A Temple of Rich Cultural Properties
from the 16th Century
Shunkoin Temple possesses many important artistic and cultural properties related to Zen Buddhism, and also has a deep connection with Shinto and Christianity.
Shunkoin Temple is located inside of Myoshinji Temple (the Myoshinji temple complex) and was established in 1590 by Horio Yoshiharu, a feudal load in the 16th century.
The temple houses the historic artifacts, like the screen paintings by Kano Eigaku and the Bell of Nanbanji Church, which is one of the oldest Christian bell in Japan.
In the early and mid-20th century, Shunkoin Temple became the important place for the modern Buddhism. Rev. Kozan Kawakami, who was the head priest, created the index for Tripitaka. His work has contributed to the archaeological researches of Buddhism. During that period, a Zen and Kyoto School philosopher, Shin-ichi Hisamatsu resided here and lead his tea practices. D.T. Suzuki was a
frequent visitor of the temple and discussed Zen Buddhism with Dr. Hisamatsu.
Please tell taxi driver to take you to the north main gate of
Myoshinji Temple (Myoshinji-kitamon) on Ichijo Street.
Shunkoin Temple is inside of Myoshinji Temple (the
Myoshinji temple complex). The temple is about 150 meters
from the north main gate. SHUNKO-IN TEMPLE in
Take the JR Sagano line from Kyoto Station to Hanazono Station (10-15 min.). The south gate of the Myoshin-ji Temple complex is a short walk from the station.
Take Kyoto City Bus #26 from Kyoto Station or Shijo Karasuma, and get off at Myoshinji Kitamon-mae bus stop (30-40 min.). Take Kyoto Bus #61, 62 or 63 from Sanjo Keihan and get off at Myoshinji-mae bus stop (30-40 min.).
Rev. Takafumi Zenryu Kawakami
Zen- Back and Forth Between Direct Experiences and Concepts
I travel the world giving talks about Zen, other Eastern philosophies and well-being, and leading workshops about self-cultivation.
I hope that the message that I put forth in these talks can find fertile ground and help fulfill people’s lives. My travels and talks have brought me to the likes of MIT, Brown University, Eton College, Microsoft, TEDx, and Mind & Life Institute.
I am always seeking out new opportunities to communicate with other organizations.
Please take a moment to view some of these talks, and if you are interested in holding such a talk or workshop, feel free to contact me.
DW - Japan's marriage equality priest - Radio program
Same-sex marriage remains illegal in Japan, but a Buddhist priest in Kyoto is among those pushing for change. Taka Kawakami is among the first in his country to perform wedding ceremonies for homosexual couples.
Selected Invited Talks
Panelist, “Self and Society,” with Ven. Tenzin Priyadarshi, at The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Online (Jul. 2020)
Lecturer, “Zen Buddhism and Well-being,” at The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (Feb. 2020)
Panelist, “Confronting Deep Uncertainty and the Future,” with Amy Webb, Future Today Institute, New York, NY (Feb. 2020)
Lecturer, “Zen and Well-being,” Eton College, Windsor U.K. (Jun. 2019)
Lecturer, “Zen and Well-being,” Dropbox, Tokyo (April 2020)
Lecturer, “Zen and Mindfulness,” Center for International Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (Feb. 2018 & 2019)
Lecturer, Zen lecture and workshops, Contemplative Studies Initiative and Concentration, Brown University, Providence, RI (Feb. 2018 & 2019)
Panelist, “Interfaith Panel Discussion” with Rabbi Gavriel Goldfeder and Ven. Tenzin Priyadarshi at The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Feb. 2019)
Lecturer, “Zen and Mindfulness,” Microsoft Research, Redmond, WA (Dec. 2018)
Lecturer, BNP Paribas Tokyo (Nov. 2018)
Lecturer and Preparation Committee Member, International Research Institute of Mind & Life Institute, Kyoto (Sep. 2018)
Official Collaborator, Mindful Living Research, Kyoto University (2020 – present)
Researcher, Keio University, Keio Media Design (2017- present)
Member, U.S. – Japan Leadership Program, U.S.-Japan Foundation (Jul. 2008-present)
Project team member, MYALO by Campus for H, mindfulness smart phone application (Jul. 2014)
Selected Teaching Activities
Lecturer, Zen and mindfulness workshop at Antioch University, Los Angeles (Aug. 2013, Aug. 2014, Aug. 2015, Aug. 2016)
Lecturer, Zen and Mindfulness, Harvard Business School, MIT, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, University of California Berkeley, Washington University, Emory University, IESE at Shunkoin Temple
Lecturer, LGBTQ and religion, Graduate School of Education, University of Tokyo (Jan. 2015)
Panelist, International Student Forum, hosted by Ritsumeikan Uji High School (Feb. 2012 and Feb. 2013)
Speaker, Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies (Jul. 2012)
Lambert, L., Lomas, T., van de Weijer, M. P., Passmore, H. A., Joshanloo, M., Harter, J., Ishikawa, Y., Lai, A., Kitagawa, T., Chen, D., Kawakami, T., Miyata, H., & Diener, E. (2020), “Towards a Greater Global Understanding of Wellbeing: A Proposal for More Inclusive Measure,” International Journal of Wellbeing 10(2), 1-18. doi:10.5502/ijw.v10i2.1037
Sekaijū no toppu erito ga tsudō zen no kyōshitsu 世界中のトップエリートが集う禅の教室, Tokyo, Kadokawa Shoten (2016)
For recent updates on Shunkoin and Rev. Taka Kawakami, please see our updates page.