The incredible devotion of Douglas Kanai
What would you do to open your own temple? Ask a religious leader for permission? Go it on your own? How about enduring a 100 day trial to prove your fortitude and devotion to your faith?
Buddhist Douglas Kanai, seen above, is the first American to pass the 700-year old, and sometimes lethal, Nichiren test, and now has his own temple in Las Vegas.
His days began at 2:30 a.m., ended at 11:45 p.m. and consisted largely of kneeling and chanting for hours upon hours, with just rice gruel keeping him going.
From Kathie Quinn, who drove to L.A. to watch him recreate the ceremony:
“Only he knows the torture he endured, but it seems worse than any military boot camp. From what I understand, you need that kind of trauma to see what he saw — the good and the bad of his soul.”
Photo: John M. Glionna / Los Angeles Times
Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas tilts toward nostalgia: The Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas has its winners and its winners: the visitors who play the games love the chance to enjoy them again, and their quarters benefit charity.
Photo: Two visitors enjoy one of the vintage machines at the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times
From life on the streets to life as a mom: After a cycle of crack cocaine and prostitution in Las Vegas, Michelle Mitchell works to build a new life for herself — and for the children she’s still getting to know.
This is harrowing:
Mitchell jumped to Nov. 14, 2009. That night, when she started to crawl into a car, the driver gave her the creeps. Then she noticed his passenger seat was covered in plastic. “And I knew if I got in that car he was gonna kill me.”
Photo: Michelle Mitchell waits for her graduation ceremony from the Women In Need court program in Las Vegas. The program provides counseling, rehab, job training and other support to repeat prostitutes. Credit: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times
child prostitute…jail cell….does not compute.
The girls are detained for two weeks. In that time, they meet with Marisela Quintero, the county’s only social worker for child prostitutes: “Success was measured by how long Quintero could keep them away from the pimps. The more time spent in group homes or with supportive relatives, the better the odds that they wouldn’t sprint back to the streets.”
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Hostages of child prostitution: Las Vegas social worker Marisela Quintero tries to help girls who have all but sold their souls to pimps. Some run even when offered a way out. Others wind up dead.
Photo: A 17-year-old girl reads a Danielle Steel novel in her cell at the Clark County Detention Center for juveniles. “My quota — I had to at least make between $500 and $800 dollars a day. If I didn’t, I had to stay out until I did,” she said. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times
Turning the sidewalk into a stage: Street performers on the Strip jostle for space with promoters, peddlers and pedestrians. County officials recently announced a plan to tame the space, but for now, it’s anyone’s game.
Photo: Michael Jackson impersonator Chris Gardener and Elvis impersonator Tony Gallardo ply their trade with a tourist while Elvis impersonator Robrigo Gonzalez, right, watches. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times
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The Sahara - 1971 (via L.A. Times)
Photo credit: Sahara Hotel and Casino
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