Thursday, September 21, 2006

Tokyo Rose

I'm a film buff or at least I like to think I am. One day I was watching some WWII movie about the Pacific Theatre and somebody mentioned the name Tokyo Rose. The first thing I thought was, "that sounds like a nice brand of tea", followed by "or maybe it's a ship". This was immediately followed by a radio broadcast with Tokyo Rose signing off. So I thought, either that was a talking ship, talking tea leaves or I have it all wrong. Fortunately for you, I decided to find out what was going on.

This was actually the name the Allied forces in WWII in the South Pacific gave to an English-speaking women who broadcast Japanese propoganda. Geez that's a mouthful.

It's also a name associated with a woman named Iva Toguri D'Aquino. She was an American citizen visiting relatives in Japan at the beginning of the war. Because of this and somebody's testimony, she was convicted of treason in 1949 by the US government. So she was imprisoned and then released six years later and in 1977, she was pardoned by President Gerald Ford who also restored her citizenship.

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