Ikuko Toguri was born in Los Angeles on July 4, 1916 the daughter of Japanese immigrants. She went by the name Iva. Iva was a Girl Scout as a child, and she was raised as a Methodist. Iva graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a degree in Zoology. She then worked in her parents’ shop. She loved her country enough to register to vote.
When she was 25 she sailed for Japan to visit an ailing relative and to possibly study medicine. Two Months later Iva applied to the U.S. Vice Consul to return to the U.S. for permanent residence. Her request didn’t come back before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. She was then declared an enemy alien by the U.S. Government.
The Japanese Government pressured her to renounce her U.S. citizenship but she never did. To make a living she took a position at Radio Tokyo. She worked in the news department and made $7 a month in 1943. With this she helped feed allied Prisoners of War (POW).
In November 1943, Allied prisoners of war forced to broadcast propaganda selected her to host a 20 minute program. She was one of a dozen woman selected to do these news programs. She was reassured by these allied prisoners of war that she was doing nothing wrong. Iva married but declined to take her husband’s citizenship choosing to keep her U.S. citizenship.
She was captured, with the help of the $250 reward offered by two news men, and held while the Military investigated her. She was released and no charges were placed against her. The U.S. Navy awarded her a certificate of appreciation because she actually helped moral with the music she played and everyone believed the print she was reading were lies anyway and did no harm. They were written by allied POW’s.
Forcibly separated from her husband, she was brought to San Francisco, on September 25, 1948, where the FBI charged her with the crime of treason for "adhering to, and giving aid and comfort to, the Imperial Government of Japan during World War II". During her trial she stated that she and some of her colleagues sabotaged Japanese war efforts. On the testimony of two newsmen on a very vague charge she was found guilty and sentenced...Continue reading this sermon illustration (Free with PRO)