Celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, Bunka Fashion College is Japan’s most prestigious fashion school. It started as a dressmakers school almost 100 years ago in Tokyo, and now has multiple campuses all over the country. Bunka is located at the biggest train station in the world, Shinjuku Station, only ten minutes away from Tokyo’s famous fashion hubs Harajuku and Shibuya.

The school is comprised of two major institutions- a College and a University. Within either Bunka Fashion College or Bunka Gakuen University, a prospective fashion designer can study every aspect of the fashion industry from fashion theory, trend analysis, wardrobe styling, merchandising, textile design, sculpture, fine art, shoemaking, hat making, and, of course, dressmaking and couture. Please visit Bunka’s Website for more information about the entire range of courses offered.

The two graduate schools within the institution can be differentiated and understood in this way:

Bunka Gakuen University & Bunka Gakuen University Graduate school. The Global Fashion Concentration (GFC) began in 2012 and has been created specifically for students who wish to gain their MA in fashion and textile studies. in 2016, the school has launched a double degree program with ENSAD. ENSAD is among the top Parisian Grande Écoles and is known as the ultimate authority on design education in Paris. Please see this link for more information on the double degree program.

All courses in the GFC are conducted in English and are open to both Japanese and non-Japanese students. Continuing in the long tradition of Bunka Gakuen, the goal of The Global Fashion Concentration is to have our students ‘create new beauty and culture‘, in any media related to fashion using the University’s state-of-the-art tools and research facilities. Students will have access to Bunka’s celebrated fashion library and world-class fashion museum for research and inspiration. An array of trans-disciplinary subjects related to fashion are offered, both in practice and theory, led by specialists and industry partners. As the course is based in Japan, there are also classes offered on Japanese culture and language. Additionally, internships at high profile Japanese brands such as Yohji Yamamoto, Yoshio Kubo and Anrealage enable students to implement a real world connection between concept and practical business knowledge. To be eligible to graduate, students are required to choose to complete either a Master’s thesis, or a shorter thesis paired with a practical work. Successful graduates will be candidates for employment in all areas and levels of the fashion industry in Japan and beyond, including design, journalism, fashion buying, curation, and academia. For information about government scholarships, please search for the MEXT Scholarship in your home country (or contact your local Japanese Embassy) or check out the range of scholarships listed on the JASSO website.

I am proud to announce that we have struck a deal with the Bunka International Japanese Language School that will enable our students to enter the Japanese Language Course on a special tuition basis. This means that you will be eligible to study for three months full time for only around 100,000 yen.  You can choose to do this either after graduation, or at the beginning of second year, during your thesis research phase. This is a great opportunity, and will significantly increase your chances of finding employment or internships after graduation.

Bunka Fashion College & Bunka Fashion Graduate University (BFGU). Executed entirely in Japanese, the courses taught within the walls of these Professional Schools are training people to work in the Japanese fashion industry. Graduates of BFGU receive a Masters in Fashion Creation, Business or Technology (Professional).

If you have questions regarding the Global Fashion Concentration, please don’t hesitate to ask the Admission Office, in English, here: nyushi@bunka.ac.jp.

Please see the SyllabusAdmissions Guide here and the Online Application Form here.

About the authors of this blog:

Daphne Mohajer Va Pesaran is a clothing designer, writer and instructor and is completing her PhD at Bunka Gakuen University as a JSPS research fellow, on the topic of what we can learn from traditional communal craft practices and biotechnology. She got her Masters degree from Bunka Fashion Graduate University (BFGU) in the Fashion Design course and has been living in Tokyo for almost 10 years. Please feel free to contact her here: daphne.mohajer@gmail.com, or follow her on Instagram @daphne_mvp.

Saskia Thoelen is currently working on her PhD at Bunka Gakuen University on a MEXT scholarship on the topic of how Art Nouveau was promoted by Japanese department stores during the 19th century. She is a graduate student from KU Leuven (Belgium), specializing in Japanology with an Art Historical minor. After her Masters, she completed her second Masters in the Bunka Gakuen GFC program. Feel free to contact her on: saskiathoelen@hotmail.com, or follow her on Instagram: @saskiathoelen