Shoukei Matsumoto

Shoukei Matsumoto, born in 1979 in Hokkaido, is a Contemporary Buddhist Monk at the Komjoji Temple in Tokyo. He graduated with a B.A. degree in Literature from the University of Tokyo. He then went on to complete a MBA from the Indian School of Business as an Ambassadorial Scholar of Rotary Foundation in 2011.

  • What’s your life motto?
    No Cleaning, No Life.
    Cleaning cultivates your sense of connectedness with the world as well as improves the state of your inner peace.
  • What is Inner Peace for you?
    Letting me be as I am. For me, Inner Peace is not about perfectionism but about acceptance of whatever I am now. When I am in and on the natural-flow, my inner universe is a part of it, following the senses calling from deep inside.
  • Could you describe your most peaceful moment/situation?
    A natural flow reflecting cosmic harmony is just calm and peaceful without any borders.
    Cleaning practice gives me wonderful opportunities to feel the flow.
  • What experience taught you the most in your life?
    When I was around 5 years old, I realized that no one can escape from death.
    Memento mori is something that taught me the most anytime in my life.
  • What was the most valuable piece of advice that you received?
    In Mahayana Buddhism, we see the universe as "Indra-net" where everything is interdependent co-arising.
  • Who/What is your biggest teacher?
    Practicing cleaning itself is the biggest teacher. Everytime I practice cleaning, I come to learn a sort of wisdom in many ways.
  • What do you do when you have a bad day?
    From Buddhist perspective, there is no bad day nor good day.
    In fact, there are only days on which I feel good or bad.
    Anyway, each of us has resilience.
    Believe your resilience and listen deeply to your inner voice, then you will get back to your original point.
  • If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be?
    Flying in the sky.
  • What is your funniest/most defining/most beautiful characteristic?
    Just like contemporary artists who are passionate about updating the concept of art, I recognize myself as an contemporary Buddhist who updates traditional Buddhism so that it is more relevant to people's lives in this modern world.


After his MBA, Shoukei Matsumoto, started a project called “Mirai no Jushoku-Juku”, a temple management school for Buddhist priests and monks. In 2003 he was ordained in Jodo Shinshu, a school of Pure Land Buddhism. Next to that he is the founder of the Virtual Temple 'HIGANJI', one of the most popular websites for Buddhists in Japan.

In 2013, he was nominated to become a member of the Forum of Young Global Leaders, a community of innovators with diverse backgrounds and experiences, set up by the World Economic Forum. In 2019, he was also appointed as a member of the Global Future Councils, another initiative from the World Economic Forum. As a writer, he puts Buddhist teachings in writing, connecting them with everyday life issues, helping people to live a calm, clean and balanced life. He has now published 8 books, of which "A Monk's Guide to a Clean House and Mind” was translated into more than seventeen languages.

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When a student is ready, the teacher appears.
When a student is truly ready, the teacher disappears.

Lao Tzu

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