- Category : Entertainment-Radio-D.J.-Announcer
- Type : MGP
- Profile : 3/6 - Martyr / Role Model
- Definition : Split - Small (5,46)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Tension 2
Tokyo Rose (alternative spelling Tokio Rose) was a generic name given by Allied forces in the South Pacific during World War II to any of approximately a dozen English-speaking female broadcasters of Japanese propaganda. The intent of these broadcasts was to disrupt the morale of Allied forces listening to the broadcast. American servicemen in the Pacific often listened to the propaganda broadcasts to get a sense, by reading between the lines, of the effect of their military actions. Farther from the action, stories circulated that Tokyo Rose could be unnervingly accurate, naming units and even individual servicemen; though such stories have never been substantiated by documents such as scripts and recorded broadcasts, they have been reflected in popular books and films such as Flags of Our Fathers. Similar rumors surround the propaganda broadcasts of Lord Haw-Haw and Axis Sally.
The Zero Hour
The name "Tokyo Rose" is most strongly associated with Iva Toguri D'Aquino, an American citizen born to Japanese immigrants. D'Aquino broadcast as "Orphan Ann" during the 15-20 minute D.J. segment of the 75-minute program The Zero Hour on Radio Tokyo (NHK). The program consisted of propaganda-tinged skits and slanted news reports as well as popular American music.
When the war ended, the U.S. military detained Toguri for a year before releasing her for lack of evidence. Department of Justice officials agreed that her broadcasts were "innocuous". But when Toguri tried to return to the US, a popular uproar ensued because Walter Winchell, the powerful broadcast personality, and the American Legion lobbied relentlessly for a trial, prompting the Federal Bureau of Investigation to renew its investigation of Toguri's wartime activities. Her 1949 trial resulted in a conviction on one of eight counts of treason. In 1974, investigative journalists found that key witnesses claimed they were forced to lie during testimony. Toguri was pardoned by U.S. President Gerald Ford in 1977.
The name "Tokyo Rose" in the context of these broadcasts first appeared in U.S. newspapers in 1943.
Toguri's advocates have long argued that other announcers better suited the legend. These include the American Ruth Hayakawa (who substituted for Iva on weekends), Canadian June Suyama ("The Nightingale of Nanking"), who also broadcast on Radio Tokyo, and Myrtle Lipton ("Little Margie") who broadcast from Japanese-controlled Radio Manila. However, during the war, journalists and officials with the US Foreign Broadcast Information Service identified Toguri's "Orphan Ann" as the woman "most servicemen seem to refer to when they speak of Tokyo Rose" but characterized the "legends" of clairvoyance that "piled up about 'Tokyo Rose'" as "apocryphal".
Walter Kaner aired on US Army Radio during and after World War II as "Tokyo Mose", answering Tokyo Rose’s broadcasts. In Japan, his "Moshi, Moshi Ano-ne" theme song, sung to the tune of "London Bridge Is Falling Down", was so popular with Japanese children and GIs alike that Stars and Stripes, the Army newspaper, called it "the Japanese occupation theme song." Elsa Maxwell's column and radio show in 1946 referred to Kaner as "the breath of home to unknown thousands of our young men when they were lonely."