she decided that NHK and the Japanese Army were interfering too much with the show, she started not showing up for work, spending months incommunicado without permission, at one point taking a month's retreat at a Church college to receive religious instruction to convert to Roman Catholicism. She was the only Japanese of Allied national citizenship involved with broadcasting WWII Japanese propaganda to refuse to give up their citizenship, even in the face of the twice-weekly and sometimes daily 3 AM harrassments she endured at the hands of the Kempeitai Thought Police.

Iva_Toguri_at_courthouse_01.jpg Yet in spite of, and ironically because of this, she was to be only person ever tried or sent to prison for these broadcasts, based wholly upon evidence that U.S. authorites had fabricated and threatened two NHK workers who had given up their American citizenship, George Mitsushio and Ken Oki, into perjuring themselves with. In a trial she was subjected to precisely because she had kept her precious citizenship intact, she was to see it revoked in the end as part of her punishment. Hers was the most expensive trial in American history up until that time, and probably the most garishly trumped-up of all its show trials, though these facts have been largely forgotten.

Iva_Toguri_Tokyo_1945_1_closeup.jpg All this in order that she might have foisted upon her for popular and political purposes the title of "Tokyo Rose", even though neither she nor anyone else had ever broadcast for the Japanese under that name, and had in fact never even been in front of a radio microphone till fall of 1943, years after the myth of a single "Tokyo Rose" arose from the imaginations of Allied soldiers in the Pacific who tried to put a face on the many female voices coming from numerous Japanese controlled radio stations. Though long since pardoned by President Ford, himself a veteran of the Pacific War and survivor of many kamikaze attacks, controversy over her supposed guilt continues even to this day. Of her own broadcasts, during which she actually used the name "Orphan Ann", all that remains are a smattering of scripts, and a precious few recordings that can barely be accounted for on two hands.

This webpage is part of an ongoing project to bring the sights, the sounds and the facts about Ms. Toguri to the World Wide Web so that the world public can see, hear and read for themselves the truth about this extraordinary women, and the tragic injustices that have been and continue to be perpetrated against her.

"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 in 24 hours a day have never heard the words 'Tokyo Rose' over a Japanese-controlled Far Eastern radio."

The U.S. Office of War Information, August 1945

The Broadcasts
The Aftermath
The Movie
The Pictures

The Broadcasts

Click on the thumbnails to play and/or download.
If you need help playing any of the sound files, go to our Sound Apps Page.

Listen to Orphan Ann!

Iva Toguri signs on as "Orphan Ann" at approx. 18:05 Japan Standard Time, Monday August 14 1944, during her "Music for You" segment of Radio Tokyo's "The Zero Hour", broadcast for consumption by the American & Allied "wandering boneheads of the Pacific islands". "Boneheads" was Australian slang approximate in meaning to the English and American "dogface", which is why the show's Australian forced-labor producer, POW Major Charles Cousens, made this phrase an intregal part of the show. It was often mispronounced by Iva under the very ears of the Japanese Army as "BOONheads".

Listen to Orphan Ann!

The same as above, but without the "Orphan Ann" Opening Theme.

Listen to Orphan Ann!

Iva Toguri performs a mock sign-on before American newsreels on September 20, 1945. Iva was quite nervous during this staged event, as American officers rather gruffly put her and the rest of "The Zero Hour" crew through this US Signal Corp scripted, staged-for-the-cameras event. Fearing that rather than appreciating her very dangerous collaboration with Allied POWs to undermine the Japanese message, the Americans were in fact trying to use this film to set her up as a scapegoat, she tried her best to put her best face forward -- literally -- the icon above and the background pic throughout was made from a screen capture of that event. Her sweetness, honesty and sincerity, nonetheless, still shines through. It was, as Iva & her POW friends had feared, used to discredit her with her fellow loyal Americans.

Listen to Orphan Ann!

Same as above, limited to her sign-on.

Listen to Orphan Ann!

An audio mix used in her 1969 radio interview for a documentary on Iva, written and hosted by her close personal friend and champion, A&E's Bill Kurtiss of "Investigative Reports". It's the sign-off from her 1945 mock broadcast mixed in with the beginning of "My Resistance is Low", the first song on Iva's "Orphan Ann" segment of August 14th '44.

Listen to Orphan Ann!

The mock sign-off source of the above, scripted by the US Signal corp as a composite from transcripts of monitored broadcasts of "The Zero Hour". Though hundreds of her "Zero Hour" broadcasts were recorded by US Army and Naval Intelligence, only a handful remain, most in very poor condition. If you have any recordings of Iva Toguri's broadcasts, please let me know!

