Iva Toguri, convicted of treason following World War II, was one of several women nicknamed "Tokyo Rose." Toguri, an American, was forced to announce anti-American propaganda broadcasts during the war.

Photograph courtesy National Archives, Department of Justice

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  • On January 19, 1977, U.S. President Gerald Ford pardoned Iva Toguri, nicknamed “Tokyo Rose.” During World War II, Toguri was the announcer on a propaganda program broadcast to Americans and other Allies in the Pacific theater
     
    Toguri herself was an American, born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She was visiting a sick relative in Japan when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and the United States entered World War II. After refusing to become a Japanese citizen, Toguri was unable to return home. The Japanese government used her excellent knowledge of American slang to force her to read anti-American propaganda during weekly radio broadcasts. The broadcasts themselves were written by Allied prisoners-of-war (POWs), who later testified that Toguri was as much a victim as they were.
     
    After the war, Toguri was tried for treason in what was then the longest and most expensive trial in U.S. history. Despite support from the POWs who worked with her and a lack of evidence, she was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison. In the 1970s, investigative reporters uncovered racism and perjury among key witnesses who testified against Toguri. 
     
    Upon being pardoned, Toguri recalled the support she received from her father: “You were like a tiger, you never changed your stripes, you stayed American through and through.”
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    Allies Noun

    alliance of countries that opposed the Axis during World War II. The Allies were led by the U.S., the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union.

    announce Verb

    to proclaim or make known publicly.

    broadcast Verb

    to transmit signals, especially for radio or television media.

    convict Verb

    to find someone guilty of an illegal act.

    evidence Noun

    data that can be measured, observed, examined, and analyzed to support a conclusion.

    expensive Adjective

    very costly.

    government Noun

    system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.

    investigative reporter Noun

    journalist who thoroughly researches and reports a single topic, such as a crime or mystery.

    Pacific theater Noun

    military operations taking place in the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific theater usually refers to actions during World War II.

    pardon Verb

    to release from responsibility for a crime or other offense.

    perjury Noun

    willful giving of false testimony under oath.

    prison Noun

    buildings that house convicted criminals and people accused of a crime and awaiting trial.

    prisoner of war Noun

    person captured and held by an enemy during a conflict.

    propaganda Noun

    information or ideas specifically intended to help or hurt the cause of an organization.

    racism Noun

    government or social system based on the belief that one ethnic group is superior to all others.

    slang Noun

    informal words and phrases.

    testify Verb

    to offer evidence in court.

    treason Noun

    crime of planning to overthrow the government.

    trial Noun

    judgement of a person or organization's responsibility for a crime or misdemeanor.

    World War II Noun

    (1939-1945) armed conflict between the Allies (represented by the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union) and the Axis (represented by Germany, Italy, and Japan.)