Kodo Nishimura is a 26-year-old Buddhist monk from Tokyo. He completed his training and officially became a monk in 2015, but...
...he also leads a double life as a makeup artist whose clients include the Miss Universe Pageant. Nishimura told BuzzFeed News he decided to start doing makeup when he helped a friend with her makeup and saw how happy it made her.
Buddhist monks are taught not to dress lavishly, and he said he did experience a period of doubt about being both a makeup artist and a monk.
But his mentor supported him, telling him, “It isn’t wrong if it helps you deliver your message to people," Nishimura said.
Nishimura also came out publicly as LGBTQ in a photo shoot for Out in Japan.
“When I participated in the ‘Out in Japan’ photo shoot, I met a lot of transgender people. Many of them weren’t familiar with makeup, so I wished I could give them advice," he said.
After working with Out in Japan, Nishimura started holding free makeup seminars for Japan’s LGBT community.
“As a Buddhist monk, I want everyone to live happily in harmony. I believe makeup is one of the tools to make yourself happy, and if you’re happy, it becomes easier to be kind to others. In that sense, I think it’s a good link," he said.
This post was translated from Japanese.