My Diverse Interests

What do you answer when you are asked, “what is your hobby?”

My male colleague would say golf, fishing, or tennis and female one would say singing, mountain climbing, listening music, or watching movies.

I will answer horse-back riding, dancing and singing flamenco, playing Sho, one of Gagaku music instruments.


The one that I continue to do for the longest is horse riding.  I started it when I lived in Singapore where I took a riding class in the early morning before going to office.  People in Tokyo would never imagine of taking horse riding class before they go to office!  Since then, it’s been close to 20 years.  Until now, there were several months or years that I could not do it due to busy working schedule, moving out from one place to another, and bankruptcy of a club.  As I cannot practice more than three time a month, the speed of improvement is extremely slow.  However, recently, I started to take a private lesson and, surprisingly, I can feel some improvements.  I would love to continue until the age of 75, if possible!


The next longest is dancing flamenco.  It’s been already more than 6 years since I started in January 2008.  I take weekly course for about an hour and a half among young ladies from 20’s through 30’s.  They are fast in picking up steps and choreograph but I have to always practice extra two hours to catch up with them. Those young and easy-to-pick-up-skill ladies have been dancing at a tablao or learning different tunes at the same time but I never ever dreamed of doing like they do.  To my surprise, in February, out flamenco teacher selected me to dance at a tablao in March!!  I gave up most of the time to write up article for my blog and focus on preparing for the show in Late March together with my four other teammates.  I have to let my ear and body remember all the choreograph so that I will be able to dance as a semi-professional dancer!  When I finish it, I would love to share it with you in this blog with, hopefully, some pictures.

On the other hand, it’s been only two years for learning how to sing flamenco song.  Gee, this IS difficult, not like to sing a popular modern tune.  My classmates say it would take ten years to become truly good at singing a traditional flamenco tune.  I wonder if I will be able to continue…


Lastly, I had just started to learn how to play Sho, one the Japanese traditional music instruments for Gagaku.  I take a class twice a month for about an hour.  The sound of Sho is quite unique and I really enjoy listening and playing it.  Because it is so rare for even Japanese to learn how to play Sho, it took me three months to find a place and a teacher.  I am pretty sure that I will be able to continue for more than three years as long as I continue to earn the same level of money.


As you can imagine, there’s no consistency in my interests.  However, I would like to continue them as long as I can as music, arts, sports will remain deep in our souls and, when you are born in the next generation, it would be faster to learn than anybody else without experience in the previous lives.


Why don’t you start a new hobby this spring?

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