Rainbow Houses

It is crucial for children who have lost parents to receive ongoing emotional support. They also need a safe place to release stressful emotions. Close to 600 children lost either one or both parents due to the Great Hanshin Earthquake that struck the region around Kobe in 1995. At a summer camp held by Ashinaga for those children that same year, a fourth-grade boy drew a rainbow in the night sky with the moon and stars, but colored the rainbow black. This painting became known as the “Black Rainbow,” and it highlighted how deeply these children’s hearts were scarred. This inspired Ashinaga to create places to help children recover from their emotional wounds. The Kobe and Tokyo “Rainbow Houses” were built as places of healing where, in the company of trained staff, children can visit to play and share their feelings with other children who have lost parents.