Interview with Dr. Satoshi Onuma

Dr. Satoshi Onuma
Dr. Satoshi Onuma
Bunka Fashion College
Bunka Fashion College

How do you see the market of Japanese textile and fashion industry for wannabe candidates?

Globalisation has pushed most production overseas so the number of jobs in production industry is limited. However, once globalization comes to completion in the near future production will return to Japan and I think we will see an increase in these types of jobs. Currently, there are wide variety of jobs in the fashion industry ranging from well-known jobs such as fashion designers and pattern makers to lesser known jobs such as visual merchandisers and CAD operators. At the same time, the speed at which fashion industry is changing means that new jobs are always being created. Indeed, fashion industry will continue to grow as it becomes more globalised with increasing speed to meet consumer’s needs for new attractive products and it responds to the rapid change in production conditions.

With modernization, cultural tradition and ethics are losing their importance. Herein, how much is it significant for a fashion student to be well connected with all those aspects?

One of the worst things that we can do as educators is to teach our students everything they need to know to succeed in the fashion industry, without teaching them ethics. Indeed, cultural tradition is an essential element in fashion education and that is why we created Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum, which houses more than 20,000 garments, many of which are very old Japanese kimonos; once belonging to members of the imperial family. It is important that these garments are properly preserved so that students can continue to appreciate their cultural value as well as learn about their technical complexity. Ethics is equally important in fashion education at our college. For instance, in 2011 Bunka worked with fashion schools in Singapore to hold a sustainable fashion design competition, which gave students the opportunity to exchange ideas on the growing importance of sustainability and responsible design.

Moreover, what is your overview on ethical fashion education?

One of my aims is to continue to produce graduates who can lead the world to a better future by achieving globalization, innovation and creation, and who are active in international society centered on design and apparel. In order to achieve this goal, it is important that graduates have a strong sense of social responsibility and understand the value of contributing to society. In Japanese there is a saying “Chi-Toku-Ittai”. 'Chi' refers to knowledge and skills education. 'Toku' refers to moral education and a sense of social values and ethics. 'Ittai' refers to the importance of working as one body. These three aspects are important in ethical fashion education and this is what our college strives to integrate into its curriculum.
Published on: 13/12/2012

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of

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