March 14 - Women’s History Month Profile: Iva Toguri D’Aquino

Who was “Tokyo Rose?” “Tokyo Rose” never really existed; it was a name associated with Japanese propaganda broadcasts by English-speaking women. At the end of World War II, the United States arrived in Japan and American military officers identified Iva Toguri D’Aquino, a Japanese American born in San Francisco but stuck in Japan during the war, as “Tokyo Rose.” A mistaken identity, she was one of many women forced to air broadcasts from Japan. They sent her to Sugamo prison for Japanese war criminals and charged her with treason for anti-American broadcasts. It was not until the 1970s that supporters researched and found that witnesses were forced to lie about her, which reinforced the sensationalized misrepresentation of her story. In an effort to remedy the wartime injustice and wrongful incarceration, President Gerald Ford signed her a full pardon, confirming her innocence.