Event report

February 5, 2023

One-bite Feminism: Let’s talk about the gender gap in Japan

Aya Bergkamp followed an internship at FabCafe Tokyo during the period of September 2022 until the end of January 2023, as part of her Master studies Industrial Design at Eindhoven University of Technology in The Netherlands. During her stay in Tokyo, FabCafe supported her project ‘One-bite Feminism’ by facilitating brainstorming and idea refinement, providing access to digital fabrication tools, and connecting her to the FabCafe creative network and  community. 

  • Aya Bergkamp

    Aya is a designer and filmmaker. She was born and raised in Amstelveen, The Netherlands, and is an Industrial Design Masters student at Eindhoven University of Technology, for which she has been undertaking a five-month internship at FabCafe Tokyo since September 2022. She is half Dutch, half Japanese, and has always been interested in cultural differences between The Netherlands and Japan.

    Click here for her portfolio.

    Aya is a designer and filmmaker. She was born and raised in Amstelveen, The Netherlands, and is an Industrial Design Masters student at Eindhoven University of Technology, for which she has been undertaking a five-month internship at FabCafe Tokyo since September 2022. She is half Dutch, half Japanese, and has always been interested in cultural differences between The Netherlands and Japan.

    Click here for her portfolio.

How to navigate society as a woman in Japan, in order to tackle gender inequality and create a better future? This was the main question for the short film, exhibition and event series “One-bite Feminism” organized by Aya Bergkamp from January 14 until January 22, 2023. 

Gender inequality is a complex challenge in Japan that involves different facets and efforts that needed for systemic change in a society. However, it is important to keep a positive mindset and realize that if everyone does a small thing every day, together we can make a large impact. This is the metaphor of ‘taking one-bite at a time’ presented by One-bite Feminism. With one-bite of feminism, everyone can become part of social change towards greater gender equality. 

  • "One-Bite Feminism" Project Presentation

  • Film Screening & Dialogue

  • Digital Embroidery Workshop

Aya Bergkamp interviewed five women from different backgrounds on their experiences and perspectives on gender inequality in Japan and how they envision the future. At the premiere, assistants engaged in a dialogue on gender inequality with Aya and the Japan-based organization Gender Equal. As embroidery has been a historical way of nurturing female communities, One-bite Feminism also presented a Feminist Digital Embroidery Workshop where participants connected with each other while making their own feminism-inspired designs.

Although it was with much hesitation, I decided to participate in the interview for this short film documentary because it was an important way I could break my silence on the type of gender discrimination practices that often happen behind closed doors. I’m thankful for Aya for providing this opportunity for us to heal from, discuss and resist the types of gendered oppression still very much present in our society.

~ Aurora Tsai

  • Participants at the film screening engaged in a discussion on gender inequality.

  • The members of Gender Equal presented their current projects. 

During the Film & Dialogue event on January 15th, 2023, Aya Bergkamp shared about the background of the movie, visitors watched the film and afterwards engaged in a dialogue on gender inequality in Japan. The discussion was facilitated seven student ambassadors of Gender Equal, an NPO that promotes gender equality in Japan. 

Some of the discussed questions were:

  • Did you recognize parts of the short film documentary?
  • Do you think there should be more role models supporting gender equality in Japan?
  • Do you think women’s universities are necessary, and why yes or no?
  • What should be the role of parents when teaching their children about gender equality?


Until now, I had only opportunities to talk with Japanese people who grew up in Japan, so it was very stimulating for me to gain a global perspective by exchanging opinions in a multinational group like this. It’s been a great experience.


Suzuka (21), Gender Equal student member


Gender Equal

Gender Equal is a Japanese non-profit organization, working to eliminate the gender gap and create a society that respects diversity, and where everyone can challenge themselves to achieve their own goals as a human being, without limiting their choices because they are a woman or a man. To realize such a society, they undertake gender education and empowerment education activities, as well as organizing lectures and corporate training programs to make people aware of unconscious gender bias.


At FabCafe, fabrication and self-expression go hand in hand. Throughout the project, Aya worked closely with FabCafe creative directors to weave the maker culture into the core of One-bite Feminism. Through using digital embroidery as a tool for creating a community around feminism and fabrication, and making a collaborative artwork using digital embroidery as a way of self-expression, the maker culture of FabCafe shaped the project from the initial planning stage.

