Joke van Swaaij-van den Berk (1945) attended Ikebana (japanese flower art) classes with mrs. Helga Günter since 1973.
Through 1973 - 1985 she received several certificates from the Sogetsy School of Tokyo. After more lessons with mrs. Anke Ma, she earned the teacher degree Yonkyu Shihan in 2000.

During the end of the 70's, she started writing Haiku.
It's during this time that she also started practicing Sumi-e painting.
She followed Sumi-e classes from 2001 - 2008 with Annemie van de Ven in Eindhoven.

Joke visited Japan four times and enjoyed the many traditional and modern expressions of the Japanese Culture from up close.

Joke is married and mother of five childeren.