Bunka Fashion College

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Main building of the Bunka Fashion College campus.

Bunka Fashion College (文化服装学院, Bunka Fukuso Gakuin) is a Japanese Vocational education school specializing in the teaching of fashion design and related disciplines. It is headquartered in Shinjuku, Tokyo and has more than 70 branches throughout Japan.


The College was founded in 1919 by Isaburo Namiki as a small dressmaking school for girls called Namiki Dressmaking School, at a time when European-style clothing for women was still considered modern and was only available for affluent families.[1] In 1936, the name of the school became Bunka Fashion College, and it began publishing So-en, Japan's first fashion magazine.

The Bunka Fashion College went through three major eras: First it taught people and families and to make clothes; then in the 1960s, designers from the school such as Kenzo Takada (who enrolled in 1958[2]) and Yohji Yamamoto emerged on the international fashion scene and drove the rise of modern Japanese fashion; Since the 2000s, the school aims to develop a more global and sustainable fashion industry.[3]


Alumni of the school include (fashion designers unless otherwise stated):


Bunka has programs focusing on Fashion Design, Fashion Technology, Fashion Marketing and Distribution, Fashion Accessories and Textiles.[6] In 2012, Bunka Gakuen University, the neighboring institute of higher education linked with the college, opened a Masters level course in Fashion Studies aimed at foreign students. This course is called the Global Fashion Concentration and is taught completely in English.[7]

Every year, new mannequins are created that reflect the average measurements of the students of that year, in an effort to work on realistic physical figures. All students are required to study the human body shape and how human bodies move.[3]

The Bunka school values the Satori and the Kaizen in its education. One Master program is held in English.[3] Students must pass a Japanese language proficiency test, and part-time jobs are not allowed.[8]

Main Campus[edit]

Bunka has over 70 branches around Japan, but its main campus is in the western part of Tokyo's Shinjuku neighborhood.[3] The main building is 21 stories tall, and includes facilities such as a library, costume museum, and a resource center. The main campus is about an 8-minute walk from JR Shinjuku Station and about a 3-minute walk from the #6 exit of the Toei Shinjuku subway station.


  • #2 Best Fashion School of 2015 by Business of Fashion[9]
  • 2013: #7 in top 50 fashion schools in the world according to Fashionista[10]


  1. ^ Shoji, Kaori. "Turning out the vanguard of Japan design," International Herald-Tribune. August 2, 2005. Archived October 26, 2008.
  2. ^ Kenzo Takada (8 October 2017). "Kenzo Takada (7) A poor student's struggle with the sewing machine". Nikkei.com. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Kati Chitrakorin (19 October 2015). "The Bunka Method". Businessoffashion.com. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Yoji Yamamoto," Women's Wear Daily.
  5. ^ "Japanese fashion innovator conducts first workshop in Manila". Inquirer.net. 28 December 2018. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Bunka Fashion College". Fashionista. Retrieved 2017-03-08.
  7. ^ "Master's Program in Clothing Science Studies". Bunka Gakuen University. Archived from the original on 2015-05-17. Retrieved 2014-06-27.
  8. ^ "Bunka Fashion College". Fashionista.com. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  9. ^ Grace O'Neill (25 August 2015). "The best fashion schools of 2015". Harpersbazaar.com.au. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  10. ^ "The top 50 fashion schools in the world". Fashionista.com. 10 June 2013.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°41′7.2″N 139°41′40.2″E / 35.685333°N 139.694500°E / 35.685333; 139.694500