Akiko's American Foreign Exchange

Life is a journey.

When fresh-faced Akiko arrives in Seattle on a foreign exchange, she has no idea the twists and turns that await her. Told through Akiko's diary entries with an unpretentious intimacy, this upbeat story will inspire you and capture your heart.

The Easier editions will feel accessible to newer readers, while the Harder editions feature grammar and vocab that will allow more experienced readers to grow. (133 episodes)

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Akiko starts her adventure in Seattle.
Notes: This series is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and incomplete sentences. This episode contains an excellent discussion of using the verb tobu, "to fly," and a discussion of using polite verbs in personal writing.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 20030
Harder Unread 8370
Akiko prepares to navigate to school.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and many incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 8549
Harder Unread 4238
Pro
Akiko muses about the day's successes.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and many incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 4630
Harder Unread 2464
Pro
Akiko has her first day of school and realizes she's in for a challenge.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and many incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 2730
Harder Unread 1646
Pro
Akiko experiences culture shock over household customs.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and many incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 2341
Harder Unread 1504
Pro
Akiko enjoys movie night with her host family.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 2097
Harder Unread 1372
Pro
Akiko muses about her new school friends.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 1926
Harder Unread 1266
Pro
Going out to see a movie with a school friend leads to a revelation about Akiko's past.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 1771
Harder Unread 1193
Pro
A discussion over breakfast leads to reflection on the role of religion in the two cultures.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 1699
Harder Unread 1169
Pro
Akiko begins her search for a place to volunteer but hits an early snag.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 1633
Harder Unread 1108
Pro
Pizza night with the host family leads to more cultural discoveries.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and many incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 1528
Harder Unread 1056
Pro
After being hit on during her morning commute, Akiko opens up to Ginger about her past.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and many incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 1506
Harder Unread 1005
Pro
Akiko muses about different dating patterns among her fellow exchange students.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and many incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 1388
Harder Unread 954
Pro
Akiko attends orientation for the Chicken Soup Team.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and many incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 1324
Harder Unread 915
Pro
The discovery of Green Lake delights Akiko and provides the perfect place to wind down after an exciting week.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and many incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 1291
Harder Unread 903
Pro
Akiko reflects on her first half month in America.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and many incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 1240
Harder Unread 877
Pro
Akiko meets the gang during her first day at Chicken Soup Team.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and many incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 1215
Harder Unread 848
Pro
An opportunity for side income appears.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and many incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 1191
Harder Unread 821
Pro
Akiko recalls the personal history leading up to her current foreign exchange.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and many incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 1157
Harder Unread 807
Pro
Akiko begins to make a name for herself at Chicken Soup Team.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and many incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 1144
Harder Unread 788
Pro
Her school week finished, Akiko enjoys the simple pleasure of a Friday night picnic with the family.
Notes: This article contains notes about the pattern "X ga ureshii," speech-imitative spellings, and, as always, lots of useful vocabulary.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 1117
Harder Unread 763
Pro
Akiko enjoys Golden Gardens Park with her host family, but the natural beauty brings up painful memories of the past.
Notes: This article contains important vocabulary and expressions such as "having an affair," and the pattern for saying something is someone's fault.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 1084
Harder Unread 756
Pro
Golden Gardens provides the perfect location to do homework and people-watching at the same time.
Notes: This episode contains patterns for informal questions and commands that might be new to you, plus a few excellent storytelling expressions in the Harder edition.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 1046
Harder Unread 748
Pro
Akiko reflects on the local culture.
Notes: This episode features straightforward grammar and lots of useful vocabulary.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 1018
Harder Unread 734
Pro
Akiko has a stressful moment at her Sunday volunteering gig.
Notes: This longer article is full of vocabulary-building opportunities and interesting annotations.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 998
Harder Unread 707
Pro
As Akiko begins to feel a cold coming on, she reflects about different bathing habits.
