Akiko Seitelbach (Japan)

Akiko Seitelbach was born on October 25, 1922 in Shanghai, which was a Japanese colony at that time. She was adopted when she was five months old by her aunt who lived in Nagasaki after her mother passed away. For the retired childless couple she was a gift and she grew up in a very loving and supportive environment completing her education in 1938 from Katsuyama School, one of the most prestigious schools in Japan and learning all the traditional skills to be a “good wife” like sewing and tea ceremony. Inspired and guided by her sister she read important translations of European literature including great writers like Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. As a young teenager she experienced the ravages of World War II including the bombing and devastation of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. Her courage and determination along with her good education and fluency in the English language helped her get a job as an interpreter for the American army. She married Mr. Leo Seitelbach, an American soldier in 1953 and finally migrated to America.  She continued working in the civilian world even while traveling as an Army wife with her husband to Puerto Rico and Germany. She has captured her first hand experience of the bombing of Nagasaki and her exceptional life experiences in the book “Nagasaki Woman” published in 2004.