Nancy Saibara-Naritomi was born in Pasadena, Texas in 1953. She is a fourth-generation Japanese-American, the great-granddaughter of Seito Saibara, who was a leader among the Japanese rice farmers who settled near Houston in the early 1900s. After graduating from high school in Pasadena, Nancy attended the University of Houston for three years. During this time, she worked as a hostess at the Tokyo Gardens Japanese restaurant. She decided to drop out of college and found work as a nurse aide at Methodist hospital. Through her grandparents, she met Dr. Naritomi, a Japanese citizen who was in the U.S. for a period of three years to do research. She married Dr. Naritomi and moved back to Japan with him in 1979. She was a homemaker when her two daughters were young and later got a part-time job teaching English conversation. She divorced in 2000 and continued to live in Japan and teach English until 2006, when she returned to Houston to care for her mother. Since returning to Houston, she has been active in several social justice organizations and is a member of the KPFT Board.