Listen to Orphan Ann!

Iva concludes her show with this sign-off and segue to her Closing Theme, "Goodbye Now", on her August 14, 1944 "Zero Hour" broadcast .

Listen to Orphan Ann!
The Zero Hour Broadcasts

*ALL the accounted for "Orphan Ann" broadcasts, digitally enhanced & edited for optimum RealAudio playback, almost all of which have never been made available to the public until the creation of this webpage!*

The Aftermath:

A 'Love Note' to 'Tokyo Rose'

The 1st Marine Division recorded this counter-propaganda piece in the context of a letter to "Tokyo Rose" in 1945. Keeping in mind that the Marines had been fighting bitterly with the Japanese for over 3 years, the tone of the letter might easily have been more bigoted than it was. Nonetheless, it is a letter addressed to a non-person -- though there were Japanese women broadcasting the kind of content referred to in this piece, they were several and not one, none called themselves "Tokyo Rose", and Iva was not among them, since she only broadcast light entertainment deejay spots mixed in with an occassional comedy skit.

A very silly song

This silly song was a hit for Abe Burrows in 1947. Its quality is on the level of most attitudes about her, and just as misinformed.

A very silly song

A RealVideo 5.0 file of Paramount Newreel's 8/28/48 segment on the return of Mildred Gillars ("Axis Sally) to the U.S. to stand trial for treason, followed by a piece on Iva Toguri in Tokyo and the possiblity of her having the same fate. Given the upbeat tone of the images and soundtrack during the Gillar's section, it's more than interesting from a propaganda standpoint to compare it to those used while reporting about Iva Toguri.

The Wild Blue Yonder

Years after the verdict against her in 1949, the 1954 movie "The Wild Blue Yonder" simulates two supposed "Tokyo Rose" broadcasts to B-29 aircrews that go well beyond the pale of accuracy and truth. In this first clip, this made-up "Tokyo Rose" charicature gives a wholly propagandistic speech about the loss of American Marines on Guadalcanal, Tarawa and the Admiralty Islands. The fact that Iva never did propaganda pieces, let alone had never been in front of a microphone before the battles of Guadalcanal and Tarawa , seems to have been lost on them. Note also how she supposedly knows the serial numbers of the B-29s flying into India. Although many reports of a "Tokyo Rose" supposedly broadcasting from Radio Tokyo were made of her chiding her enemy with eerily accurate information about them, the accuracy of these stories is as doubtful as the existence of a "Tokyo Rose" is false. If there were such broadcasts made, they would morely likely have been from such broadcasters as Foumy Saisho ("Madame Tojo") or Ruth Hayakawa ("The Nightingale of Nanking"), if not from one of the many women broadcasters at about a dozen Japanese-controlled shortwave stations in the conquered territories, particularly Myrtle Lipton ("Manila Myrtle" or "Manila Rose") - again, Iva never broadcast anything other than light entertainment deejay spots. Iva also, as the audio files in the section above demonstrate, did not have a lisp, let alone such a carefully exaggerated one as is used here.

The Wild Blue Yonder

In this clip from "The Wild Blue Yonder", the ersatz "Tokyo Rose" actually identifies herself as such on the air, then a surreal and often quite bigoted flashback segment takes place in the mind of the star, Forrest Tucker, as he listens to the broadcast. The surreality actually begins at the very start of the clip - Iva never broadcast anything like this.

Bill Kurtiss sets the record straight

After two decades of silence, Iva granted an interview for the first time since the trial to her trusted friend, Bill Kurtiss of A&E's "Investigative Reports" and "American Justice", for a radio documentary he made in 1969. One might say it was the scoop of his career thus far, but there was too much love and respect between them for either of them to have thought of it that way. This RealAudio clip consists of the entire thirty minute documentary without commercial interruption. It goes far in explaining the truth about Iva Toguri, straight from not only an investigative and legal expert, but a devoted friend.

John Mann on his jury

As Jury Foreman, John Mann never got over the guilty verdict he had to deliver the court, saying that he firmly believed his jury sent an innocent woman to jail. In this interview clip, he recounts the testimonies of Major Cousens and U.S. Captain Wallace Ince (fellow POW forced to broadcast for Radio Tokyo), which described the cruel treatment they received at the hands of the Japanese, and the recruitment and training of Iva Toguri by Major Cousens as a broadcaster and saboteur of the Japanese message.

