Elizabeth Saunders Home & Reunion Group
The orphanage in Oiso that the main character, Naoko, learns about in the THE WOMAN IN THE WHITE KIMONO is based on the real-life Elizabeth Saunders Home created in 1948 by Miki Sawada, the Mitsubishi heiress. The orphanage was created on the former property of the Iwasaki (founder of Mitsubishi-see Yataro Iwasaki) family's detached residence, which had been confiscated by the Japanese government during World War II. Miki bought the land back by selling her personal property.
Over ten thousand babies were born to American servicemen and Japanese women before, during, and after the Occupation of Japan. According to Miki Sawada's autobiography, just over 700 children were surrendered to The home. And while there were other small homes established for these babies throughout Japan, most were abandoned and died. Meet the survivors (and those affiliated with the home) by clicking on the thumbnails below.