survey for jaltcall

2021-05-08 (UPDATED 2021-06-12) TOKYO, JAPAN -- Thank you for participating in my survey for my presentation at the JALTCALL-2021 conference. The purpose of the survey is shown in the description below. The survey was open between 2021-05-08 and 2021-06-04. Thank you again for your time and expertise.

You may download
my presentation slides in medium resolution (6.6 megabytes).


河合 剛 (かわい ごう) 博士(工学)


2020-03-16 LINCOLN CITY, OREGON, USA -- Alas, our city, state, and nation have declared a state of emergency over the new coronavirus COVID-19.


new moon yoga

2018-01-01 LINCOLN CITY, OREGON, USA -- Noriko and I started our new year with a yoga lesson at the New Moon Yoga studio.

Today is their 4th anniversary. We have supported them from the start.
180101_New Moon BDay

The studio is coincidentally located in the same building as where we attended the New Year's Eve dance several hours ago.

EuroCALL-2017 conference

2017-08-24 SOUTHAMPTON, UK -- I gave my talk at EuroCALL, a conference for practitioners and researchers in computer aided language learning (CALL).

The University of Southampton hosted a reception at an art gallery.

This friendly young man took good care of us.

Naturally Kero and Noriko attended also.


2017-08-21 LINCOLN CITY, OREGON, USA -- We knew when we bought the house that a total solar eclipse would occur over our home. Although we did not buy the house specifically for that reason, for the past few years we have been planning for the astronomical event.

I built solar filters using cardboard boxes and filter material made by Baader planetarium.

The Baader filter shows the sun in white, as opposed to most solar filters that produce an orange image. The Baarder filter is made of thin plastic material, and is coated silver on both sides.

I made something that looks like a mortar hat that you wear for graduation.

The tubular section of my contraption slips over the 500 mm reflex lens I borrowed from my mom. The micro-four-thirds image sensor on my camera has a crop factor of 2 with respect to the 500 mm lens (which is designed for 35 mm full frame). The sun occupies about 1/9 the size of the field of view.

I made filters for our video camcorder, binoculars, and monocular.

I also made one for my eye glasses. Bad idea, because the silver coating reflects the image of my face.

Various gear lined up for action.

The biggest concern was the weather. Summers on the Oregon coast are blessed with sunshine most of the time, especially during midday. But fog often develops in mornings and evenings. The last several days have been excellent!

Test shots with our equipment look promising. Our camcorder provides a much larger image of the sun, because the lens has powerful telephoto capabilities. (Most camcorder owners need telephoto to shoot their children playing sports or performing arts.)

On the big day, during the morning, skies ranged from severe clear to low fog. During totality, there were wisps of clouds but they were scattered and thin enough for 4-out-of-5 star viewing conditions! Here is Noriko sitting facing east (where the sun and moon are) in our backyard. See the blue sky and stark shadows.

I wore a T-shirt designed by our friends who own the
Chocolate Frog candy store in Waldport. Naturally I must wear my Keroppi short pants to complete the outfit.

Eerie dimness engulfed us as totality began. My mom and I did not experience this so strongly during the solar eclipse in Hawaii in 1991. Or maybe she did, but I was too excited to notice!

During totality we saw very little around us. Noriko and Kero were fascinated with looking at the sun without protective filters.

Of course you've seen gorgeous pictures taken by professionals and enthusiasts. Here are examples of what we captured.

Totality. Click
here for higher resolution photo. Click here for video of the latter half of totality period, from around the middle to the end. Video is about 95 megabytes. You will hear Noriko and me talking excitedly, and the camera shutter operating automatically at set time intervals.

Time-lapse photos at the end of totality. This is an animated GIF image. Click
here if time-lapse photos do not appear, or here to view the time-lapse photos as a video. Video is about 16 megabytes.

This is my 4th solar eclipse. I saw a partial (in blazing daylight) as a child in Toronto, Canada. My mom and I visited Hawaii to see a total eclipse in 1991 (see the T-shirt below). Noriko and I saw an annular eclipse in Tokyo in 2012. We missed a partial eclipse in Sapporo due to weather. Today's eclipse was great fun because we experienced it at home! How often does that happen?

little shop of horrors

2017-08-18 NEWPORT, OREGON, USA (updated after the event) -- My trumpet teacher John Bringetto played in the orchestra for the stage version of "The Little Shop of Horrors" at Newport's Performing Arts Center.

