Why this Buddhist monk has become an LGBTQ+ role model in Tokyo


How did you become both a monk and makeup artist? My father is a monk and I was born in a temple in Tokyo. My parents never forced me to become one, and for a long time I didn’t want to — I was more interested in Disney princesses. I studied at the Parsons School of Design in New York, where I assisted a makeup artist. In Japan, if I looked at a makeup counter, they’d ask if I was buying a gift for my girlfriend. But in the US, male clerks would slay makeup looks. I began wearing eyeliner and mascara, and I started my Instagram [where he shares makeup looks]. Once I finished studying, I decided to train as a monk. I hated the concept of Buddhism at the time, but my mum, who’s a pianist, told me, “If you want to criticise a composition by Mozart, you need to study it; only then can you say what you don’t like.” I needed to know what being a monk entailed, otherwise I couldn’t judge.

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