Listen to Iva on 60 minutes!

*Updated from RealAudio to RealVideo 6/12/98

For only the second and so far the last public interview in the fifty years since the trial, Iva agreed to appear on "60 Minutes" in 1976, for what became the ground-breaking event leading to her pardon by President Gerald Ford. This is a streaming RealVideo 5.0 file of the entire 15 minute segment of that broadcast, an expose of many of the same untruths about the Iva Toguri story that are covered on this webpage.

Iva Toguri on "60 Minutes"

The Movie:

A 'Love Note' to 'Tokyo Rose'

The opening of the infamous-in-its-own-right 1946 film "Tokyo Rose", a fictionalized travesty of a melodrama starring Byron Barr as Pete Sherman and Lotus Long as "Tokyo Rose" (both pictured immediately above). Any question as to whom Ms. Long was portraying based on her appearance vanishes once her image is compared to Iva's - Ms. Long is made to look as much like her as possible. As to the question of whom Ms. Long was portraying based on her monologue, the question is left very much open; Iva just didn't do broadcasts like this.

A very silly song

Immediately following the above, American POWs tease Pete when he turns of the radio, and he responds with an analysis that would have been just fine if it matched the subject it was supposedly performed upon. Unfortunately for Iva, it wasn't.

A very silly song

Immediately following the above, Pete gives an account of a soldier who was so upset by listening to "Tokyo Rose" that he ran off into the jungles of Palau and got killed. While Mildred Gillars (aka "Axis Sally") did broadcast content of this character for Germany, and the Japanese did indeed have female broadcasters who did deliver similar content, Iva *never* did - as this webpage illustrates, she went a risky distance to do the contrary under the very noses of the Japanese authorities.

A very silly song

In this scene, POWs without any training in broadcasting whatsoever discover that they have been brought to Tokyo to participate in broadcasts with "Tokyo Rose". In reality, the historical record shows that only POWs with broadcasting experience were selected to be beaten into assisting in the Japanese broadcast propaganda effort, and even more importantly, that *it was the POWs sabot themselves that recruited Iva to broadcast for them*, and not otherwise.

A very silly song

The beginning of a supposed "Tokyo Rose" broadcast. Of all the inaccurate recreations of historical broadcasts that I have ever come across, *this is the furthest removed from the truth*.

A very silly song

As Pete stands behind her unnoticed with a gun in his pocket, "Tokyo Rose" broadcasts her last show before she is supposedly kidnapped. A far cry from reality - Iva was at home when the war ended, and was quite well recieved by American soldiers for some time afterwards. She obviously enjoyed them, and most importantly, they remembered Iva as the "Orphan Ann" personality that she actually was, and not the fictionalized moniker this web page is devoted to removing from her legacy.

A very silly song

The Opening Theme of "Tokyo Rose" (the movie).

Iva Toguri Gallery
The Pictures

A gallery of nearly 200 pictures of Iva Toguri and the significant people, places and events in her life!

All sound and picture files digitized by and ©1997 J. C. Kaelin.

"The irony of the 'Orphan Ann' story is incredible: that a woman who by rights should have been the first recipient of President Truman's new Medal of Freedom (established in 1945 to honor "American and foreign civilians who performed meritorious acts or services outside the U.S. that aided the U.S. in warfare after 7 Dec 1941") was instead not only tried but convicted of treason..."

Dafydd (David) Neal Dyar
The "Sayonara, 'Tokyo Rose' -- Hello Again, 'Orphan Ann'" Page

My deep thanks to Mr. Dyar for having inspired me to commit myself to the cause of Ms. Toguri. Much of the academic research and nearly all the pictoral source material used on this web page are courtesy of Mr. Dyar.


If you have any recordings of Iva Toguri on "The Zero Hour", please let me know! I am committed on a non-profit basis to collect and restore all the surviving Iva Toguri and "Zero Hour" monitored broadcast recordings. I urge you to contact me if you have any of these broadcasts, or any other recordings of WWII Japanese English language broadcasts. Most of this material is being lost to history, and unless it is salvaged immediately, most if not all of this historical media will be permanently lost. It is my purpose to prevent this from happening by saving & digitally restoring as many as I can find. Please help by contacting me as soon as possible if you have any of this material to salvage.

This page, its compilation and all its linked-to onsite content (C) (P) 1996-2014 J. C. Kaelin, Jr.. No use on or off of the Internet permitted without the express written permission of J. C. Kaelin, Jr..

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