Deputy Head Priest
Shunkoin Temple & Zen Center
Rev. Takafumi Kawakami is the deputy head priest of Shunkoin Temple in Kyoto and teaches Zen meditation classes in English to the 5,000 – 5,500 annual visitors to the temple. The participants include various business school groups, including HBS, IESE, Sloan, etc. He co-organizes and co-hosts long-term study abroad programs in Kyoto with Bryn Mawr College, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, University of Oregon and more. He also teaches Japanese hospitality classes to employees from the 74 2 0 1 6 I n t e r n at i o n a l S y m p o siu m f o r C o n t e m p l at i v e S t u d i e s invited speaker bios sales and marketing departments of Toyota’s global offices; and in conjunction with a disease-prevention specialist, holds corporate wellness seminars and workshops for several corporations in Japan and developed a mindfulness smart phone application, Myalo. In addition, He is an LGBT rights supporter, and the temple is the first Buddhist temple in Japan that publicly started offering same-sex wedding ceremonies. He has been a member of the U.S.–Japan Leadership Program, hosted by the U.S.–Japan Foundation, since 2008.