Iva Toguri D'Aquino - "tokyo rose"
Iva Toguri D'Aquino (1916-2006) was a Japanese-American woman born in Los Angeles, California. After her graduation from the University of California Los Angeles, she visited a sick relative in Japan in 1941. After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, the State Department refused to certify her citizenship, and she was denied entry to the United States despite her citizenship. In Japan, she participated in English-language propaganda broadcasts transmitted by Radio Tokyo to Allied soldiers in the South Pacific during World War II on The Zero Hour radio show. Toguri called herself "Orphan Ann," but she quickly became identified with the name "Tokyo Rose", a name that was coined by Allied soldiers and that predated her broadcasts. After the Japanese defeat, Toguri was detained for a year by the United States military before being released for lack of evidence. Department of Justice officials agreed that her broadcasts were "innocuous," but when Toguri tried to return to the US, a popular uproar ensued, prompting the Federal Bureau of Investigation to renew its investigation of Toguri's wartime activities. She was subsequently charged by the United States Attorney's Office with eight counts of treason. Her 1949 trial resulted in a conviction on one count, making her the seventh American to be convicted on that charge, for which she spent more than six years out of a ten-year sentence in prison. Journalistic and governmental investigators years later pieced together the history of irregularities with the indictment, trial, and conviction, including the allegation that key witnesses had perjured themselves at the various stages of their testimonies. Toguri received a pardon in 1977 from U.S. President Gerald Ford.
After being convicted of treason, Iva Toguri D'Aquino resided at 851 W. Belmont, Chicago, IL, as a non-resident alien, running her family Toguri Mercantile Co. until her death in 2006. After Japanese Internment, many Japanese-American families, like Iva Toguri D'Aquino's, were re-located to Chicago to be away from the Pacific. The Japanese American community settled in the racial "gray zones" within Chicago segregation - the Lakeview neighborhood being one of them. In the past 10 years, the neighborhood has become gentrified, and Iva Toguri D'Aquino's family store, as well as most of the Japanese-owned businesses, no longer exist.
belmont light intervention
For a one night intervention, I placed lights around the site of 851 W. Belmont that would flicker to translate Iva Toguri's broadcast into flashes of light, so that the new residents of the neighborhood would be reminded of this history. During the 1949 trial convicting her of treason, these broadcasts were never heard by the jury.