Notes: This episode contains lots of good expressions, such as a good way to speak of feeling "sluggish/dull," as well as a cultural note related to the phrase o-yu wo tameru, "to draw a bath."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 982
Harder Unread 689
Pro
Akiko looks forward to an upcoming school transfer.
Notes: This shorter article should be mostly straightforward, with perhaps one or two new vocabulary items.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 964
Harder Unread 687
Pro
Ginger gives Akiko some friendly advice on balance.
Notes: This episode contains good examples of vocabulary one might use to speak of introspection.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 942
Harder Unread 689
Pro
Akiko reflects on her childhood choices.
Notes: This episode contains great examples of what an admonishing parent sounds like.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 937
Harder Unread 687
Pro
Akiko's earlier conversation with Ginger leads to a day of soul-searching.
Notes: This episode contains a common expression meaning "I don't even know myself," and examples of noni being used in different patterns.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 914
Harder Unread 689
Pro
Akiko nervously babysits for her host family.
Notes: Several extended annotations help to break down the more challenging sentences in this episode.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 934
Harder Unread 676
Pro
Akiko rolls up her sleeves and tackles cleaning the house.
Notes: This episode contains interesting cultural tidbits, such as an explanation of a standard way of describing house sizes in Japanese.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 874
Harder Unread 648
Pro
Akiko gets a lesson in slang from her friends at work.
Notes: This episode has useful notes on the differences between chanto and kichinto, the two different ways to use takusan, and a reminder on how to say that one "should not do" something.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 865
Harder Unread 652
Pro
Her first month behind her, Akiko looks forward to the next stage of her study-abroad.
Notes: This episode contains great school-related vocabulary, such as words for one's score on a test, the verb for "taking" tests, and the name of a common placement test.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 840
Harder Unread 635
Pro
Akiko does a little reconnaissance on her new school.
Notes: This article contains three different uses of the word kurai, with notes breaking them all down.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 826
Harder Unread 612
Pro
Akiko's interest is piqued when she learns more about the hiking club from school.
Notes: This episode contains an explanation of why pittari works with the particle ni, as well as an interesting expression relating to enticing opportunities.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 818
Harder Unread 605
Pro
Akiko gets in touch with the hiking club but encounters a small wrinkle.
Notes: This article contains good vocabulary and grammar related to making arrangements to participate in group activities.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 802
Harder Unread 593
Pro
A chance find and the kindness of friends make Akiko happy.
Notes: The Harder edition of this longer episode contains several challenging sentences, but the Easier edition should be accessible to most.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 797
Harder Unread 594
Pro
It's checklist time as Akiko prepares for a hike.
Notes: This episode contains useful grammar, such as an example of omitting the verb of saying or thinking in favor of reporting a simultaneously occurring action, as well as the pattern for invocations ("may such-and-such occur").
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 803
Harder Unread 585
Pro
Akiko meets up for her first hike. But has she bitten off more than she can chew?
Notes: This episode contains an interesting note on the distinction between ni and de with certain verbs such as shuugou suru.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 783
Harder Unread 594
Pro
Akiko gets acquainted with her fellow hikers en route to the trailhead.
Notes: This episode contains three different uses of the word kurai.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 753
Harder Unread 575
Pro
Akiko's concern about the hike deepens as she learns about the local wildlife.
Notes: This episode contains useful expressions such as (in the Harder edition) the usual way to say "No one told me that (such-and-such)!"
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 747
Harder Unread 573
Pro
It's go-time as Akiko and company arrive at the mountain.
Notes: This episode contains interesting notes such as one on the difference between two ways of counting objects, and (in the Harder edition) an excellent verb that means "to infer based on another's expressions or actions."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 720
Harder Unread 565
Pro
Akiko experiences the wonders of the Pacific Northwest.
