"People of all personalities, all individuals should shine their own color."

A Monk Who Wears Heels

  • The unique story of Kodo Nishimura that explores self identity and self acceptance
  • 2021 Next Generation Leader nominated by TIME magazine
  • A life journey as a Buddhist monk, makeup artist, and LGBTQ+ activist

Kodo Nishimura is a Buddhist monk, makeup artist, and LGBTQ+ activist. While at first glance these 3 facets of his identity may seem to be entirely separate, the common thread running through them is a desire to live life as the person you most want to be. Current law is not sensitive to LGBTQ+ issues in Japan, a nation where same-sex marriage is not formally recognized, and awareness of related matters is not well developed at the individual or societal level. In this challenging environment, Kodo Nishimura builds on his own experience of harnessing Buddhist teachings to overcome adversity and raise awareness of sexual discrimination. Through 6 months of close coverage, we showcase his concern for those who struggle with their identity, and his empowering message to be true to who you really are.

Program Outline