Part 1 - Akiko Seitelbach was born in 1922 in a section of Shanghai that, at the time, was a colony of Japan. Adopted by her aunt and uncle when she was just five months old, Akiko grew up in Nagasaki. She graduated high school in 1938, just as World War II was starting in Japan. During the war, she worked in the supply office of Mitsubishi Electrical Works. On August 9, 1945, when the atomic bomb was dropped, Akiko was about 1.3 miles away from ground zero. She felt firsthand the destruction and desperation the Japanese people were left with in the days following and after the war ended.
Part 2 - Following the Japanese surrender in 1945, Akiko became an interpreter for the US Marines and then the American Army of Occupation in Nagasaki. After marrying an American soldier of the 34th Infantry Regiment in 1953, she then came to America and lived at an Army base in Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn. Between the years 1955 and 1963, Akiko lived in Puerto Rico, Staten Island, then, Germany as her husband's station assignments changed. She worked as a receptionist for Fuji Bank, Ltd, a dress shop manager in Puerto Rico, in the Army library in Germany and for Kanebo USA, Inc. Following the Cuban Missile Crisis, Akiko moved back to Brooklyn where she lived and worked for about thirty-five years until she and her husband moved to Monroe Township, NJ.