I saw the movie a long time ago. Even that movie was a re-make. The original must be ancient.

Here's a screenshot from
the theater company's web site.


John showed me the music. Sorry no photo. Too scary to show! The first note on trumpet is an A6. The last song (played after curtain call, and while the audience is walking out) is also brutal. What was the composer thinking?

Naturally we bought tickets for opening night.

We asked for seats close to the orchestra pit, so that we might see John and other musicians up close. Turned out that the box office had sold us seats
in the pit! Noriko discovered that row B is the pit itself. John (lower right, facing away from camera) is where our seats would have been located.

Minor chaos ensued. We (and many other surprised guests) had our seats changed.

Thanks to Noriko's quick thinking, we got excellent seats in G row, with a much improved view of the stage from an elevated near-center position.

Even if we had been seated in the front row (which was row C) we could not have looked into the pit anyway because a portable wall blocked the view.

Naturally no pictures of the performance itself. I felt that the 2 trumpets were less audible but maybe that's because I'm partial to brass instruments.

As the musical show progressed, I remembered various melodies and lyrics that made me laugh, such as "you'll be a dentist". Kero, Sirokuro Puppy, Noriko and I had a great time!

I realized that the "horrors" in that little florist are not the antics of the flesh-eating plant. The terrors have more to do with human greed and cruelty.

prepare for the eclipse

2017-08-15 LINCOLN CITY, OREGON, USA -- A total eclipse of the sun will occur on 2017-08-21. Our house is close to the center line of totality. We have been preparing for the event! Rain or shine, we will enjoy it.

Kero and I are ready to observe the sun! These safety glasses show the sun in deep orange. We taped them to our glasses so they won't fall off!

Our friends own a candy store called the Chocolate Frog. We bought eclipse-themed items there! Here are chocolates of the sun and moon kissing. We got 6 for our friends coming soon.

the odd couple

2017-08-10 LINCOLN CITY, OREGON, USA -- Our friend Don Bambrough starred in the leading role for the theater production "The Odd Couple (male version)".

We were lucky to get seats 3 hours before curtain time.

Tickets are affordable.

The theater is small and intimate.

The playbill -- that is, the theater program, in North American usage.

I took no photos of the performance, although I suspect they would have allowed it had I asked. We wanted to focus on the show. Instead, here's a review with pictures that appeared in
the "Oregon Coast Today", a weekly publication of local events. The names of the characters (and their actors) are switched left to right -- the person on the left is Oscar played by Don.

Larger photo from the online edition of the "Oregon Coast Today". The person on the left is Oscar played by Don. Don is a former crab fisherman. He would sail to Alaska to catch crab in horrible weather and exhausting working conditions.

chet baker tribute

2017-08-03 LINCOLN CITY, OREGON, USA -- David Matheny played flugelhorn at Lincoln City's Cultural Center. I enjoyed David's interpretations of Chet Baker's music, and the mini-lectures David gave in between songs.

The LCCC makes it easy to buy tickets online. We don't even need to print them. We tell the receptionist our names and that's it.


Drinks and light snacks are sold and allowed during performance. There's a tiny table next to your seats.

During intermission, I told David Matheny that I've been taking trumpet lessons for 3 years, and asked when I can start playing flugelhorn. He answered that I could begin immediately, especially if I used a flugelhorn mouthpiece with a rim and cup similar to my trumpet's mouthpiece. I asked that don't flugelhorn mouthpieces have deep, V-shaped cups for dark sound, and David answered that yes most players do play those deeper mouthpieces, but that some people including himself play a trumpet-shaped mouthpiece with a shorter shank, that facilitates playing both instruments.

Here's a review with pictures that appeared in the "Oregon Coast Today", a weekly publication of local events.

And the same picture in clearer color.

dj teaches pronunciation

2017-07-28 YOKOHAMA, JAPAN -- I attended a talk by a radio disk jockey.

Hidetoshi "La Vitz" Matsuo uses dJay Pro, a software program for disk jockeys, to train English language learners.

Earlier that day, I bought a single trumpet case at Joy Brass for trips. This soft case is less sturdy but half the size of my hard case.

chitose airshow

2017-07-23 CHITOSE, JAPAN -- I went to an airshow at Chitose Air Force Base. Chitose AFB is located about 30 kilometers from Hokudai, and is co-located with Chitose airport.