  • Following a design thinking photo association activity lead by facilitator Hazuki Yasunaga, participants designed their own embroidery art.

  • Participants drew their final designs on paper using pen and pencils.

  • Facilitators Aya Bergkamp and Judit Moreno converted the drawings into embroideries through using the Tajima Writer Plus software.

  • The embroidered artwork was put into wooden frames and participants could take them home. The frames had been previously laser-cut at FabCafe.


I think about feminism often and talk about this topic with my friends, but at the workshop I was also able to talk about it with people from different generations, people from different backgrounds, and people who grew up outside of Japan. It was a new experience for me to be able to incorporate my thoughts on feminism into a design. I enjoyed that we could discuss the serious issues in a fun way.

~ Riho Matsumaru



Up to 70% of labour in coffee production is provided by women, depending on the region. However, only 20-30% of coffee farms are female-operated [1] and the coffee-roasting sector is male-dominated. Part of the issue stems from prejudicial hiring practices and the lack of female role models in the industry [2]. 

Aya Bergkamp collaborated with Tamaki Nobe, FabCafe barista and LILCRIBCOFFEE roastery owner, to curate the “Limited Edition Drip Coffee X One-bite Feminism”, by which FabCafe served four unique drip coffees from female-led coffee roasters during the exhibition period.

[1] GENDER EQUALITY IN THE COFFEE SECTOR, An insight report from the International Coffee Organization (2018).
[2] Why more women are needed in the coffee industry, King Carlos Coffee





    LATTEST was founded in 2012, with the goal of raising the world’s best female baristas. It is a company where all baristas are women, to support the increase in women among baristas. LATTEST baristas value human connections and new encounters through a single cup of coffee.





    LILCRIBCOFFEE is a coffee shop without a store. It is founded by Tamaki Nobe, who is also a barista at FabCafe Tokyo. The mission of LILCRIBCOFFEE is to “give shape to human connections through coffee.” They are based in Tokyo, and value creating human connections in an exciting space. Currently, LILCRIBCOFFEE holds “Coffee x Music” events from time to time.





    MANLY COFFEE is based in Fukuoka. The owner, Noriko Sunaga, is known by coffee lovers as the “mother of the aeropress” and is the leading figure in the spread of the aeropress in Japan. She is also a mother of three children. Their goal is to deliver beautiful coffee that makes our customers’ life shine.





    Ojizo Coffee has the mission to face social issues through coffee. They actively purchase fair trade certified coffee beans and coffee beans from coffee farms run by women. They use pesticide-free and fertilizer-free raw beans. They also contribute to social issues through choosing to donate 10% of their sales to welfare service facilities for the disabled and volunteer activities.

Once again, I realized that the number of female roasters is small. Nowadays, the number of female baristas and roasters is increasing, but I have the impression that it is mostly men who are leading the industry at the forefront. In such a situation, it was very stimulating and valuable for me to be involved in this project and learn more about active women roasters who are just like me.

~ Tamaki Nobe


During the exhibition period of January 14th until January 22nd of 2023, FabCafe had “stitches” all over the interior, to resemble the embroidery within One-bite Feminism. The dynamic and bright pink movements in the walls and furniture caught the visitors’ attention and directed it towards the project’s core message.

As a way of participating in One-bite Feminism and connecting with the topic, visitors could also join the collaborative digital embroidery art work, by sending in their quotes or drawings on the question: “What does feminism mean to you?”

I look back on a very valuable and exciting half year internship, where I was supported by FabCafe creative directors throughout the project. I learned to use a digital embroidery machine for the first time, which has been an engaging medium to express myself and explore community building through digital making. Outside of practical skills support, brainstorming, getting feedback, broadening my network, inspiration and motivation were all an inherent part of my time at FabCafe.

Now I plan on finishing my Master studies and pursue a career in social design in The Netherlands. The experience of putting social issues like gender inequality in practice and creating a community around digital fabrication will be most valuable for me in my future work environment, and I am very thankful that FabCafe empowered me throughout this opportunity.

~ Aya Bergkamp



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    This articles is edited by FabCafe Global.

    Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on this article with us.
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