'This Monk Wears Heels' author Kodo Nishimura wants to 'give perspectives from another part of the world'

Buddist monk, make-up artist and LGBTQ+ activist is hosting a series of enlightening events in London


Words: Markus Bidaux; Images: Supplied

Kodo Nishimura, the internationally celebrated LGBTQ+ activist, make-up artist and Buddhist monk, is presenting a series of talks and workshops at Pantechnicon in London.

The four events are set to take place between 14-20 March, including the launch of the English language edition of his book, This Monk Wears Heels.

Kodo tells Attitude: “I feel that this is a place where English people can learn about Japanese culture and meet Japanese people.

"I really hope that I can give perspectives from another part of the world because I feel that the more stories you hear from around the world about empowerment or living a true life are going to help."

Kodo Nishimura at Pantechnicon in London with his book This Monk Wears Heels

In the UK, Kodo is most famous for appearing on Netflix’s Queer Eye: We’re in Japan! in his monk robe to assist ‘culture expert’ Karamo, but he is now really making a name for himself as an LGBTQ+ activist, he was recently been named a TIME Magazine Next Generation Leader.

He has spoken about his journey to self-acceptance and love globally, speaking at the United Nations population Fund Headquarters in NYC, Microsoft, Facebook, L’Oreal Paris, P&G, and numerous universities.

Image by Seth Miranda

His book is partly autobiography and partly a self-help manual. In it he discusses the difficulty he faced not feeling accepted in Japan in his youth; coming to terms with his sexuality and gender; moving to NYC and achieving his goal of becoming a make-up artist, and moving back to Japan to follow in his father’s footsteps to become a Buddhist monk.

Pantechnicon, a six-floor Grade-II listed landmark in Belgravia, which is filled with restaurants, cafes and shops influenced by Nordic and Japanese design and culture, is proud to host Kodo for a series of four exclusive events.

Kodo Nishimura at Pantechnicon in London

Wednesday, 16 March: Show Your Colours Make-Up Talk; 18:00-19:30. The ultimate tutorial to gender-neutral make-up, a guide to non-traditional beauty looks that are inclusive, body-positive and gender fluid.

Thursday, 17 March: This Monk Wears Heels Book Launch; 18:00-19:30. Filled with practical tips for positive thinking, insights into the philosophical approach to life Kodo has crafted as a Buddhist monk and detailing his journey to self-love, the book provides a gentle, loving, and encouraging voice for all those who dare to be different.

Kodo Nishimura at Pantechnicon in London with Queer Eye: We're in Japan! hero Kan

Saturday, 19 March: Changing the LGBTQIA+ Conversation in the East; 14:00-15:30. While there has been a proliferation of positive LGBTQIA+ representations in western media in recent years, eastern media has been slow to follow suit.

During this intimate chat and reunion with Queer Eye: We're in Japan! hero Kan (@kanyonce), Kodo and Kan will share how they are working to convince the older generations and LGBTQIA+ youth in Japan, as well as people around the world, to accept that it’s okay to be YOU–whoever you are!

Pantechnicon in London

Sunday, 20 March: Be Who You Are: A Talk About Sexuality & Buddhism; 15:30–17:00 followed by a private dinner for up to 20 guests (18:00 – _20:30). A chat on Buddism’s take on sexuality, inclusivity and self-identity, and how Kodo is working to use his platform to add his unique voice and perspective to conversations surrounding spirituality and LGBTQIA+ rights within the modern era.