Brian Kito (back to camera) of the Little Tokyo Public Safety Association talks with LAPD officers in front of Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple. (Photos by MARIO GERSHOM REYES/Rafu Shimpo)
Damage from an apparent attempt to set the building on fire.

Rafu Staff Report

Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple was vandalized Thursday night by an unknown person who toppled a stone lantern, broke a plate glass window, and attempted to start a fire.

The incident is being investigated as a hate crime. Recent physical assaults, property damage and other crimes being committed in Asian neighborhoods across the country are believed to be racially motivated.

The Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles Fire Department were called to the scene. Police reviewed security video and questioned an eyewitness who was across the street from the temple. Police are searching for a white male in his mid-40s to 50s.

Higashi Honganji’s roots in Los Angeles date back to 1904. The current temple, located on Third and Central streets in Little Tokyo, was built in 1976.

A toppled stone lantern.
Clean-up after a plate-glass window was shattered.

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  1. This is outrageous! I recommend that the temple put in security cameras to capture any further incidents.