Tokyo Rose (alternate
spelling Tokio Rose) was a generic name given by
Allied forces in the South
World War II to any of approximately a
dozen English-speaking female
broadcasters of Japanese propaganda.
The intent of these broadcasts
was to disrupt the morale of Allied forces listening to the
broadcast near the Japanese mainland. According to rumors
circulating among GIs, Tokyo Rose routinely identified American
units on air, sometimes even naming individual soldiers. Her
purported predictions of impending attacks were, according to many,
unnervingly accurate, but there are no radio scripts, transcripts,
or recordings of such broadcasts. Nevertheless, these stories
continue to appear in popular histories of World War II and popular
movies, such as Flags of Our Fathers.
surround the propaganda broadcasts of Lord
and Axis Sally
"Tokyo Rose" is most strongly associated with Iva Toguri D'Aquino, who broadcast as
"Orphan Ann" during the 15-20 minute D.J. segment of the 75-minute "The Zero Hour" program on Radio Tokyo (NHK), a program that consisted of
propaganda-tinged skits and slanted news reports as well as popular
Toguri's advocates have long argued that
other announcers better suited the legend. They include American
(who substituted for Iva
on weekends), Canadian June Suyama
Nightingale of Nanking") who also broadcast on Radio Tokyo, and
("Little Margie") who
broadcast from Japan-controlled Radio Manila. However, during the
war, journalists and officials with the US Foreign Broadcast
Intelligence Service identified Toguri's "Orphan Ann" as the woman
"most servicemen seem to refer to when they speak of Tokyo Rose"
but characterized the "legends" that "piled up about 'Tokyo Rose'"
As "Tokyo Mose" during and after World War II, Walter Kaner
aired on US Army Radio, answering
Tokyo Rose’s broadcasts. In Japan, his "Moshi, Moshi Ano-ne" theme
song, sung to the tune of "London Bridge is Falling
," was so popular with Japanese children and GIs alike that
, the Army newspaper, called it "the Japanese
occupation theme song." Elsa Maxwell
column and radio show in 1946 referred to Kaner as "the breath of
home to unknown thousands of our young men when they were
Depiction in film and media
Tokyo Rose has been the subject of one song, two movies and four
Iva Toguri mug shot, Sugamo
Prison--March 7, 1946.
- 1946: Tokyo Rose, film; directed by Lew Landers.
Lotus Long played a heavily fictionalized
"Tokyo Rose", described on the film's posters as a "seductive jap
traitress"; Byron Barr played the G.I.
protagonist, set to kidnap the Japanese announcer. Blake Edwards appeared in a supporting
- 1969: The Story of "Tokyo Rose", CBS-TV and WGN radio
documentary written and produced by Bill
- 1976: Tokyo Rose, CBS-TV documentary segment on
60 Minutes by Morley Safer, produced by Imrel Harvath.
- 1985: "Tokyo Rose", a song by Canadian group Idle Eyes.
- 1995: U.S.A. vs. "Tokyo Rose", self-produced
documentary by Antonio A. Montanari Jr., distributed by Cinema
- 1995: Tokyo Rose: Victim of Propaganda, A&E
Biography documentary, hosted by Peter Graves, available on VHS
- 2002: Tokyo Rose is a character in Burning Vision, a
play by Canadian playwright Marie
Clements, which dramatizes the history of radium/uranium mining
in the Canadian North.
- 2008: Tokyo Rose,
film; in development with Darkwoods Productions, the only entity
granted life story rights by Iva Toguri, Frank Darabont to direct. Christopher Hampton, is the screenwriter
for Tokyo Rose.
- Moe sold his bar in a 'Simpsons' episode and it was turned into
a Japanese Restaurant called "Tokyo Roe's"
In 2004, actor George Takei
he was working on a film entitled Tokyo Rose, American
, about Toguri's activities during the war.
In the 1958 movie Run Silent,
, the crew listens to Tokyo Rose over the
A scene in the 2006 movie Flags of Our Fathers
American servicemen listening to a radio broadcast in the style
generally attributed to "Tokyo Rose" but ascribed to "Orphan Ann"
to give greater credence to widespread but now historically
discredited popular accounts from that time.
-  FBI History
-  "The Legend of Tokyo Rose by Ann Elizabeth
- Talking History radio program on "World War II
Radio Propaganda: Real and Imaginary" and Ann Elizabeth Pfau
and David Hochfelder, "'Her Voice a Bullet': Imaginary Propaganda
and the Legendary Broadcasters of World War II," Sound in the
Age of Mechanical Reproduction, eds. Susan Strasser and David
Suisman, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009.
-  "The Legend of Tokyo Rose by Ann Elizabeth
- Chun, Gary C.W. "Star Trek 's Lt. Sulu plans to make his film,
Tokyo Rose: American Patriot, in Hawaii",
StarBulletin.com, April 12, 2004.