Notes: This episode contains interesting vocabulary, as well as notes on the difference between ishi and iwa; phrases similar to "one of my friends" in English, and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 715
Harder Unread 553
Pro
The group progresses up the mountain.
Notes: This fun episode contains great vocabulary like "direct sunlight" and "for the time being."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 705
Harder Unread 542
Pro
The group comes to a crossroads and must make a decision.
Notes: This episode contains an interesting discussion of viewpoint within indirect quotations.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 686
Harder Unread 527
Pro
The beautiful Snow Lake beckons to Akiko.
Notes: This episode contains a nice example of wa being used to name and evaluate several options in turn.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 663
Harder Unread 515
Pro
Akiko is enthralled with the beauty of the Pacific Northwest as the group continues to Snow Lake.
Notes: This episode contains great vocabulary, such as words for "mysterious" and "Great Nature," as well as an extended note on a way of creating and using ad-hoc descriptions of colors.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 646
Harder Unread 512
Pro
The group makes it to the lake.
Notes: This chapter contains fun vocabulary, such as a way to call something "funny," an expression that refers to a "growling stomach," and a word for "serious" that literally means "real sword."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 635
Harder Unread 514
Pro
Akiko is spellbound by a magical scene at the lake.
Notes: This wonderful episode contains important vocabulary and notes, such as one on why certain verbs, such as kooru, "to freeze," appear in their progressive forms to mean a current state.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 649
Harder Unread 519
Pro
As the group sits down to eat, Akiko's lunchbox becomes something of a sensation.
Notes: This episode contains an extensive breakdown of different ways of talking and writing about "chicken."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 640
Harder Unread 516
Pro
The group begins their return.
Notes: This article contains great vocabulary, like the words for "nap" and "to slip/slide," and interesting notes, as always.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 630
Harder Unread 498
Pro
The group makes their way down the mountain.
Notes: This episode contains descriptive vocabulary like a word that means "scattered here and there" and one that means "overly optimistic."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 622
Harder Unread 496
Pro
The group helps Amanda with her knee.
Notes: This episode contains useful vocabulary, such as a verb that means "to accept as a satisfying explanation" and one that means "to give a piggy-back ride."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 613
Harder Unread 491
Pro
As the group nears the end of their journey, Akiko reflects.
Notes: This episode contains great vocabulary such as "wireless radio (e.g., walkie-talkie)" and "underestimate," as well as a note on how the tense of the verb that comes before toki can affect meaning.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 613
Harder Unread 492
Pro
Akiko parts ways with the group back in Seattle.
Notes: This episode contains fun vocabulary like words for "discovery," "to be suited to something," and "various/scattered."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 629
Harder Unread 474
Pro
Ginger asks whether Akiko didn't forget something on the mountain.
Notes: This episode contains useful vocabulary, such as "sunscreen" and "marks" left behind by something.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 703
Harder Unread 483
Pro
Akiko relates her stories of adventure to Ginger and Scott.
Notes: This episode has fun vocabulary like "tales of adventure" and "fulfilling," as well as interesting notes, as always.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 617
Harder Unread 484
Pro
An unexpected phone call surprises Akiko on her first day of classes.
Notes: This episode contains dramatic dialog and lots of great vocab, such as a word that means "at this late stage."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 643
Harder Unread 488
Pro
As Akiko hurries off to school, she reflects on the phone call.
Notes: This episode contains good examples of the nante of surprise or disdain, a note on the word katte, and lots of great vocab, as always.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 620
Harder Unread 466
Pro
Akiko recalls a fateful event from last year.
Notes: This emotionally charged episode features a good example of a heated exchange, with breakdowns of patterns that commonly occur in such discussions.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 615
Harder Unread 457
Pro
Akiko relives a confrontation with her husband.
Notes: This episode contains great examples of "heated Japanese," grammar and expressions you're likely to hear in an argument.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 611
Harder Unread 459
Pro
Akiko and her husband have different ideas about their roles in the relationship.
