Episode5. Akiko Fujioka from Netherlands

EDYA1929 is renowned for its strong Japanese roots as it brings cultural traditions into the
modern world through beautifully crafted kimonos. By taking pieces of discarded kimonos and weaving them together to create something new, it bridges the gap between past and present.

In this next story for EDYA1929’s series: “Robes of Empowerment: Weaving Strength & Beauty Across Cultures”, we travel to the Netherlands. Here, Akiko Fujioka, a shipping
coordinator, shares her journey of personal growth and rediscovering her identity away from home. In all her experiences, fashion emerged as a symbol of her heritage, serving as aconstant connection to her roots despite living abroad.

Seeking New Perspectives
At 26, Akiko moved to Sweden with her ex-fiancé which marked a significant shift in her life.Now at 37 years old, she made the conscious decision to move to the Netherlands and embark on a journey of self-discovery in a new country.

“I wanted to make a conscious choice for my own life. I was curious about how life
and people are in another country in Europe. I am passionate about my job, learning
Dutch, making new connections, and developing my identity here in my third
country.” - Akiko


Independence and Strength in Connections
Facing difficulties far from her homeland, Akiko relies on her chosen family of friends for support and companionship. Despite moments of solitude, Akiko embraces her independence and rediscovers a liberating new way of life.


“I don’t live in my home country and most of the years I didn’t have any partners,
so I felt very alone sometimes. But I found out that this lifestyle, choosing my own
families (friends) and building my independence, suits me very well.” - Akiko


She shares the huge impact of establishing good friendships. These deep connections cultivated through the years serve as her pillars of support during challenging times.

“Some special friends I have been building strong connections with over the years
make the quality of my life much better. And the fact that those awesome people
will always be on my side in any difficult situations, gives me strength.” - Akiko


The Joy of Curiosity
Akiko stands as a force that empowers other women to enjoy life. Her philosophy centers on staying curious, believing in yourself, and finding support in healthy relationships. She emphasizes the importance of finding joy in life and experiences, whether through exploring new interests, forming connections, or setting personal goals. By embracing vulnerability and accepting the natural flow of life, she inspires others to navigate challenges with resilience and grace.


“There are so many fascinating people, mesmerizing art/music/stories, new
projects or goals you can achieve. Find them and love your life. If you feel weak
inside, try to fake it until you make it. Loving yourself, believing in yourself, and
having someone who loves you regardless of what kind of day/status you have is
also very important. Just remember, living life as a woman is sooo much fun.” -Akiko


Staying Rooted with EDYA1929

When asked about her experience wearing EDYA1929’s pieces, Akiko expresses a profound sense of connection to her Japanese roots and a feeling of empowerment.

“I feel my roots as a Japanese person and also I feel powerful, because I know that
the designer & CEO of EDYA, Yumi, is one of the strongest women I know!” - Akiko


Through Akiko’s life, we see the true manifestation of a strong, independent woman. Her bright perspective, coupled with an infectious curiosity, motivates us to venture beyond our comfort  zones and just enjoy life.

Join us as we journey to uncover more inspiring stories through our series:
“Robes of Empowerment: Weaving Strength & Beauty Across Cultures”

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