Chitose AFB is home to the 2nd squadron of the JASDF (Japan air self defense force). In attendance for the airshow were the USAF, plus Japan's navy, coast guard, and even the army.

My favorite flying boat.

The highlight for me was the rescue demonstration by the helicopter team. 2 minutes after arriving at the extraction zone, they winched up a person on a stretcher, and they were gone!

Type 10 tank from the 71st mechanized battalion, which hosted me for part of my training in the army reserve.

After half a day, I felt sufficiently refreshed to return to the office and finish grading my 2582 freshmen. (We had 2617 at the beginning of semester but some dropped out.)

international kindergarten

2017-07-07 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- We visited an international kindergarten in downtown Sapporo.

Shaun Keenan (standing, far left) invited us to his school. They have 3 grades, 1 class each. All instruction is in English language. The kids are doing great!

The kids were dressed up in kimono for the
tanabata (7th of July) festival. I brought my electronic trumpet (Yamaha EZ-TP) for the kids to play with. Ivy Lin (far right) is my grad student. She has a degree in music performance. She played the electronic trumpet beautifully!

Ivy Lin and I played the "ABC song" on her guitar and my trumpet. I made mistakes but the kids didn't care.

ivy lin sings at jamusica

2017-06-29 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- Ivy Lin, my graduate student, sung at Jamusica, a local jazz bar.

Ivy has a bachelor's degree in jazz performance. Her instruments are piano, guitar, and voice.

Masaya Yanagi is one of most sought-after bass players on Hokkaido island.

Sohei Kawai (no relation to me) is a bashful and respected drummer. I should take his rhythm lessons.

Tomoaki Motoyama is a Hokudai physics major turned Sapporo piano player.

We gathered with our friends to enjoy the evening.

Monochrome captures the jazz scene nicely.

JALT-CALL conference

2017-06-17 MATSUYAMA, JAPAN -- We went to Matsuyama University in Ehime, Japan to present our research at the JALT-CALL (Japan association of language teachers, computer aided language learning) conference.

Beautiful buildings in the center of the city.

Ivy Lin reported her work on vocabulary learning. She identifies words that students understand when they hear or see them, and trains students to say or write those words.

I reported our progress at Hokudai. The language proficiency scores of our students have been steadily rising. But that can't continue forever.

coldest june day on record

2017-06-05 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- Sapporo is cold! This is the coldest May and June we've had in a long while. Unbeknownst to us at the time, Sapporo would have a record-breaking hot streak in July. 10 days of 30+ Celsius days. We need to even out the weather!

Screenshots from an affiliate of the meteorological agency.


2017-05-17 TOKYO, JAPAN -- I went to EDIX, a trade show for information technology used for education.

EDIX is held at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center each May.

The show runs for 3 days. I went every day.

Lots of opportunities to try out new technology.

Vendors explain their technology of course. I like to hear experiences from teachers who use the technology.

Our own technology was well represented. Glexa is becoming known.

akio ohnishi awarded prize for entrepreneurship

2017-01-24 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- Our friend and collaborator Akio Ohnishi (founder and CEO of VERSION2, Inc) received the Northern Entrepreneur Prize for 2016 from the Sapporo Chamber of Commerce in recognition of his outstanding achievement in starting and growing a software service company in Sapporo. Congratulations!

Scene from the award ceremony. Photo by the Sapporo Chamber of Commerce.

Excerpt of a brochure by the Sapporo Chamber of Commerce explaining why Akio Ohnishi deserves the award.

Clipping of news article that appeared in the Hokkaido Shimbun.

automated dolls

2017-01-02 TOKYO, JAPAN -- The Yume Karakuri Ichiza (Fantasy Automated Troupe) performed at the Edo Tokyo Museum. We were mesmerized by the intricate and creative gizmos.

Automated dolls were popular attractions starting from the late Edo period. Crowds would pay to see the spring-driven robots.

The Edo Tokyo Museum recreates a period theater.

This doll brings cups of tea to you, and after you finish your drink, it takes empty cups back.

This doll nocks 4 arrows in succession, and shoots at 2 targets. It often hits them.

This doll writes 4 kanji and 2 pictures on a piece of paper placed in the frame. He is programmed using replaceable sets of 3 rotating wooden disks that control the hand movement in 3 dimensions.

