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Tokyo Rose Trial: 1949

Toguri Tried For Treason, Suggestions For Further Reading

Defendant: Iva Ikuko Toguri ("Tokyo Rose")
Crime Charged: Treason
Chief Defense Lawyers: Wayne M. Collins, George Oishausen, and Theodore Tamba
Chief Prosecutors: Thomas DeWolfe, Frank J. Hennessy, John Hogan, and James Knapp
Judge: Michael J. Roche
Place: San Francisco, California
Dates of Trial: July 5-September 29, 1949
Verdict: Guilty
Sentence: 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine

SIGNIFICANCE: The Tokyo Rose trial was one of only seven American treason trials following World War II.

Iva Ikuko Toguri, the woman who would be labeled "Tokyo Rose" and a traitor to the United States, ironically was born on Independence Day, 1916 in Los Angeles, California. Her parents had migrated from Japan to California, and Toguri grew up as an American. In July 1941, now 25 years old, Toguri went to Japan for the first time to visit a sick aunt. Toguri stayed with relatives for several months, attending to her sick aunt, and she was left stranded in Japan when war broke out December 7, 1941, with the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Toguri was hard-pressed to earn a living in wartime Japan, where food and shelter were both expensive and scarce, and her only skill was her mastery of English. She worked as a typist for several news agencies and foreign legations before getting a job with Radio Tokyo. In November 1943, Toguri was forced to become one of the several female radio announcers for Radio Tokyo. Although Radio Tokyo broadcasts were made from many different locations throughout the Japanese Empire, which at its height covered much of eastern Asia, the female broadcasters were collectively termed "Tokyo Rose" by American GIs. Toguri never used that name, and her broadcasts were limited to playing popular American music, with a smattering of pro-Japanese propaganda written for her by her supervisors.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1941 to 1953