Mikko Ijäs, Ph.D., is a Finnish visual artist, researcher, clown, and a zen student of Roshi Frank De Waele from Belgium. Mikko is one of the coordinators and organizers of the Peacemakers Finland. He currently holds an Associate researcher position at the Human Evolutionary Biology department of the Harvard University in Cambridge, USA.

Dr. Mikko Rakushin Ijäs (born 1978 in Jyväskylä, lives and works in Helsinki) is a Finnish visual artist and researcher. Mikko Ijäs received his Doctor of Arts degree in 2017 from Aalto University in Helsinki. Ijäs’s doctoral dissertation titled “Fragments of the Hunt” deals with the evolution of art in the context of ethnography, paleontology, art history and neuropsychology. Ijäs’s works are represented in various collections and he has been exhibiting widely both in Finland and abroad.

Besides his affiliation with Harvard University, he holds a similar position at the department of Geosciences and Geography at the University of Helsinki, Finland.

Together with his wife Maija Kaunismaa he has produced a documentary film titled The Origins -movie, which is loosely based on his research on origins of art among the early hunter-gatherer societies. The film follows the lives of the indigenous people of the Kalahari desert and Northern Mexico. 

Mikko is an avid lecturer on indigenous wisdom, practice and culture, supporting their rights in current political and environmental crisis that affects everyone on this planet. 

Mikko got involved with Zen practice in 2012 through Helsinki Zen Center, but he has been actively engaged with the Zen Peacemakers International since 2016. During this involvement Mikko has participated a Bearing Witness Pilgrimage in Sweden (2016), G.R.A.C.E. training with Roshi Joan Halifax in Holland (2016), participated a Bearing Witness retreat in Bosnia (2017), organized the first Finnish Street Retreat in Helsinki (2017), participated the Bearing Witness Retreat at Auschwitz-Birkenau (2017), translated Bernie Glassman's seminal book "Bearing Witness" in Finnish, and co-organized the first Bearing Witness retreat in Finland in 2018. 

In 2018 Mikko served as a Staff member of the Bearing Witness Retreat at Auschwitz-Birkenau, where he was also in charge of co-fascilitating one of the Council groups, serving as a retreat photographer, and performing as a clown. Mikko's clown alter ego iSmile (pronounced Ishmael) is the Grand Poopah of the Finnish Order of Disorder

Mikko is also a member of the Zen Sangha in Gent, Belgium, which is the home of his Zen training. Mikko is also a member of the Zen Center of Los Angeles, which is a home temple of the White Plum lineage. 

Roshi Frank De Waele gave him his Peacemaker Precepts in a Jukai ceremony held in September 2017 during the Helsinki Street Retreat. Mikko was given a dharma name Rakushin Angyo (Joyous-Faith Peacemaker).