Akiko Tsuji was born in Steveston in April 1930 and lived nearly her entire life in British Columbia as a Japanese-Canadian. She aspired to be a fashion designer from a young age and often found herself brainstorming and making dresses, coats, and skirts for family members.
After getting married and having two children and two grandchildren, Akiko took up the hobby of flower arranging in the early 1980s and 1990s. She joined a local Vancouver Ikebana club directed by Mrs. Kyoko (Reicho) Sumi, putting together flower arrangements for many people and for her family. Her gentle demeanor was reflective of her intricate work.
Akiko also shared a love for Japanese doll-making at the same time, spending countless hours on her other crafts. She has put together several Japanese dolls and her family considers themselves lucky they’ve been able to appreciate and admire her work which serves as a symbol of hard work through patience and love.