During World War II, a dozen female broadcasters, collectively dubbed “Tokyo Rose” by U.S. troops, provided a diversion from the horrors of war. Set up by the Japanese military and using the powerful signal of Radio Tokyo, these Tokyo Roses were on the air nightly, broadcasting English-language shows designed to make American soldiers and sailors nostalgic and homesick. One such Tokyo Rose, U.S. citizen Iva Ikuki Toguri D’Aquino, described her August 14, 1944, broadcast as “sweet propaganda” and played tunes whose titles (for example, “My Resistance Is Low”) were designed to demoralize her listeners. Although some soldiers and sailors may have felt the occasional twinge of homesickness while listening to Tokyo Rose’s broadcasts, most simply ignored the propaganda and insults while hoping to hear their favorite popular songs.Listen to Audio:
Tokyo Rose: Hello you fighting orphans in the Pacific. How’s tricks? This is “After her weekend, and oooh, back on the air, strictly under union hours.” Reception okay? Why, it better be, because this is All-Requests night. And I’ve got a pretty nice program for my favorite little family, the wandering boneheads of the Pacific Islands. The first request is made by none other than the boss. And guess what? He wants Bonnie Baker in “My Resistance is Low.” My, what taste you have, sir, she says.
"You say you want to see me every night,
But every time you see me, you want to only fight,
I have to say no . . ."
According to union hours, we’re all through today. We close up another chapter of sweet propaganda in the form of music for you, for my dear little orphans wandering in the Pacific. There are plenty of non-union hours coming around the corner, so being see you tomorrow. But in the meanwhile, always remember to be good, and so . . .
"Good-bye now, Good-bye now, Good-bye now, Good-bye
In just a moment . . ."
Source: Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration, Recorded Sound Division.