The mechanical parts of automated dolls were made mostly of wood. Compared to metal gears, wooden gears tend to be bulky and imprecise. Springs were made of whale baleen. Whale baleen is now impossible to obtain, and the lack of material hinders the restoration of antique dolls. Modern automated dolls use brass springs. The non-mechanical parts -- faces, hands, hair, clothes, cabinets -- were made similarly to non-robotic dolls, just like hina dolls made today.

koto (a 13-string instrument) player that troupe leader Susumu Higashino has been building for several years. Her dress has been removed to reveal her mechanism.

Example of original baleen spring. Decay is evident.

The troupe leader Susumi Higashino was trained as a wood carver, and begun collecting antiques when he was a young man. He then spent decades discovering, restoring, and reconstructing automated dolls.

Some time ago, Susumi Higashino suffered an illness causing him to lose control of his right hand. He used his left hand to autograph his DVD for me.

The jacket from the DVD.

pseudo-japanese restaurant

2016-12-26 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- We went to Gompachi, a pseudo-Japanese restaurant located in Nishi-Azabu, less than 2 kilometers east of Shibuya station in Tokyo.

The restaurant is said to have inspired the venue for fight scenes for the movie "Kill Bill". Former prime minister Jun-ichiro Koizumi entertained then-USA-president George W. Bush here.

The restaurant is good for laughs. Think Benihana of New York without the show, and set in fake mingei decor.

The food is neither fake nor outstanding. 2100 yen for the 2 of us.

hokudai elects new president

2016-12-14 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- Hokudai elected Toyoharu Nawa as university president. Nawa is a professor of cement engineering, and currently is dean of the school of engineering. On 2017-04-01 Nawa replaces Keizo Yamaguchi, a math professor.

I am glad to see Yamaguchi gone. He is an embarrassment in both administrative leadership and public relations. Yamaguchi is a spineless yes-man for the Ministry of Education (he agreed to cut costs and personnel without seeking alternate funding), and a heartless no-man towards the local community (he banned barbecue parties and children from campus). I attended a keynote talk by him, and was appalled by his lack of vision and compassion.

I welcome Nawa, partly because of his corporate experience. He worked at Chichibu Cement before joining academia. Hopefully Nawa's real-world training will put Hokudai back on track.

Similarly to the United State's electoral college, Hokudai's president election is not decided by popular vote. All full-time instructors may vote, but the president is chosen by a closed panel of 13 individuals, who are not bound by the results of the faculty vote. This steering committee is akin to the privy council under the Meiji constitution, and is designed to protect the upper echelons of university administration.

Newspaper clipping from Hokkaido Shimbun 2016-12-14 online edition.

sapporo grand hotel art talks

2016-12-08 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- The Sapporo Grand Hotel hosts art exhibits and talks for free.

We love hearing from artists and craftspeople. Sorry no photography allowed during the lecture.

They offer hors d'oeuvres and drinks at a reception after the talk. Our university should hold similar cultural events!

We chose a quiet coffee table.

Our student Kayo works at one of the restaurants at the hotel.

library talk

2016-11-30 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- The Hokudai North Library invited us to give a workshop on learning phrases in context by using manga and books in L1 (a language you are familiar with) and their translations in L2 (a language you wish to learn).

We expected a tiny audience of somewhere around 3, which was the number of people who told us they might come. 34 people showed up -- a mix of faculty, administrative staff, and grad and undergrad students. Noriko and I were ecstatic.
Screen Shot 2016-12-01 at 12.59.13

The workshop took 97 minutes, consisting of (1) 5 minutes of introduction by the library staff, (2) 10 minutes of lecture by me explaining the merits of reading identical material in L1 and L2, (3) 10 minutes of lecture by me explaining how manga and anime are appreciated in America and Europe, (4) 27 minutes of hands-on activity by students under my guidance, (5) 30 minutes of hands-on activity by students divided into groups (each table received different language material), and (6) 15 minutes of sharing results from each group of students.
Screen Shot 2016-12-01 at 12.59.30

Students first found corresponding phrases in L1 and L2, then used the L2 phrases to construct new messages, and lastly shared their results with the other participants.
Screen Shot 2016-12-01 at 13.00.12

Many thanks to Kyoko Jo and Yuji Nonaka for organizing the event! In the picture below, they are standing 3rd and 2nd from the far right.
Screen Shot 2016-12-01 at 12.58.35

JALT conference

2016-11-26 NAGOYA, JAPAN -- Our research-and-education team gave poster presentations at the JALT (Japan association of language teachers) conference in Nagoya city.

The poster area was heavily attended, partly because our poster session took place immediately after the opening keynote presentation.

