The Trial of Tokyo Rose: United States v. Iva Toguri D’Aquino

Cast as the mythical “Tokyo Rose” who taunted Allied forces on Radio Tokyo, Iva Toguri d’Aquino stands trial for treason following World War II.

Special thanks to David Weinberg of JuryGroup for creating the slide presentation that accompanies the script.

David Weinberg Jury Group Logo rsz


OKI: U.S. Occupation Army Police told me I had no choice but to testify against Iva — or else.
MITSUSHIO: We were told if we didn’t cooperate, Uncle Sam might arrange a trial for us too. All of us could see how easy it was for a mammoth country like the United States to crucify a Japanese American — all we had to do was look at Iva.
OKI: After I was flown to San Francisco, we were told what to say and not to say two hours every morning for a month before the trial started.
MITSUSHIO: Even though I was a government witness against her, I can say today that Iva Toguri was innocent — she never broadcast anything treasonable.
OKI: Iva never made a treasonable broadcast in her life. She got a raw deal — she was railroaded into jail.


For Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May 2013, the Asian American Arts Alliance and the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) presented a theatrical event, Iva: The Myth of Tokyo Rose, Allegiance on Trial. This devised play inspired by the life of Iva Toguri, a Japanese American citizen who was accused of treason for allegedly broadcasting anti-American propaganda during World War II as the infamous “Tokyo Rose” examined issues of race and civil rights, engaging audiences in a powerful dialogue about social justice issues that resound to present day. The adaptation was fully staged and performed by a cast of professional actors with writer/co-director Soriya Chum and general manager/co-director Elena Chang of the Asian American Arts Alliance. Excerpts from the actual trial transcripts were interspersed with period music, still photographs, and contemporaneous news reels. The trial transcript excerpts were taken from the Tokyo Rose Trial Reenactment.  AABANY received the 2013 New York State Conference of Bar Leaders Innovation Award for Iva: The Myth of Tokyo Rose.  Read more about Iva: The Myth of Tokyo Rose, Allegiance on Trial in AABANY’s blog and press release.


NAPABA Northeast Regional Conference, Stamford, CT, June 4, 2011
NAPABA Annual Convention, Los Angeles, CA, November 19, 2010


APALSA, Fordham Law School, New York, NY, April 22, 2015
Staff Attorney’s Office, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse, New York, NY, March 12, 2015
Asian American Arts Alliance, entitled: “Iva: The Myth of Tokyo Rose,” Asia Society, New York, NY, May 16, 2013
APALSA, Hofstra Law School, Hempstead, NY, March 28, 2011