Tokyo Rose: Iva Ikoku Toguri Essays

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Born on July 4, 1916, in Los Angeles, California, to the parents of Jun and Fumi Toguri, Iva Ikoku Toguri was an American citizen with Japanese heritage (Lerner 163; Tokyo1). Toguri and her three siblings were raised in a predominantly white neighborhood in Compton, California, where their father disapproved of them learning the Japanese language so they could better fit into American society. Toguri eventually went on to attend Compton Junior College after finishing high school and then transferred to University of California, Los Angeles where she graduated in 1941 with a zoology degree (Iva 1; Tokyo 1). Soon after college, Toguri left America to tend to an extremely ill aunt in Japan on July 5, 1941. Unfortunately, she only acquired a…show more content…
While working there, Toguri befriended Felipe D’Aquino, a colleague and Portuguese national, and Major Charles Cousens, a former Australian radio host who was now forced to broadcast on the propagandist radio show “Zero Hour” (Tokyo 2). Radio Tokyo wanted a female’s voice for this show and since Toguri spoke English, she was the perfect match (Lerner 163). In November 1943, she joined the radio program under the name “Orphan Ann” playing songs and speaking to the soldiers for twenty minutes out of each day (Tokyo 2). In 1945, Toguri married D’Aquino and, later that year, the war finally ended (Iva 1; Tokyo 2). During the course of the war, Radio Tokyo employed over twenty women to broadcast programs to the foreign troops (Lerner 163; Iva 1). A myth began to be dispersed and soon the women were all called “Tokyo Rose” as a whole (Tokyo 3). The reporters of that time were obsessed with finding the biggest story, locating and interviewing the notorious “Tokyo Rose” (Lerner 163). To accomplish their goal, they rewarded anyone who could supply information on the whereabouts of her. A Radio Tokyo employee, Kenkichi Oki, labeled Toguri as “Tokyo Rose” (Iva 1; Lerner 164). As a result, the reporters pursued Toguri and paid her two thousand dollars for her admission to being “Tokyo Rose” and for a private interview (Tokyo 3). She only agreed to this proposal because Toguri believed she did nothing

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