Naomi Suzaki explained how our students learn pronunciation of English language by singing songs.

Ivy Lin explained how our students learn vocabulary, particularly collocations (multiple words occurring together at high likelihood).

night before supermoon

2016-11-14 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- Early this morning, the moon shone brightly into our apartment. Tonight is a super moon. Maybe the weather will hold.

Hand-held photo of the moon. Sorry about the blurring. Too lazy to set up a tripod in the bedroom at 03:00.

library talk

2016-11-11 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- The Hokudai north library invited me to give a workshop on reading in 2 languages. The talk is on 2016-11-30 from 18:15 to 19:45 in the north library, 3rd floor group study zone.

The idea is that by reading your favorite manga or books in L1 (the language you already know) and L2 (the language you want to learn), you can read the books you love in L2, and learn phrases without looking up words in the dictionary. Manga gives graphical context, which provides the nuances of social relationships that are so important to the Japanese psyche. Manga (and to a limited extent novels) provide spoken language expressions in written form.

I intend to ask students to find corresponding phrases, and create short sentences using those phrases.

A pair of slides from my talk. These slides are shown to students at the beginning of my workshop as a warm-up task. The tasks increase in complexity during the 70-minute workshop. The artwork below is from Osamu Tezuka's "Black Jack", a classic medical drama which was serialized when I was in middle school.
Screen Shot 2016-11-14 at 05.02.23

Screen Shot 2016-11-14 at 05.03.29

They made a flyer with a rather embarrassing picture of me. Here's a 2nd galley proof after I asked them to change a few minor portions of text.

IEEE talk

2016-08-31 BEAVERTON, OREGON, USA -- Noriko and I attended a talk on cloud radio access networks. The talk was sponsored by the Oregon chapter of the IEEE.

The Tektronix complex is near Nike World Headquarters. Roads in Oregon are often difficult to navigate because they are intentionally twisted. We spent several minutes looking for Building 38.

The Tektronix auditorium is spacious.

The IEEE server generous portions of pizza. We don't eat as much as we used to.

full moon

2016-08-18 LINCOLN CITY, OREGON, USA -- The moon was full and bright tonight.

I was too lazy to set up my tripod in our family room. I took this picture by holding my camera in my hand.

perseid meteor shower

2016-08-12 LINCOLN CITY, OREGON, USA -- We spent over an hour in our back yard at night gazing at the Perseid meteor shower. We ourselves saw about 30 meteors, some quite bright and spectacular. The skies were clear, the wind was calm, and the moon was out of our view.

We have no pictures of the skies because our camera is not sensitive enough.

radio program

2016-06-22 (UPDATED FROM 2016-05-23) SAPPORO, JAPAN -- Update: on 2016-06-22 the transcript of the radio program came online, along with an audio recording.

My friends Akio Ohnishi, Hiroya Tanaka and I appeared on a local radio program on
station Air-G (FM 80.4 MHz facebook twitter). This was the first time I appeared on commercial radio.

I've been on the air on amateur radio and aviation radio. Commercial radio is quite a different experience, mostly because it is broadcast on a schedule as opposed to being a two-way conversation that can continue as long as desired.

The program we appeared in is a 10-to-15-minute segment called "School strike" (
website twitter) contained within a 105-minute live show called "GTR" (website). "School strike" sounds like teachers demanding better working conditions (which I would agree with for my colleagues' sakes) but the radio station means "strike zone" or "dead center" of topics related to education in the Sapporo area. Most listeners are middle school and high school kids, their parents, and their teachers. They are eager to learn what tertiary education offers them.

At 20:30 local time we were shown to a spacious recording studio. The announcer D J Ryota asked us questions and we took turns answering to the best of our ability. We adjourned at 20:47. Tonight's segment lasted a few minutes longer than usual, I believe.

The following 2 pictures are screenshots of the radio station's tweets.

Right to left: D J Ryota (wearing a white cap), Akio Ohnishi (founder and CEO of Version2, Inc
website facebook), Hiroya Tanaka (professor of English language at Hokkai Gakuen University website), and me. Hidden behind the orange artificial flower on the desk is Sirokuro Puppy (the mascot of my online learning courseware).

After our segment the program went to music and the microphones in the recording studio were turned off. We took souvenir pictures. Mine features Sirokuro Puppy and the uniform for Paddy (website twitter), the ultimate frisbee men's and women's teams that I am the faculty advisor for at Hokkaido University. One man and two women from our teams were chosen to represent Japan in the world championships! Only 24 for each gender are selected.


