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Toguri file photo [1024]

Iva Toguri

Given NameIva
Born4 Jul 1916
Died26 Sep 2006
CountryUnited States


ww2dbaseIva Ikuko Toguri was born in Los Angeles, California, United States in 1916 to Japanese immigrants Jun and Fumi Toguri, who had moved to the United States in 1899 and 1913, respectively. She attended Compton Junior College and then the University of California, Los Angeles, graduating the latter in 1940 with a degree in zoology. In Jul 1941, she traveled to Japan to visit a sick aunt, and was unable to return to the United States after the Pacific War broke out in Dec 1941. Despite pressure from the Japanese government to renounce her US citizenship, she refused to do so, thus was denied a ration card. She worked as a typist for a Japanese news agency in order to earn money to support herself, and later worked in the same function for Radio Tokyo. In Nov 1943, she became the voice of selected portions of the show "The Zero Hour". As small gestures of defiance, she mixed double entendres in her broadcast (many co-written by prisoners of war American Wallace Ince and Filipino Normando Reyes) alongside government written propaganda, aiming to make the show a farce. Americans who listened to Japanese radio shows nicknamed her as one of the "Tokyo Roses"; the only aliases she had given herself during the war were "Ann", "Anne", "Orphan Anne", and "Orphan Annie", which was first used in 1944. The little money that she earned from Radio Tokyo (about US$7 per month), she shared with help feed prisoners of war who had less.

ww2dbaseIn 1945, Toguri married Felipe D'Aquino and took on his surname.

ww2dbaseAfter the war, American reporters Harry Brundidge and Clark Lee offered D'Aquino US$2,000 for an exclusive interview with "Tokyo Rose", and she accepted it as she was in need of money. This might have made her the scapegoat for all those who made propaganda broadcasts for Japan during the war, leading to her trial for treason in Jul 1949. She was fined US$100,000 and served six out of a ten-year prison sentence in West Virginia, United States. After a "60 Minutes" interview gave Americans her story from her own perspective, she was pardoned by President Gerald Ford in Jan 1977. Her husband was never given permission to move to the United States to join her. They would divorce, reluctantly, in 1980.

ww2dbaseD'Aquino ran the J. Toguri Mercantile Co. on Belmont Avenue near Clark Street in Chicago, Illinois, United States until she passed away in 2006. She was buried at the Montrose Cemetery in Chicago. She spoke little about her involvement in the war; "She had a hard outer shell, and you could understand why," said Thomas Tunney, a neighborhood restaurant owner.

ww2dbaseHer sign-on to the show "The Zero Hour" could be heard at the EarthStation1 website.

Dan van der Vat, The Pacific Campaign

Last Major Revision: Sep 2006


Iva Toguri at Radio Tokyo, Japan, 5 Dec 1944, photo 1 of 5Iva Toguri at Radio Tokyo, Japan, 5 Dec 1944, photo 2 of 5
See all 9 photographs of Iva Toguri

Iva Toguri Timeline

4 Jul 1916 Iva Toguri was born in Los Angeles, California, United States.
5 Sep 1945 Iva Toguri was arrested in Yokohama, Japan.
6 Oct 1949 Iva Toguri D'Aquino was sentenced to 10 years in prison and a fine of US$10,000 for taking part in Japanese propaganda efforts during the war.
19 Jan 1977 Iva Toguri D'Aquino was pardoned by Gerald Ford on Ford's final day in office as the US President.
26 Sep 2006 Iva Toguri passed away in Chicago, Illinois, United States.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
16 Feb 2009 11:12:09 AM

she was a scape coat! hard to believe all the other japanese war criminals got away!! how many japanese officers really paid for their crimes.

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Iva Toguri at Radio Tokyo, Japan, 5 Dec 1944, photo 1 of 5Iva Toguri at Radio Tokyo, Japan, 5 Dec 1944, photo 2 of 5
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