Lot 760

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IVA TOGURI ("Tokyo Rose") (1916 - 2006) American citizen who participated in English-language propaganda broadcast transmitted by Radio Tokyo to Allied soldiers in the South Pacific during World War II. After the Japanese defeat, Toguri was held for a year by the U.S. 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 F.B.I. to renew its investigation of Toguri's activities. She was subsequently charged in 1949 with eight counts of treason, and was finally pardoned by Gerald Ford in 1977. We offer a startling war-time relic of Toguri's "service" to her Japanese employers, a microphone seized from the studios of Radio Tokyo and purported to have been used by her in her propaganda broadcasts to American soldiers. The black microphone measures 4 1/2" x 13" x 3" deep overall with a specifications plate attached at bottom and hand-painted Japanese lettering. Also included is a blue felt-lined carrying box with snap closures, lacking handle, with corners and edges bumped and worn. The microphone is accompanied by a letter of provenance from its "liberator", Electrician's Mate First Class Claude D. Carter who was stationed aboard the USS COMPTON which was present in Tokyo Bay for the Japanese surrender ceremony. Carter's letter, which he back-dated to the date of the surrender, relates: "...When I was allowed to go ashore the first place I went was Tokyo Rose's studio. The officer in charge, told us to take any souvenirs we wanted. I took the microphone that Tokyo Rose used to broadcast her propaganda to the American servicemen. This is that microphone...". Sold with: a D.S., a Japanese fan-shaped Christmas card sent to an American supporter, signed by Toguri who ironically adds: "Thanks for your loyalty...", along with a reproduction of a wartime photo showing her seated at a table making a broadcast with an identical microphone before her. An important World War II relic!

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October 10, 2010 11:00 AM EDT
Stamford, CT, US

Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

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