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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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.”

The Kabuki Kool channel was erased.

Dancing tango argentino, organising salons, DJ-ing tango, writing about it (musical evolution).
And although due to circumstance I haven’t been doing that since more than a year, I am sure it has stood the test of time and one day i will …
So patiently waiting for now.

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There’s a reference to Go in the classic kabuki history play The Battles of Coxinga, which follows a Japanese aragoto hero in his quest to restore the Tang dynasty to the rule of China.

Text by Peter Shotwellm, from his PDF quote collection book.

The stirring second act of The Battles of Coxinga, a Japanese Kabuki play by Chikamatsu, begins with some Immortals visiting China from their home on the moon.

Seated atop their sacred mountain, they are playing a game of go. My comments follow one of theirs.

“The ordinary man, confused of mind, takes it for a mere contest between go stones . . . the fish swimming in the water . . . mistakes it for a fish hook . . . the bird soaring above the clouds . . . is frightened, thinking it a bow . . .”

Although the two Immortals were observing that one can see on a go board anything one wishes, as they spoke they were not looking at the "Sky‟ — a traditional metaphor for the go board with its black and white stones and star points. The "it‟ they viewed as mirrored on their mystical board referred to the waning and waxing of the forces of yin and yang over the land of China displayed before them—the cause of the hero’s exile in the face of the invading Manchu hordes in the 17th century.