The 89th Temple
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Once an ascetic rite of passage for monks, Japan’s Shikoku Pilgrimage of 88 Temples has become a more generalized ritual of penance and spiritual rejuvenation for troubled souls. Seven juvenile offenders on leave from various reform schools are doing the 1,300-kilometer pilgrimage on foot with a counselor and some assigned wardens from the state. The youths are under strict observation with at least one of the supervisors with them at all times. When the seven finish the pilgrimage, they will be released.
Will they rejoin society or leave it behind?