Notes: This episode contains more good examples of "heated questions," speech contractions, and a special use of dakara that means "I just said this five seconds ago."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 604
Harder Unread 458
Pro
Akiko makes a decision.
Notes: This episode has a note on a potentially tricky use of tonikaku, as well as lots of interesting vocabulary words and expressions, as usual.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 577
Harder Unread 456
Pro
Akiko collects herself and tackles her first day at college.
Notes: This episode contains useful vocabulary, such as the word for "to encourage."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 569
Harder Unread 452
Pro
Akiko has an interesting encounter while waiting in line.
Notes: This episode contains a reminder about the use of the word kuru with verbs of speech, and a note about a pattern that you can use with any verb to mean it is comfortable to do that verb.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 565
Harder Unread 449
Pro
Akiko meets with her student advisor.
Notes: This relatively straightforward episode nonetheless contains interesting vocabulary.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 623
Harder Unread 454
Pro
Akiko gets a pleasant surprise.
Notes: This article contains useful vocabulary like words for "insurance," "used (books, cars, etc)," and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 558
Harder Unread 438
Pro
A fellow student approaches Akiko with a proposition.
Notes: This episode contains useful vocabulary, such as the words for "homework," "textbook," and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 568
Harder Unread 434
Pro
Akiko considers Forest's idea.
Notes: This episode contains great vocabulary related to the study of language, such as words for "vocabulary word," "grammar," and so on.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 548
Harder Unread 435
Pro
Akiko experiences a beautiful moment as she continues to prepare for classes.
Notes: This episode contains a note on how to create strings of days of the week, like "Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 543
Harder Unread 443
Pro
Akiko reflects on her priorities.
Notes: This episode contains a breakdown of the potentially tricky word o-tagai, plus great vocab, as always.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 552
Harder Unread 428
Pro
Two familiar faces cheer Akiko up.
Notes: This episode contains useful vocabulary and interesting discussions, such as one about the difference between two ways of saying you feel impressed.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 544
Harder Unread 416
Pro
Akiko discovers that sometimes studying a foreign language can bring you to the highest highs...and the lowest lows.
Notes: This episode contains great vocabulary, like a phrase that means "to keep up (with a class, etc)" and a word that means "a repeating cycle."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 565
Harder Unread 414
Pro
Akiko gains a new friend in class.
Notes: This episode contains a useful breakdown of the difference between two words that mean "class."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 554
Harder Unread 411
Pro
Akiko proposes a mutually beneficial arrangement to Forest.
Notes: This episode contains useful notes on how to use the words tetsudau and egaku.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 534
Harder Unread 414
Pro
Forest and Akiko have their first study session together.
Notes: This episode contains several thought-provoking notes, including one in the Harder edition regarding why a common "incorrect" usage of zenzen might not be so wrong after all.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 530
Harder Unread 412
Pro
Akiko is surprised by Forest's feedback on her Japanese tutoring.
Notes: This episode contains a note about the origins of the familiar term to ka as well as a breakdown of three different verbs related to talking.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 521
Harder Unread 409
Pro
Akiko gains confidence at school.
Notes: This episode contains great vocabulary, like "used (items for sale)" and "keep up (with class, etc)."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 551
Harder Unread 407
Pro
Forest makes an intriguing offer.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a word that can mean both "to consult" and "to look up in" a dictionary.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 512
Harder Unread 398
Pro
Akiko reacts to Forest.
Notes: This episode nicely demonstrates real-life variations on two textbook patterns.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 510
Harder Unread 403
Pro
Akiko gives more thought to Forest's proposal.
Notes: This episode contains a useful expression that means "by means of X" or "through X," as well as an example of a slightly unusual reading of a common character.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 508
Harder Unread 398
Pro
As she approaches the midway point in her first quarter, something surprising happens at school.
Notes: This episode features fun vocabulary such as a word that means "brazenly/confidently."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 499
Harder Unread 403
Pro
Akiko makes new discoveries as she tackles figure drawing.
