Radio: By Any Other Name

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Tokyo Rose is the darling of U.S. sailors, G.I.s and Marines all over the Pacific. She is a Jap propagandist, but her broadcasts are popular among American listeners: she gives them humor, nostalgia, news, entertainment and good U.S. dance music. In a very feminine and friendly voice she murmurs:

"Good evening again to the all-forgetting and forgotten men, the American fighting men of the South Pacific. The Zero Hour to the rescue once again, taking up a few vacant moments you may have to kill. And since this is Monday and therefore Old Timers' night, these few moments will be filled with music for you Old Timers who perhaps like another kind of music. So here's our beginning number tonight. It is the Waltz King, Wayne King. . . .

" No one knows for sure who Tokyo Rose really is. OWIsters incline to think she is a Japanese, born on the island of Maui, Hawaii, and educated there. Her voice is cultured, with a touch of Boston. She would be a very good propagandist if G.I. Joe had more tendency to believe her.

Uncomfortably Close. Tokyo Rose's voice is wafted over the Aleutians and the South Pacific on a stronger, clearer signal than any provided by U.S. radio. She can usually be heard around 8 p.m. daily, Australian time, short or medium wave, on a 65-minute show designed for U.S. armed forces in the South Pacific. Her specialties, assisted by a male announcer who sounds not unlike Elmer Davis, are News from the American Home Front and the jazzical Zero Hour. News purports to be a rehash of U.S. domestic broadcasts. It is angled, but has some basis in fact.

Tokyo Rose is sometimes uncomfortably close to the truth. Last Aug. 5 she announced that U.S. forces would land on Kiska on Aug. 17. The landing was Aug. 15. Her broadcasts almost-never exaggerate U.S. losses. She has built a reputation on accurate broadcasts like the following: "Well, you boys in Moresby, how did you like that ack-ack last night over Rabaul? Your communique didn't say anything about losing those two Fortresses, did it? But you fellows know, don't you? You know what did not come back. . . ."

Rose's U.S. idiom is consistently accurate: "Back in your old home town, remember the old juke box and what you got out of it? Remember the cheese sandwiches and the cokes with the gang? It's pretty hard to remember, but your juke box once had this piece: Crosstown [music]. . . . And whenever that came out of the juke box, somebody started an impromptu rumba and boy, did the manager kick. But that was only when your mood was good, whether it was the moon, the coke, or the girl. . . ."

There are other roses in Tojo's garden, but none so fair as Tokyo. Like her, they remain unidentified. Sometimes they are mistaken for her. They include:

¶"Mrs. Henry Topping," thought to be the 81 -year-old widow of an American missionary who went to Japan in 1895 and died there. She laments war per se in a quavering but clear voice. Mrs. Topping's son, Willard, of Boulder, Colo., denies that hers is his mother's voice.

¶"Frances Hopkins," apparently American, possibly the wife or daughter of a missionary. She is inclined to rant.

¶"Fumi Hayakawa," probably an Hawaiian or an Hawaiian-educated Japanese. She is not easily understood.

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