Past Hokudai/Cast Entries

Friday, February 13, 2015

Hokudai/Cast 282: Valentine's Day?

Lupercalia was a Roman festival celebrating fertility, love, cleansing the city of evil spirits. Lupercalia incorporated another festival called Februalia. Februalis was a very old Roman festival celebrating fertillity and cleansing the city of evil spirits. Februalia gave its name to February. February 14th is Valentine's Day. February 14th is also Lupercalia and Februalia Day.


A martyr is someone who is killed for their beliefs. St. Valentine was given the choice of changing his religion or dying in 496. He prefered to die rather than change his religion. Nathan Hale is an American martyr who died in 1776 because he believed American should be independent from Great Britain.


Music is

Hitotsu Iunara Kimi by Koo from

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Hokudai/Cast 281: First Lines

The first lines of novels. Why? Sometimes they show up in other places, like movies or TV shows. It is always nice to recognize words or phrases that come from famous novels while watching TV or movies. Right?

Dystopia and Utopia are two of the three words in Word/Play today. The other, related to dystopia, is apocalyptic. Dystopia and apocalyptic mean a terrible place, a violent future, a terribly & violent place. Utopia is the opposite; it means a good place.


Music is

Sayonara by NorickH from

My Original by Chet Lam from

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Friday, February 06, 2015

Hokudai/Cast 280: February Third

Setsubun no Hi, Groundhog Day, Paul Auster, and Gertrude Stein all have something to do with February 3.

Spring starts on February 3rd in Japan with Setsubun no Hi or, in Japanese, 節分の日, which means Separating the Seasons. Also on February 3rd, a groundhog comes out of his home in Pennsylvania and looks to see if he sees his shadow. If he doesn't see his shadow, Spring is Here! If he sees his shadow, six more weeks of winter. This is Groundhog Day.

Also from Pennsylvania is American author Gertrude Stein born on February 3rd, 1874. She was an experimental writer. She died in 1946. Another American author born on February 3rd is Paul Auster. He was born in 1947.


Music is

夏の一生 by NorickH from

眼泪笑了 (Tears smiled) by 刘力扬 (Liu Li Yang)

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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Hokudai/Cast 279: Novel Levon

It's new or novel. We can book or reserve. Music is from and


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Monday, August 18, 2014

Episode 278: Hamburgers & Demonyms

Words in Word/Play include:

  • endonym
  • exonym
  • denonym
  • homonym
  • pseudonym
  • anonymous

Confused History is about hamburgers. Created in the US, named after a city in Germany, popular for over 120 years: The Hamburger ~ synonmous with America.

Words in this weeks Bilingual Lesson are:

  • moon
  • moonlight
  • wind
  • windy
  • ask
  • ask the wind
  • ask the moon
  • question
  • ask a question

Music is

風に尋ねて (Ask the Wind) by Zizi featuring Satomi (

月光 (Moonlight) by 沼泽 (

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hokudai/Cast 277: Verbage and Potatoes

Verbs are always nice to know when learning a new language. Nouns are good, too, but you can always draw a picture of an object; not so verbs. Pantomime is good but knowing the verb is even better.

Today I will present you with a bunch of verbs read quickly. They are:

eat - drink - buy - watch - show - write - send - make - use - meet - go - come - return - exist - speak - sleep - be broken - get up - fix - begin - open - close - win - lose - turn - stop - ride - get off - sit

In Word/Play we deal with relatives of all kinds but specifically relatives you are related to by marriage and not by birth. Words in Word/Play are

  • in-law  (mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law)
  • outlaw (criminals who need lawyers)
  • law firm (a company where lawyers work)
  • firm (a company)


Confused History discusses: The Potato!

Yes, the potato originally came from Bolivia and Peru as it was grown by the Incas (the empire that also built Machu Picchu). The Incas potatoes, gold, empire, and land was then stolen by the Spanish who introduced the potato to Europe. During trading with the world, the potato was introduced to China who today is the largest grower of potatoes in the world.

Music is

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Thursday, August 07, 2014

Episode 276: Inconsistency

We have been Inconsistent in putting up new shows. In fact, being Consistent is not one of our strengths.

Something that does give us strength, however, are sandwiches which we discuss in our New Feature: Confused History.

In Word/Play you will find

  • Pungent
  • Pungency
  • Malaodorous
  • Foul
  • Fowl


Follow Your Own Nose by Slim from

涙雨 (Namida Ame ~ Tears Rain) by Yuka

Lyrics to 涙雨 by Yuka from









でも翼 重くてもう羽ばたけそうにない



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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Hokudai/Cast 275: March!

The Ides of March (the assasination of Julius Caesar on March 15, 44 BC)

The March Hare (Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll)

The Long March (in China in 1933 ~ 1935)

The Bataan Death March (in the Philippines in 1942)

March (walking in unison in a rhythm with other people)

March Madness (a national basketball championship tournament for universities in the US

March (the third month of the year. Named after Mars, the God of War!)


Music by:

Goodwin "March" from

刘若英 (Liu Ruoying) - 亲爱的路人 from baidu

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hokudai/Cast 274: Jolly Old St. Nick

A short Hokudai/Cast today as we head into the winter vacation season. First, Word/Play which tells us about the Yule Log, Jolly, Jolly Old St. Nick, St. Nicholas, and Sinterklaas

Music is "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" First in Chinese, then in Japanese.

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Friday, December 06, 2013

Hokudai/Cast 273: What is Reign?

Words in Word/Play are Rain, Reign and Didgeridoo. With music by a didgeridoo. And rain from the clouds.

Words in our Trilingual Lesson are Rain, Reign, and Three Days.

Music is

三十路のビッチ by 眉毛マッジクfrom

爱慢慢 (Love Slowly) by 叶世荣 (Yip Sai Wing) from

Lyrics to 三十路ビッチ



※what's going on?×8

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About Hokudai/Cast and 北陸大学

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Mirai Sozo is the School of Future Learning at Hokuriku University. The primary focus is on language (English and Chinese) and management (hospital administration, sports, and business).
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