2016-06-17 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- Birthday!

Today marks the 2-year anniversary of my trumpet playing. Hmm, progress is slow!

Noriko and Kero gave me a trumpet keychain.

yosakoi soran matsuri

2016-06-12 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- The Yosakoi Soran Matsuri takes place every June. Young adults, including many of our students, perform choreographed dances in groups averaging 100 people each.

Modernized Japanese attire is the norm. Hairstyle for women is often a pineapple bun. Maybe it is easier to dance.

Grandstands line the streets. Some are free, others not. Friends and families of each team walk with their dancers across town.

The weather was clear, and to use aviation terms, ceiling unlimited, winds 090 at 20 gusting to 50 (blowing from the east at 10 to 25 meters per second). We were almost swept off our feet. Yet the dancers were steaming with sweat.

This year 280 teams participated, some coming from far away. Each team performs numerous times at 20 venues downtown.

CALL-Plus workshop

2013-10-22 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- The CALL-Plus Workshop, a workshop for language teachers, will be held on 2013-11-16 from 10:00 to 17:00 at Sapporo Gakuin University. All teachers of foreign languages are welcome. This year’s theme is flipped learning. Don Hinkelman and I will critique and illustrate the flip model in our joint keynote titled "Flip the Classroom: Gimmick or Revolution?”



nitobe college talk 3

2013-10-20 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- A Hokudai alumna will give a talk titled “Leadership in global society” on 2013-11-01 from 18:15 to 19:15 in the liberal arts building, lecture hall N1. The talk is in the Japanese language.



nitobe college talk 2

2013-10-20 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- A Hokudai alumnus will give a talk titled “Mind, skill, quality for a global life” on 2013-10-25 from 18:15 to 19:15 in the liberal arts building, lecture hall N1. The talk is in the Japanese language. Download the flyer.



candle night

2013-10-13 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- Enjoy candle light, live music, and a photograph exhibit at Candle Night on 2013-10-18 from 17:00 to 20:00 near the Enyu Gakusha building. This event is held annually near Hokudai's main gate; however probably due to construction at the main gate, the event will take place near the Kita-18jo gate.

baby galaxies

2013-10-13 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- The science school will host a talk in the English language by Dr John Wise (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA) titled "Baby galaxies: the first steps toward the Milky Way” on 2013-10-16 from 17:00 to 18:00 at the science school, building 2, entrance hall.

talks by guest speakers

2013-10-13 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- Guest speakers give talks in my class. Everybody is welcome.

The first guest speaker of the semester is Momoko Miyamoto, who will talk about her adventures in Germany. Her talk is on 2013-10-16 in wed[1234] (same talk repeated 4 times) in the liberal arts building, room E215.

Camp Makomanai

2013-05-26 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- Camp Makomanai (a Japanese army base in south Sapporo city) opened its doors to the public for a day of performances and exhibits.

Camp Mamokamai is home to the JGSDF 11th Brigade. The brigade is composed mostly of infantry and artillery. I received some of my own training here.

Servicemen entertain visitors with taiko drums. This band has only men, but there are many women drummers too.

Almost all aircraft in the Japanese army are helicopters. The air force has fighters and transports but no bombers. The navy has anti-submarine surveillance aircraft.

In a mock battle, armored personnel carriers (the 8-wheeler in the middle) of the 18th infantry regiment advances towards the enemy under cover of suppression fire by the 11th artillery (the tracked vehicles with guns). Self-propelled howitzers are not tanks. Howitzers fire upwards (that is, at high trajectories) to reach targets beyond line of sight.

Most of the static displays (that is, exhibits that are for looking at) consisted of equipment used in disaster relief. The photo below is a triage center.

A decontamination tent. The army seriously prepares for nuclear, biological, and chemical attack.

Inside the decontamination tent, there are low-pressure and high-pressure sprays for removing hazardous materials.

If your area becomes a disaster zone, then you might live in tents like these. They are roomier than backpacking tents.

The Japanese army provides furo baths to keep civilians happy. In America, you get coffee.

The tent walls have been removed to show the interior. The inside looks just like a regular public bath.

Lots of water is needed. I often suspect that most of army cargo is water. But soldiers aren’t allowed to drink it: “Save it for your buddy.” I got used to not drinking water during exercises. American soldiers drink all they want.

