Kiki-Mimi Radio

A chance discovery of a curious radio leads to unexpected consequences in this modern retelling of a Japanese classic.

In the Easier editions, we've worked to constrain the grammar to a modest set of basic patterns, and at only 27 episodes, this series should feel approachable for people who are just getting started reading real Japanese stories.

Those who are more advanced (or those who have graduated from the Easier editions) will enjoy the Harder editions, which include more challenging grammar and vocabulary, as well as Harder-only extended notes.

We hope you enjoy this story.

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Episode 1
A nearby park provides the perfect venue for the narrator's daily routine.
Notes: This episode contains notes on the difference between two words related to going out for a walk, as well as two words for "many."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier (SFX) Unread 19599
Harder (SFX) Unread 5157
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 3252
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 2198
Episode 2
The narrator takes a look around a market event going on in the park.
Notes: This episode contains several examples of a special pattern for naming examples, and a note that breaks it down.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier (SFX) Unread 7192
Harder (SFX) Unread 2327
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 1044
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 869
Pro
Episode 3
The narrator happens on an interesting item as she looks around one of the tents.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a common word that can be used to say a device or machine "runs" or "works."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier (SFX) Unread 3891
Harder (SFX) Unread 1252
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 561
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 504
Pro
Episode 4
A mysterious old man talks to the woman about the radio.
Notes: This episode contains a note on the the use of alternate kanji for common words, plus one that looks at the difference between hontou ni and hontou wa.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier (SFX) Unread 2113
Harder (SFX) Unread 839
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 321
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 343
Pro
Episode 5
As the narrator enjoys her new radio, a small hiccup occurs.
Notes: This episode contains two notes on wa being used for special effect, and a breakdown of a sentence containing degree-marking gurai.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier (SFX) Unread 1671
Harder (SFX) Unread 779
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 276
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 290
Pro
Episode 6
The woman wonders about a strange setting on the radio.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a pattern that means "to go to do something" in the sense of just beginning to undertake the action, another one on a word that means "if I recall correctly," and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier (SFX) Unread 1462
Harder (SFX) Unread 709
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 257
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 262
Pro
Episode 7
The new setting seems somehow connected to an interesting radio program.
Notes: This episode contains great demonstrations of the word yappari, as well as the pattern of asking yourself a question, to which the implied answer is "yes."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier (SFX) Unread 1380
Harder (SFX) Unread 649
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 231
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 247
Pro
Episode 8
The woman notices something strange while listening to the radio.
Notes: This episode contains a note on an expression that means "there's no way," as well as one on the use of the word yoku to express amazement.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier (SFX) Unread 1245
Harder (SFX) Unread 627
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 215
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 234
Pro
Episode 9
The woman begins to doubt her sanity as the scene becomes more and more peculiar.
Notes: This episode contains lots of fun vocabulary and expressions.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier (SFX) Unread 1174
Harder (SFX) Unread 603
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 208
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 219
Pro
Episode 10
Newcomers to the scene further surprise the woman.
Notes: This episode contains several lengthy notes, including one on the so-called "suffering passive," and one on an expression that means "just when I thought..."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier (SFX) Unread 1120
Harder (SFX) Unread 568
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 200
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 210
Pro
Episode 11
The woman tests a hypothesis.
Notes: This episode contains a note that looks at the difference between two verbs for animal vocalization, and another that breaks down a tricky sentence.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier (SFX) Unread 1239
Harder (SFX) Unread 574
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 182
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 200
Pro
Episode 12
The woman searches out another opportunity to test the radio.
Notes: This episode contains a note on why and when you must use the "seeming" -sou suffix.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier (SFX) Unread 1035
Harder (SFX) Unread 537
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 172
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 190
Pro
Episode 13
The radio leads the woman to an amphibian in distress.
Notes: This episode contains a discussion of a pair of verbs that mean "to help."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier (SFX) Unread 1110
Harder (SFX) Unread 532
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 171
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 195
Pro
Episode 14
The woman reflects on what the old man might have meant when he sold her the radio.
Notes: This episode contains dramatic vocabulary, like the words for "betray" and "misuse."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier (SFX) Unread 1024
Harder (SFX) Unread 509
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 161
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 182
Pro
Episode 15
The narrator describes where she lives.
Notes: This episode contains pleasant vocabulary like "gently sloping," as well as interesting notes, such as one on a common pattern for describing locations.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier (SFX) Unread 1056
Harder (SFX) Unread 514
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 157
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 175
Pro
Episode 16
The woman gets to work on her idea to bring more birds to her yard.
Notes: This episode contains a review of the -te kuru pattern to speak of going out to perform a task before returning, and a use of chotto to mean "hey!"
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier (SFX) Unread 923
Harder (SFX) Unread 482
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 156
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 169
Pro
Episode 17
The woman senses something is not right during her morning jog.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a special use of oboeru.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier (SFX) Unread 979
Harder (SFX) Unread 488
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 153
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 168
Pro
Episode 18
An overheard conversation between two crows, and their subsequent announcement, sheds light on what is going on.
Notes: This episode contains a cheerful word for "sun," a note on a common speech abbreviation, a note explaining why there can be different ways to write the same verb, and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier (SFX) Unread 865
Harder (SFX) Unread 463
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 141
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 157
Pro
Episode 19
A congregation of birds causes wonderment near where the woman works.
Notes: This episode contains notes on a way to consider a hypothetical scenario, an explanation of the word toriaezu, and the meaning of the word yo after a question.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier (SFX) Unread 960
Harder (SFX) Unread 460
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 146
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 157
Pro
Episode 20
The man wonders aloud about his dog's behavior, as the woman offers a suggestion.
Notes: This episode contains several notes about small points of grammar.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier (SFX) Unread 826
Harder (SFX) Unread 447
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 153
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 155
Pro
Episode 21
The woman ponders what she knows and what she can do.
Notes: This episode contains a note on how to give short ranges like "two or three minutes" or "five or six people" in Japanese.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier (SFX) Unread 894
Harder (SFX) Unread 446
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 152
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 160
Pro
Episode 22
The morning turns tumultuous as the event the animals spoke about appears to arrive.
Notes: This episode contains a detailed note on a word that means "to settle back down into an orderly state."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier (SFX) Unread 775
Harder (SFX) Unread 433
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 161
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 168
Pro
Episode 23
Sensing danger and realizing she has an opportunity to help, the woman springs to action.
Notes: This episode offers several interesting notes, including one on the often-misunderstood word tekitou.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier (SFX) Unread 821
Harder (SFX) Unread 421
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 155
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 149
Pro
Episode 24
Everyone looks anxiously to the sea.
Notes: This episode contains a note that considers different ways to speak of playing a message, as well as one that contrasts two suffixes that mean "several" and "many."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier (SFX) Unread 738
Harder (SFX) Unread 410
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 149
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 153
Pro
Episode 25
The woman and her coworkers look on in disbelief as nature trifles with the town.
Notes: This heart-pounding episode contains dramatic vocabulary and expressions, such as dokoro ka, "far from (one thing), (something else way larger)."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier (SFX) Unread 797
Harder (SFX) Unread 389
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 144
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 147
Pro
Episode 26
The mayor talks to the woman about her actions on that day.
Notes: This episode contains notes on two common words that might feel tricky.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier (SFX) Unread 697
Harder (SFX) Unread 385
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 138
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 136
Pro
Episode 27
The conclusion to Kiki-Mimi Rajio.
Notes: This episode contains notes on two useful patterns.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier (SFX) Unread 798
Harder (SFX) Unread 389
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 140
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 137