Iva Toguri’s Official Prison Record

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Iva Toguri’s Official Alderson Prison Record


d’Aquino, Iva Ikuko Toguri (18 Nov 1949 – 28 Jan 1956)

Received 11-18-49  
From USDC - Northern Calif.  
Crime Treason  
Sentence: 10* yrs  mos  days
Date of sentence 10-6-49  
Sentence begins 10-6-49  
Sentence expires 10-5-59  
Good time sentence expires 6-22-56  
Date of birth 7-4-16  Occupation Houswife 
Birthplace Calif.  Nationality Am.  
Age 33  Comp Olive  
Height 60"  Eyes Drk.Brown  
Weight 105#  Hair Black  
Build Slight  
Scars and marks Mole on upper lip, three fillings in teeth, appendectomy scar.  
*$10,000 fine not committed

Iva Ikuko Toguri d’Aquino was Prisoner 9380-W at the Federal Reformatory for Women in Alderson, West Virginia, from 18 November 1949 to 28 January 1956. The people whom you’d expect to be among her greatest critics, the staff of Alderson prison, became some of her most staunch supporters. Although her official classification as a “notorious offender”—and the reputation of the “Tokyo Rose” legend—engendered some initial hostility, Iva was soon regarded as a model prisoner by the Alderson staff. Here, in their own words, taken from recently-discovered Bureau of Prison files, you can read the many complimentary and glowing reports on Iva Toguri submitted by the Alderson staff.


  1. Character Reference, 9 Jan 1950
  2. Admission Summary, 13 Jan 1950
  3. Special Progress Report, 31 Aug 1950
  4. Special Progress Report, 18 Sep 1952
  5. Special Progress Report, 27 Mar 1953
  6. Special Progress Report, 4 Dec 1953
  7. Release Progress Report, 20 Jan 1956

1. Character Reference, 9 Jan 1950

Compton College, Office of the President

Miss Mary L. Cottrill, Supervisor

Classification and Parole

United States Department of Justice

Federal Reformatory for Women

Alderson, West Virginia

Dear Miss Cottrill:

I am sending some information concerning Iva Toguri, which you asked for in your letter of December 30, 1949. During the two years which she attended the eleventh and twelfth grades (1931–1933) of Compton College she maintained a superior scholarship average and was most cooperative in all of her classes.

She completed only one semester of thirteenth year work at Compton College and then transferred in high freshman standing to the University of California at Los Angeles. During that semester she maintained a “C” scholarship average. Her instructors have stated that she was a good citizen of the school and enthusiastic about her studies.

The transcript from the tenth grade (McKinley Junior High School in Los Angeles) has some test data in which you may be interested. In December, 1927 her I.Q. on the Termin Intelligence Test was 101. During the A-9 grade in October, 1930 her grade placement was 8.1 on the Stanford Achievement Reading Test and her grade placement at the same time in the Los Angeles Diagnostic Fundamental Test was 9.7, and on the Los Angeles Diagnostic Reading Test was 10.9.

I hope this will be of some service to you in helping this young lady while she is in your institution. Like most of the Japanese students who were here before the war, she was one of the outstanding students in our institution. She had the usual characteristics of the Japanese people, industry and talent which showed in her work.

Yours very truly,

Scott Thompson

Note Note Note
Although Iva’s I.Q. was rated at 101 in December 1927, when Iva was only 11, using the old Stanford Binet-Simon intelligence test, it was re-evaluated at 130 on 23 November 1949, when Iva was 33, using the newer Wechsler-Bellevue Intelligence Scale.


2. Admission Summary, 13 Jan 1950

Quarantine Report

When received, subject was well-dressed and had a well groomed, very clean and neat appearance. She was poised, courteous, and well mannered throughout the admission procedure. Relief was expressed at arriving here and leaving courts and jails behind her.

Her meticulous personal habits and evident experience at keeping house were shown in her ready adjustment to room training. Not just for inspection but all day long, her room was in excellent condition with clothing carefully folded and placed correctly, bed well made, and floor shining.

Whether on maintenance assignments, revising package and shoe card files, or typing she was thorough, accurate, quick and alert. She asked only necessary questions, started promptly where she left off the day before, quietly presented her work for criticism or approval and if officers were busy, did not sit around waiting but used every minute to advantage either altering her own clothing or helping others sew, wash dishes or clean. Much interest was shown in decorating for Thanksgiving. She arranged all flowers and assisted with table decorating. Her artistry, patience, and willingness to help others impressed girls as well as officers. While she had many ideas, she does not plunge ahead into anything without talking over her plans with officers. She was always quiet, pleasant, and refined. Was particularly kind to a colored girl whom she had known in jail, was friendly with everyone but had so many worthwhile interests and kept so busy that there was little occasion to observe her social interests.

The luggage and clothing which she brought in were far above average and she was considerate and understanding during the checking process requesting no favors. Her darning was so well done that it was machine like and patching and other sewing was excellent. She was particular about keeping all clothing spotless and well mended and always had a well groomed appearance.

Through her outgoing letters alone did officers have an opportunity to observe her feelings about her sentence since she was never once heard to discuss her case with anyone. Her letters were extremely cold, reserved, and left much to be read between the lines. Each letter to a member of her family was carefully dated and numbered, was evidently intended to cheer the receivers, and made little reference to the Institution or its program.

Personal History

Subject is a young woman 33 years old, of superior intelligence, who manifests symptoms of tension and strain, but who maintains self-control, handles her contacts with others with poise. Through her attorney she is appealing her case, but states that she is functioning on the basis of serving the sentence meted. Thus she hopes to avoid experiencing any crushing disappointment should the decision go against her. …

Her husband had come to the States, but has returned to Japan. Their relationship continues to be close and they look forward to reuniting. Members of subject’s family are anxious to help her in any possible way. …

Iva is carefully considering the effects of this case upon her plans for the future, realizing that her particular charge will add to the difficulties frequently experienced by persons with a criminal record. She is still interested in medicine, especially in the public health field or laboratory work. At present she believes she will not undertake any specific line of study, but wait until she can plan her course more intelligently. She is anxious to occupy herself with certain handicrafts and resume her study of music, believing these will be interesting and useful and will also have a therapeutic value.

Subject intends to stay in the United States following her release and expects her husband to join her in this country. She believes plans may be developed for her to go to her relatives, either in Chicago, Illinois or in Los Angeles, California.


Note Note Note