Soldiers meticulously protect visitors from sharp objects. Here’s a tent peg covered in a plastic bottle.

During break time, a soldier does chin ups by the barracks.

ultimate team paddy

2013-04-10 SAPPORO, HOKKAIDO -- What I used to call “frisbees” are correctly called “flying discs” because “frisbee” is a trademark. Many games are played with flying discs. “Ultimate” (formerly “ultimate frisbee”) is one of them.

I’ve been the academic advisor of Hokudai’s ultimate team “Paddy” since they formed 4 years ago. They’ve grown to have both a men’s and women’s team. One of our men was selected as a player of the team representing Japan. He will compete this summer in an international match being held inToronto, Canada.

Paddy seeks new members regardless of experience. Watch the team trailer.



We went to a concert by the Hokkaido University Symphony Orchestra. My colleague (a linguist and trombonist) is the orchestra’s advisor, and many of our students perform.

siberian railway

Our friend Annuska Rodrigues Bento visited us from Belgium via the Trans-Siberian Railway. She gave a talk about her travels to our students. Her trip took 10 days. Does that sound long to you? I think that it’s too short, especially when you consider that there’s so much to see along the way.

study abroad fair on 2012-05-19

STEP (the people who run the Eiken tests) is holding a study-abroad fair on Hokudai campus. Read more info and register.

visitors welcome!

You are cordially invited to join my classes. My classes are always open to visitors. No appointment necessary.

In my usual classes, my students walk around talking with TAs most of the time -- I usually have between 5 and 8 TAs. Probably the best instructor-student ratio on campus.

Yuka gives a talk on her exchange student experience:
2012-01-11 wed[124] and 2012-01-12 thu1

Yoshia gives a talk on his overseas experiences; we do sushi conversations:
2012-01-18 wed[124] and 2012-01-19 thu1

Finally, we must have finals:
2012-01-25 wed[124] and 2012-01-26 thu1

goh's talk at the otaru university of commerce

On 2011-10-24 I gave a talk at the Otaru University of Commerce. Professor Shawn Clankie invited me to Shodai, introduced me to the audience, and videotaped my talk. Watch my talk on YouTube.

trick or treat?

Enjoy this Halloween card!

free cloud storage

For a limited time, is offering 50 gigabytes of cloud storage for free. Sign up now to take advantage of this promotion. Maximum filesize is 100 megabytes per file. (You can store larger files if you pay.) I am not affiliated with

study abroad program

Several partner universities of Hokudai will give talks on study abroad programs for sustainable development on 2011-10-27 from 13:00 to 15:30, at Hokudai’s International Student Center (留学生センター).


International Student Center (留学生センター) advises and accepts applications for Hokudai’s Study Abroad Programs (exchange student programs). Deadline for programs next year is 2011-10-31. Programs vary in destination and duration. For details, visit:
→ Japanese
→ 平成24年度交換留学生の募集について

Hokkaido International School fall festival

The Hokkaido International School (HIS) is holding its annual Fall Festival on 2011-10-29 from 10:00 to 14:00. There will be trick-or-treating at the school for kids, and food stalls for everybody. HIS is located about 5 minutes east of the Sumikawa subway station.


By the way, HIS is opening
a new school in Niseko, probably reflecting the growing international community there.

my talk at Sapporo Gakuin University

On 2011-10-15 at Sapporo Gakuin University, I am giving a talk titled “Designing online learning experiences for audio-visual language learning”. Many thanks to our students who participated in English Online during 2011 spring semester, and who granted me permission to analyze their learning outcomes as part of my talk.
Talk details

international friends through SACLA

SACLA (Sharing All Cultures and Languages) is a Hokudai student organization that socializes internationally. SACLA’s international lunches won Hokudai’s 元気 energetic project award in 2010. Contact them for times and places of their international lunches. (Last year, they met on Wednesdays from 12:10 to 12:50 at the International Student Center (留学生センター) 1st floor lobby.) They also engage in sports, cookouts, and volunteering.

Overseas study opportunities

A free seminar explaining overseas study opportunities will be held on 2010-11-06 from 11:00 to 15:00 at the Sapporo International House near Hokkai Gakuen University. See their poster or webpage.

happy halloween

A friend sent me this nice Halloween card. Noriko and I will wear something for our fri2 class on 2010-10-29. Come to E309.

ultimate team

I’m a faculty advisor for Hokudai’s ultimate team. “Ultimate” used to be called “ultimate frisbee” but the word “frisbee” was dropped because it is a trademark.

