Life is not the amount of breaths you take, it’s the moment that takes your breath away.
— Vicki Corona


As a student, I have helped to organize a number of exhibitions not only in Prague, but also in Geneva, featuring works of Pascal Krieger, and in Tokyo, displaying the masterpieces of Saito Isoji. These exhibitions I have organized to a large extent by myself, with a kind help and support of my students and friends.

2014 January “Slova v tusi ukryta” (“Words hidden in ink”) Japanese embassy in Prague 

2015 January “Bily snih – cerna stopa” (“White snow – black trace”) National Library of Technology 

René Ochiai 

I am 37 years old and getting older every day. Before I started to be interested in calligraphy, I was practicing a martial art Aikido. I started when I was 13 years old, and I keep practicing until today. I discovered calligraphy in 1997 in Japanese elementary school, the Japanese language, and other Japanese arts followed. At that school, I got in touch with Japanese for the first time and fell in love with everything from Japan right away. Afterward, I studied calligraphy under Pascal Krieger and Saito Isoji. In March 2015 I moved to Tokyo, where I continue with calligraphy and teach Japanese professionally.

My personality is quite complicated. I can feel incredibly happy as well as extremely down. I am definitely a dreamer and an introvert, perhaps a loner. But do not get me wrong, I love to be around nice people. I just do not mind to spend some time alone when they are not close. I am very happy that I discovered calligraphy quite early in my life. It suits me perfectly. I am also pretty lucky that I was not born Asian because I would probably not appreciate the calligraphy in the same way as being a European.

My view of the world is quite confused. People keep shocking me all the time. I do not know much about politics. But I respect people like Merkel, Trudeau, Obama or Macron these days.

I am seriously addicted to chocolate and coffee. I love to eat extremely unhealthy food and to watch movies or listening Seal's music. I like the window shopping at small shops with handmade stuff. I am happier on a bicycle than in Tokyo subway.   

People keep telling me that I am a good teacher. It is funny because I was not a particularly good and successful student. The very first day when I sat down behind a desk in one elementary school in the communist Czechoslovakia, I knew right away that there is something wrong. After many years of struggling, I ended up as a dropout from a graphic design college. If I would be 15 years old again and have a possibility to decide my future life course again, I would probably become a glassblower.

A few years ago, I was brave enough to propose to the most beautiful girl I have ever met and she was foolish enough that day to say “hai.” Because of her work, we move every few years. Unfortunately, when you hit the road, you cannot own an atelier or school. But I keep in touch with my students through my correspondence course and when I am back in Prague, I organize a lot of workshops and occasional exhibitions.