A challenge to become a State-certified Master Optician
In Japan, there is no national qualification for opticians.

To Become a True Optician

We went to Germany to qualify as a professional optician.
Why did we decide to acquire the German state certified Master qualification, which is said to be a difficult task even for Germans, as it takes about nine years to obtain ? Unfortunately, there are no nationally certified optician qualifications in Japan, but only those certified by vocational schools or organizations. We decided that this was not enough to make eyeglasses that directly relate to the health of customers. Therefore, we started to research how to become a true optician.

In the United States, there is a qualification called an “Optometrist”, but it focuses on medicine and is called doctor. On the other hand, the German "Optical Master" is a nationally certified optician who not only takes into account the skills of an optician, but also considers health and other life-related issues when making eyeglasses. We were convinced that “This is it!”. The title “Master” is not well known in Japan, but in Germany it has been a nationally recognized traditional system since the 13th century. The title is so authoritative that you cannot open your own shop without this qualification, and it is regarded as a proof of trust in German society as a professional of the professionals. Among them, the optical Master which we aimed to become is a “job directly related to health”, so the study is extensive and the examinations are tough. We were told before we went there that it would be very difficult to obtain the qualification. But we had no hesitation. “We want to be a real professional optician!” With this desire, we chose to become an optical Master in Germany.

Nine Years of Running with Full Speed to the Goal of Acquiring a National Qualification

German language, work visa... but what was even more difficult was the road to obtaining the State-certified Master Optician qualification; It was long and grueling.

Once we got employed, we were sent to a craftsman training school, where we first learned theory and general knowledge for two weeks, and then spent the next three weeks at our workplace putting what we had learned into practice. In the classes, anatomy was particularly difficult, as we had to memorize not only German medical terms but also Latin. Therefore, we didn't forget to both review and prepare for the class, we didn't even have enough time to sleep. This process is repeated for three years, and then finally the craftsman test (including practical skills) can be taken, which is the first national test.

Every day was an ordeal. School wasn't the only challenge. Even at work, as a foreigner, we had to prove that we could do better than anyone else to be accepted. For that reason, in the case of techniques, we practiced until people were surprised that “they had never seen anyone like that before”. The amount of practice we had, we mastered in about one year all the techniques that normally take three years to learn. We have worked three times harder than others, or even more.

Studied also Psychology, Pharmacology, Anatomy, and Business Management

As a result of these efforts, we passed our first national exam, the craftsman examination. We were accepted as opticians, and for the first time we were able to receive a full salary.

However, this was still a preparation period. After one to two more years of experience as an optician, we are finally eligible to enter the Master Academy. The length of the journey was more than we could have imagined. Even if you pass the entrance examination and enter the Master Academy, the first six months is a trial period, and if you fail two credits out of a total of 16 subjects, you will be forced to drop out of school. So, many people dropped out of the program, and we studied hard every day.

The classes at the Master Academy are taught by PhDs in specialized fields, and include not only spectacles and ophthalmology, but also psychology, pharmacology, general education, and sports optics. Anatomy covered the eyes, brain, heart, and genes, as well as pedagogy, business management, and law. Masters are required not only to have the knowledge and skills of a craftsman, but also to be a manager and have the duty to nurture successors, so we are very glad that we were able to improve such knowledge. Two years after entering the school, the final and most difficult exam, the national exam, awaits. Only those who pass all the final national exams can obtain the long-awaited title of "State-certified Master Optician". This test was very difficult, as if you failed twice, you would lose your eligibility for the exam for the rest of your life. However, rather than the hardship of studying, we were happy to think that we were properly learning and that we were steadily making our way up the path to becoming a professional. We never felt it was hard. The strong determination to acquire the national qualification no matter what allowed us to run at full speed to the end without wavering.

Doitsu Meister Gankyouin

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There are Only 4 Masters in Japan

Among 4 people in Japan who have been qualified as Masters, 2 of them are us

Thus, Kenta obtained the State-certified Master Optician in 2009 and Hiroki in 2013.

Currently, there are only four Masters in Japan, including the two of us, who have this qualification. Of course, this is the first time for Japanese siblings to become Masters. But for us, the real start was after returning to Japan. Returning to our customers the many things we have learned at the Master Academy, that is our primary purpose and mission.

Observing the State of the Brain Through the Eyes

We were able to acquire high-level knowledge and advanced skills backed up by academics in Germany. Among them, the binocular visual function test based on the "Haase theory" established by Dr. Haase is a prime example.

Simply put, we measure the strength of the glasses, of course, and look at the state of your brain, the part that controls your visual function, through your eyes. With glasses made based on this theory, you can expect significant improvement in, for example, severe stiff shoulders, headaches, and eye strain, as well as improvement in concentration, academic ability, and stereoscopic vision. Of course, not all people will always experience an effect, but it is true that many have improved.

There are opticians in Japan who are trying the Haase theory measurement methods, but there are only four people in Japan who fully understand and can practice the Haase theory. We are the two of them.

In the past, a customer who was trying to pass a deep vision test to get a driver's license for large and medium-sized vehicles, came to our store and said, “None of the glasses I've ever made have worked.”, and we performed the binocular function measurement based on Haase theory. We checked and corrected the balance of vision, the line of sight, the sense of perspective, etc., and made the glasses. Of course, the customer successfully passed the deep vision test.

Deep knowledge, Advanced Techniques, and Abundant Experience are Our Major Strengths

Visual acuity measurement is also different from ordinary optician's examination. We spend a lot of time on vision measurements and fittings to create glasses that truly fit.

First of all, before the measurement, we start with various checks including the reaction of the pupil, to see if the eyeball (the eye itself) is functioning properly. During the visual acuity measurement, we ask customers about their physical condition, work environment, medications you are taking, etc., and measure the optimal eyeglass power, while considering the effect on your vision from all angles. Once the power has been decided, it is time to choose your frame and lenses. In addition to selecting products that best suit each customer's usage environment, we try to provide easy-to-understand information on a wide variety of products.

In addition, the glasses are fitted using a method based on the skeletal structure, rather than a standard glasses fitting adjustment. We shine a light on the nose to see the wrinkles on the nose and the gap between the nose and ears. Since wrinkles appear on the nose when it is loaded, we adjust the frame so that the wrinkles do not appear. There are many nerves running in the face, and poor fitting techniques can cause headaches and other problems. Moreover, most Japanese people wear their glasses off their noses, but this can also be improved. We do not overlook even the smallest wrinkle or gap caused by eyeglasses, and create the "best eyeglasses" rather than the "better" ones, taking into consideration the relationship of the eye and the brain, health, and lifestyle.

This knowledge and technique is our “asset” that we have acquired over the past nine years in Germany.

Together with people who are globally active

And one more thing, “personal connections” are also our big asset. We met many European eyewear designers, as well as colleagues and school friends from my time in Germany. We are also friends with top executives of lens manufacturers and frame companies. It would be wonderful to continue making the best glasses with them as a team. We believe that we are one of the few opticians in Japan who possess “high knowledge” and “advanced technology”. We also believe that our “abundant experience” of working with many customer's “eyes” over the past 9 years is our major strength. If you have any concerns, dissatisfaction, or questions regarding your eyes or glasses, please feel free to contact us.

Doitsu Meister Gankyouin
Doitsu Meister Gankyouin

Address : 2-12-27 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 107-0061, JAPAN
Open : 11:00〜19:00
Closed on Monday(in the case of a holiday the next day).

© Doitsu Meister Gankyouin