The team welcomes new members. No experience necessary! Everybody welcome. Check out the team website at Paddy, named after the pet dog of one of the founding members.

SACLA activities

SACLA (Sharing All Cultures and Languages) is a Hokudai student organization that socializes internationally. SACLA’s international lunches won Hokudai’s 元気 energetic project award this year. Lunches are on Wednesdays from 12:10 to 12:50 at the International Student Center (留学生センター) 1st floor lobby. Bring your own lunch.

Werner Stuflesser talk

What language do Italians speak? Italian, of course. But some Italians are native speakers of German. The extreme north part of Italy was annexed from Austria after World War I. My friend comes from that region -- Tyrol, famous for skiing -- and she speaks five languages (German, Italian, English, French, and Dutch).

In her region, there is a research institute called EURAC (European Academy of Bozen/Bolzano, Its director, Werner Stuflesser, is visiting Hokudai and giving a talk. The talk is in English and will be translated into Japanese.

Take this opportunity to experience simultaneous interpretation, and to learn how multilingual communities work together to live together.

Werner Stuflesser, EURAC
Supranational Frameworks, Standardisation, Networking: Organised Diversity Management in Europe, Japan, and Africa
Time and place:
2010-06-26, 15:00 to 17:00, Hokudai Enyuugakusha

For details, read the announcement in Japanese: announcement, PDF.

spring flowers

I found a patch of crocuses blooming behind the tiny cozy garden behind NItobe Inazo’s statue. They disappeared a week later. Which reminds me that the best opportunities are fleeting.

SACLA international lunch and events

SACLA (Sharing All Cultures and Languages) is a Hokudai student organization that socializes internationally. They are holding 3 sessions to recruit new members: (a) 2010-04-13 Tuesday 19:00, at the Clark building 3rd floor international room, over (b) 2010-04-22 Thursday 19:00, at the Clark building 3rd floor international room, over and (c) 2010-04-30 Friday 18:00, liberal arts building E, room E201 over. View more information on their blog.

SACLA holds international lunches. This semester, they started on 2010-04-14 Wednesday. They meet from 12:10 to 12:50 at the International Student Center (留学生センター) 1st floor lobby. Bring your own lunch.

undergraduate internships

Internships are highly desirable, in some cases practically mandatory, to secure your dream job. The Hokudai career center is offering internships to undergraduate students. To be considered for this competitive opportunity, attend 1 of 2 identical workshops: (a) 2010-04-14 Wednesday from 18:30 to 20:30, Clark Building, main lecture hall (クラーク会館、講堂)(水産学部への中継あり、大講義室) over, and (b) 2010-04-16 Friday from 16:30 to 18:30, the Information Technology Education building, 3rd floor lecture hall (情報教育館3階多目的中講義室) over.

children's theater performance

The Missoula Children’s Theatre will perform The Wizard of Oz on 2010-04-02 and 2010-04-03 at the Hokkaido International School. This is a great opportunity to enjoy a play, visit a school, and meet people.

This is a great opportunity to spend a few hours and meet people.

The following announcement is copied from the Hokkaido Insider, a free email newsletter that (among other things) notifies readers of public and private events taking place in Hokkaido.

Once again Hokkaido International School will be hosting Missoula Children’s Theatre (MCT). MCT is America’s largest touring children’s theater. It has been touring for more than 30 years from Montana to Japan. This will be MCT’s 15th year at Hokkaido International School. This year we are excited to be welcoming Lynda Mondragon and Jeffrey Staso who will be directing the HIS children in a musical rendition of THE WIZARD OF OZ.

Mark your calendars and plan to come out and enjoy a fresh look at an age-old favorite. The play will be performed entirely in English.

Hokkaido International School
Gymnasium, 4th floor
1-55, 5-jo 19-chome,
Hiragishi, Tokyohira-ku
Sapporo 062-0935
Nearest subway station: Sumikawa Station on the Nanboku Line

Performance One: April 2, 7:00 pm in the H.I.S. Gymnasium
Performance Two: April 3, 3:00 pm in the H.I.S. Gymnasium

** Ticket prices are ¥500 per person. Children age 5 and under are free.
Tickets are available at the door or may be purchased from any HIS Elementary school family.

Any questions? Please contact Sherrie Oda at HIS (011) 816-5000.