Meanwhile, back home in California, the U.S. government placed her family in an internment camp because of their Japanese heritage. Her mother passed away there.
While Iva worked for Radio Tokyo as a typist, the station put her on the air as "Orphan Ann" in hopes that hearing broadcasts with an American accent would help demoralize American troops by making them homesick. Ms. Toguri and about a dozen other female broadcasters were collectively referred to as "Tokyo Rose" by the American GIs.
|1443 Winnemac, |
Ms Toguri's home for 40 years
She was sentenced to ten years in prison, of which she served six. Later, the primary witnesses in the trial revealed that they were coerced by the FBI into making false statements against her.
After Ms. Toguri was released from the West Virginia prison where she served her sentence, she joined her father, Jun, in Chicago, where he had opened a Japanese gift shop. She settled into a three-flat at 1443 West Winnemac, where she kept to herself and where she lived the rest of her life.
For years, she ran J. Toguri Mercantile Company, first located at 1118 North Clark, and later at 851 West Belmont. Many people remember the small serious woman behind the counter who waited on them. After 65 years in business, J. Toguri closed its doors in 2013. Lakeview Smiles dentistry office is there now.
The Toguri family did well in Chicago, providing financial and business advice for other entrepreneurs. Iva provided the seed money and mentorship for Yoshi Katsamura in 1982; Yoshi's Cafe on Halsted is the result. She owned the building that housed Ann Sather on Belmont when Tom Tunney first took over the restaurant and offered him a five-year lease only after satisfying herself that he could make the rent payments.
|photo courtesy of Lake View Patch|
She passed away in 2006 at age 90, and is buried at Montrose Cemetery at 5400 North Pulaski. An improbable and sad life journey for a California girl who graduated from UCLA with a degree in zoology and aspired to a career in medicine.
According to Tom Tunney in her obituary in the Tribune, "She was never bitter. Considering her life, she was very optimistic."