Traditional pastimes and occupations

The game of Go is probably something over 2,500 years old, making it one of civilisation’s oldest hobbies.

Recently I’ve been getting interested in kabuki theatre though the NHK series Kabuki Kool, which got me wondering what other traditional activities other forumgoers enjoyed or were interested in.

Some topics which I know have come up before are, in greater or lesser measure:

  • classical music, baroque instruments, and Byzantine chants
  • art restoration and museum conservation
  • classical literature
  • carpentry
  • farming and gardening
  • cooking
  • climbing
  • other table games, some of course likely even older than Go
  • theatre

Does anyone else enjoy hobbies like these that have stood the test of time?


Gossip. :woman_shrugging:


Thought provoking topic… I hadn’t considered it before but Go definitely is my oldest hobby by this measure for sure.

Unless… does enjoying beer count? :joy::beer: Not brewing because I’m too lazy for that just drinking it


Similar to brewing, but much easier, I ferment milk kefir at home:

I guess that’s a hobby that’s thousands of years old, depending on a culture (“kefir grains”) of mysterious and ancient origin.


Drawing (like portraits).

Cave paintings of more than 15,000 years old have been found.


Yep, I enjoy drawing and painting.
Is this old enough? :grin:


Here are some channels with videos about kabuki and Noh theatre:

I recently watched an interesting solo kabuki dance. Female (onnagata) roles in kabuki are performed by men. Traditionally, this was also the case in Noh, although female actors began to enter the industry in the mid-20th century and have since become fairly common.

The dance is performed by Bando Tamasaburo V, more widely known as simply Tamasaburo, the most renowned onnagata specialist and one of the most popular active kabuki actors. It relays a scene from the tale of the giant eight-headed serpent Orochi, from the foundational 7th century work Kojiki.

坂東玉三郎 "大蛇" Tamasaburo "Orochi" (Great Serpent) part 1 - YouTube I
坂東玉三郎 "大蛇" Tamasaburo "Orochi" (Great Serpent) part 2 - YouTube II
坂東玉三郎 "大蛇" Tamasaburo "Orochi" (Great Serpent) part 3 - YouTube III

坂東玉三郎 "大蛇" Tamasaburo "Orochi" (Great Serpent) part 1 - YouTube – a playlist containing those three videos together with some other kabuki and Noh material

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The first episode of Kabuki Kool hosted by Kataoka Ainosuke.

I really enjoyed this.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about gennan’s (paraphrased) comment “if you’re plateauing at technological maturity, switch your technology”, which is to say that if you’re struggling to progress then try changing your style. In this episode, Kataoka was talking about his teacher’s approach that “theatre is a living thing; you shouldn’t always play the same role the same way.”