Old Radio Programs

An Archive Of Historical Old Radio Broadcasts


Index-Menu Home

 

Tokyo Rose Aka Orphan Ann

Tokyo Rose (alternative spelling Tokio Rose) was a name given by Allied troops in the South Pacific during World War II to all female English-speaking radio broadcasters of Japanese propaganda. The programs were broadcast in the South Pacific and North America to demoralize Allied troops abroad and their families at home by emphasizing troops' wartime difficulties and military losses. Several female broadcasters operated under different aliases and in different cities throughout the Empire, including Tokyo, Manila, and Shanghai. The name "Tokyo Rose" was never actually used by any Japanese broadcaster, but it first appeared in U.S. newspapers in the context of these radio programs in 1943. During the war, Tokyo Rose was not any one individual, but rather a group of largely unconnected women working within the same propagandist effort throughout the Japanese Empire. In the years shortly following the war, the figure of 'Tokyo Rose' whom the FBI now avers to be "mythical" became an important symbol of Japanese villainy for the U.S. American cartoons, films, and propaganda videos between 1945 and 1960 tend to portray her as highly sexualized, manipulative, and deadly to American interests in the South Pacific, particularly by leaking intelligence of American losses in radio broadcasts. Similar accusations surround the propaganda broadcasts of Lord Haw-Haw and Axis Sally, and in 1949 the San Francisco Chronicle described Tokyo Rose as the "Mata Hari of radio." Tokyo Rose ceased to be merely a symbol in September 1945 when Iva Toguri D'Aquino, an American-born Japanese disc jockey for a propagandist radio program attempted to return to the United States. Toguri was accused of being the 'real' Tokyo Rose, arrested, tried, and became the seventh person in U.S. history to be convicted of treason. Toguri's conviction was eventually overturned due to lack of evidence and she was released from prison in 1956, but it was more than 20 years before she received an official presidential pardon for her role in the war. [wikipedia]

 

Play all episodes.