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View Full Version : "Tokyo Rose" Dies Aged 90


ORAC
28th Sep 2006, 06:57
Chicago Tribune (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/custom/newsroom/chi-060927tokyo-rose,1,843042.story?coll=chi-news-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true)

The only other American woman ever convicted of treason was Mildred Gellers, known as "Axis Sally" as a broadcaster for Germany.

tinpis
28th Sep 2006, 07:20
Thought she was still working the Cholon district?:uhoh:

lexxity
28th Sep 2006, 07:21
ORAC you need to register, can you copy and paste please?

ORAC
28th Sep 2006, 07:35
Alleged 'Tokyo Rose' of WW II - Longtime Chicagoan ran Asian gift shop on

Few who stopped in at J. Toguri Mercantile Co. on Belmont Avenue near Clark Street knew the story of the unassuming woman who moved quietly among the cluttered piles of Asian books and toiletries, dishes, vases, cutlery and candy.

Iva Toguri certainly didn't look like a war criminal, although the U.S. government convicted her as one following World War II. In the late 1940s, she was branded as being one of the voices of "Tokyo Rose," Japan's infamous radio siren to embattled U.S. troops, and served 6 years in a West Virginia prison. 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.

A Chicago resident since 1956, Toguri, 90, died Tuesday, Sept. 26, in Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, according to Barbara Trembley, who served as Toguri's adviser and is hoping to have a film made of her life.

Toguri ran J. Toguri Mercantile in Chicago with her father until his death, and then with a nephew and a niece. Clerks at the store Wednesday referred all questions to Trembley.

Toguri seldom spoke of her past and remained intensely private throughout her 50 years in Chicago. Customers at the store who knew who she was quickly learned that questions would go unanswered. "She had a hard outer shell, and you could understand why," said Chicago Ald. Thomas Tunney (44th), owner of the Ann Sather Restaurant on Belmont, where Toguri would occasionally dine. "She didn't talk much about it," said Ross Harano, former president of the Chicago Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League. "She was not a bitter person at all, she just put it aside."

A California native and a U.S. citizen, Toguri was visiting a sick aunt in Japan when Pearl Harbor was bombed. Stuck in the country, she was tossed out by her family because of her U.S. citizenship and harassed by the Japanese government. In 1943, she took a secretarial job at Radio Tokyo. The Japanese wanted a woman with an American accent for a radio show called "Zero Hour," and Toguri was enlisted. Toguri was one of about a dozen female broadcasters dubbed "Tokyo Rose" by American GIs. Toguri actually broadcast under the moniker "Orphan Ann" (Ann for announcer). While the Japanese were trying to use the broadcasts as propaganda, an Australian prisoner of war who wrote the shows Toguri did said the programs were intended as "straight-out entertainment."

Nonetheless, she was held for a year by U.S. occupying forces after the war, then released. But a public outcry fanned by influential radio broadcaster Walter Winchell led the U.S. to re-arrest her, said Wayne Collins, whose father defended Toguri at her 1949 trial in San Francisco. Toguri was convicted of treason following a 12-week trial. The single count of which she was found guilty—seven others were thrown out—accused her of referring to U.S. sailors as "Orphans of the Pacific" and asking, "How will you get home now that your ships are sunk?" Such radio broadcasts, with false reports of battle outcomes designed to demoralize the troops delivered amid pop music, were notorious instruments in Japan's propaganda war.

Her innocence finally was proven in the 1970s through efforts by the media and her attorney.

In 1976, two of her primary accusers told the Tribune's Far East correspondent, Ronald Yates, that FBI officials had forced them to give false testimony. Kenkichi Oki and George Mitsushio were California-born Japanese-Americans who had returned to Japan in the 1930s and wound up as Toguri's superiors on the "Zero Hour" radio program, said Yates, now dean of the College of Communications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In a series of interviews with Yates, they admitted that Toguri had done nothing wrong and that their testimony had been coerced. His reports followed a February 1976 Tribune series by Linda Witt that brought Toguri's prosecution into question. TV's "60 Minutes" also did a segment on Toguri, said Collins, who had taken over his father's case and filed for a presidential pardon.

In January 1977, on his last day in office, President Gerald Ford pardoned Toguri. At the time, she said that she hoped to "go back to my simple life and work. The difference now is, however, that I have regained my American citizenship, a right and privilege I have always cherished."

Toguri was born on July 4, 1916, and grew up in California, where she received a degree in zoology from UCLA with designs on becoming a doctor. Those plans were waylaid by her ill-fated trip to Japan. While in Japan, her mother died in a U.S. internment camp for Japanese Americans. She married Felipe D'Aquino, who she never saw again after being shipped out of Japan. He has since died, Yates said.

Her father moved to Chicago after the war and started his import and retail business, which was initially on Clark Street. Toguri joined him after being released from prison and rarely talked about her ordeal. As the business prospered, she aided young Japanese students and businessmen.

When Yoshi Katsamura, a young restaurateur, wanted to open his own place in 1982, she provided the initial funding, he said. "She's a big personality, she helps any person she can," Katsamura said. "She's a mentor." Toguri had dinner at least monthly at Yoshi's Cafe on Halsted, and for the last 25 years, she celebrated her Independence-Day birthday with a special meal at the restaurant, Katsamura said.

The Toguri family owned the building that housed Ann Sather when Tunney took over the business in the early 1980s. "She was intimidating at first, a hard-nosed business person," Tunney said. After asking Tunney several questions to assure herself he knew enough about business to make money and pay his rent, she offered him a five-year lease. "She took a chance on me," Tunney said. "She was never bitter," Tunney said. "Considering her life, she was very optimistic."

Toguri lived in a three-flat in Uptown, where she rarely talked to neighbors. At her store, she spent most of her time doing business in back. But sometimes she'd come out to help customers find their way among piles of Japanese and Asian goods, Tunney said.

In January, the World War II Veterans Committee presented Toguri with the Edward J. Herlihy citizen award, which is named after the World War II newsreels announcer. The committee had earlier printed Toguri's story in its newsletter, drawing an outpouring of support from veterans, said its president, James Roberts. "Not one said they were demoralized in any way by the broadcasts," Roberts said. "She remained loyal to the U.S., when many others may have turned on it, or given up."

She accepted her medal during a quiet luncheon ceremony at Yoshi's, having declined an invitation to a larger gala three months earlier in Washington, D.C. "She was tearful and overcome with emotion," Roberts said. "As I understood it, it was part of a long process of vindication."

Toguri requested that there be no memorial or funeral, Trembley said.