The influence of occupation on the longevity of Japanese traditional artists

Naoyuki Hayashi*, Kazuhiro Kezuka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The long-term lifestyle is known to affect lifespan and mortality. In particular, it is well known that exercise habit decreases the mortality. The effects of performing strenuous exercise, however, as an occupation over a lifetime have been unclear. Here we show the effects of various occupations that include being sedentary and performing music and exercise activities and/or birth year on longevity of 699 professional male artists either alive or dead, as reported in books and webpages. Kaplan–Meier analysis showed a significant effect of occupation type on longevity among the four Japanese traditional arts professions of Kabuki, Sado, Rakugo and Nagauta, which include strenuous exercise, and tea ceremonies, telling comic stories and playing instruments while sitting, respectively. Discrete-time logistic regression analysis showed that the lifespan was significantly shorter for Kabuki actors than among the other three Japanese traditional artists. This result suggests that daily strenuous exercise as an occupation shortens rather than prolongs the lifespan.

Original languageEnglish
Article number98
JournalPalgrave Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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