Drag queen, makeup artist, Buddhist monk. One of these things may not sound like it belongs with the others, but Kodo Nishimura is here to prove us wrong.
The 26-year-old lives in Tokyo as both a Buddhist monk and a makeup artist, who has recently painted the faces of Miss Universe Pageant contestants.
Nishimura was originally concerned that his love for makeup would conflict with his religious beliefs and teachings, but told Buzzfeed News that his mentor eased his fears by letting him know that “it isn’t wrong if it helps you deliver your message to people.”
And he’s certainly been given an opportunity to reach people, as he was recently featured in a photo shoot for Out in Japan in which he came out as a member of the LGBT community.
It was during this shoot that the young monk says he met a lot of transgender people who weren’t familiar with makeup, and he felt inspired to give them advice.
Nishimura began to hold free makeup seminars for the Japanese LGBT community and was inspired by how happy it made them.
“As a Buddhist monk, I want everyone to live happily in harmony,” he told Buzzfeed. “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.”
Nishimura also turns the makeup brush back on himself, and is learning to paint his face through the art of drag.
Learning drag makeup and its 5am now, started at 12:20am ? My Drag Makeup Mother = @missfamenyc ?? Rooting for Kim Chi today! ?? #rupaul #dragrace #seasonfinale #rupaulsdragrace #drag #makeup #mua #maquillaje #makeupartist @rupaulofficial @rupaulsdragrace @rupaulsdragcon #teamkim @maccosmetics #メイク #メイクアップアーティスト #メーク #ドラァグクイーン #ドラァグ
The multi-faceted monk considers Drag Race alum Miss Fame to be his drag mother, after attending one of her makeup tutorials last year.
Both in and out of makeup, Nishimura is proving you can be anything (and everything) you want to be.