CWAJ College Women's Association of Japan


Luncheon and Monthly Meetings

March 2018 Luncheon

“Zen and Japanese Culture”

Zen Buddhism has been a staple religion in Japan for over 1,000 years, influencing every aspect of Japanese life from the cuisine, to simple everyday customs, to established business practices. Reverend Daiko Matsuyama of Taizo-in (also Kyoto’s Ambassador for Tourism) introduces basic Zen teachings and elaborates on how its influence has created Japan’s unique cultural constructs. We are honored to have Reverend Matsuyama speak to us about Zen Buddhism and its connection to our everyday lives, about the history of Taizo-in, part of the Myoushin-ji complex, as well as his efforts related to promoting tourism in Japan. Please join us for what is sure to be an enlightening presentation.


Speaker Profile

March 2018


Born in 1978 in Kyoto, Rev. Matsuyama obtained his Master’s degree in Agriculture and Life Sciences from the University of Tokyo. After three and a half years of training at Heirin-ji, Niiza, he became the deputy priest of Taizo-in in 2007. Matsuyama is acclaimed for organizing intercultural activities such as Zen experience tours for foreign visitors and talks at embassies in Japan and at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan. In May 2009, he was elected as a Japan Tourism Agency’s Ambassador for its “Visit Japan” Campaign. He has been a member of Kyoto’s Ambassadors for Tourism since 2011, and was listed as one of “The Top 100 People of the New Generation 2016” in Nikkei Business. Matsuyama was also appointed as a fellow of the US-Japan Leadership Program from 2016. In 2017, he became a visiting professor at Kyoto University of Art and Design.

As a young representative of the Zen Sect in Japan, Matsuyama has interacted with many religious leaders, such as having an audience with the Pope and conversing with the 14th Dalai Lama. He also participated in the Davos World Economic Forum in 2014, and continues to work actively beyond national and religious borders. He is the author of Forget What’s Important First: 30 Zen Teachings for the Wavering Soul (Sekai Bunka Publishing, 2014), Strolling around Zen Gardens in Kyoto (PHP Publishing, 2016) and Introduction of ZEN for Workers (Kodansya Publishing, 2016).

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Luncheon Program Coordinators
Joan Rodgers Doi and Shigeko Nagaoka

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