Notes: This episode contains a review of two ways of reading the word for "draw" and how to know when to use which.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 508
Harder Unread 399
Pro
Akiko begins to feel excited about new possibilities.
Notes: This enjoyable episode contains fun expressions like "to float into one's head" and "to wonder."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 515
Harder Unread 403
Pro
Akiko reflects on what this new opportunity means to her.
Notes: This episode contains notes on the difference between two words that mean "a sound," as well as a reminder about loanwords that are similar to English words.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 487
Harder Unread 379
Pro
Time flies when you're in the zone.
Notes: This episode contains a note on why the word mazu often appears with wa.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 483
Harder Unread 373
Pro
Akiko rushes to share her work with Forest.
Notes: This episode contains a note on the use of the word hou to mean a roughly defined area.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 468
Harder Unread 372
Pro
Akiko wakes up in an unfamiliar place.
Notes: This episode contains several useful medical terms.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 471
Harder Unread 366
Pro
A friendly doctor explains Akiko's situation.
Notes: This episode contains useful words and phrases like "individual differences" and "CT scan."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 461
Harder Unread 367
Pro
The doctor continues filling Akiko in on the situation.
Notes: This episode contains a note that explains the very terse style you will see some words written in.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 450
Harder Unread 360
Pro
Akiko is comforted by a concerned Ginger.
Notes: This episode contains a long breakdown of a short but potentially tricky-feeling sentence.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 437
Harder Unread 359
Pro
Akiko is finally able to make an important hand-off to Forest.
Notes: This episode contains several interesting notes, such as one on the difference between ukeru and uketoru (in the Easier edition), as well as one on the use of moushi-wake nai as an adjective (in both editions).
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 444
Harder Unread 358
Pro
Akiko settles in for the weekend.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a deceptively complex sentence that includes three parties, none of them explicitly named.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 428
Harder Unread 354
Pro
Ginger cares for Akiko as Akiko reflects on the day.
Notes: This episode contains an opportunity to review the pattern for naming what you are apologizing for, plus a discussion for a word that literally means "I accept defeat."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 424
Harder Unread 345
Pro
Akiko adjusts to life with the kidney stone.
Notes: This episode contains a note on the use of tabi ni to mean "every time" something happens and one on the use of hou to divide a continuum into two halves.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 427
Harder Unread 338
Pro
The entire family shares a moment with Akiko.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a euphemism for using the bathroom.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 416
Harder Unread 337
Pro
Akiko finally gets the feedback she has been waiting for.
Notes: This episode has great language-learning vocabulary, like "grammar" and "vocabulary."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 419
Harder Unread 331
Pro
It's midterms week for Akiko and her fellow students.
Notes: The "Harder" level of this episode contains two somewhat special vocabulary words, along with notes that explain how to use them with examples.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 430
Harder Unread 341
Pro
Forest explains his reasons for wanting to introduce his friend.
Notes: The Harder edition of this episode contains a note on a word that means "living."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 416
Harder Unread 341
Pro
Akiko hears out Forest's friend as he makes an offer.
Notes: This episode contains a note on the word pittari and another one that means "there isn't (normally) such a good thing."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 391
Harder Unread 327
Pro
Akiko considers the intriguing offer.
Notes: This episode contains a note about a word that means "the feeling that something is real and a verb it is often used with.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 399
Harder Unread 335
Pro
As she prepares for her day, Akiko is surprised by an unexpected visitor.
Notes: The Easier edition breaks down a use of na that might initially feel tricky. The Harder edition looks at a suffix commonly used with body parts.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 402
Harder Unread 327
Pro
The scene at the doorstep develops as a friend appears.
Notes: This episode contains a note on the use of hitori as a suffix.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 379
Harder Unread 313
Pro
Akiko and the visitor change venues to discuss things.
Notes: This episode contains useful vocab and expressions, such as those for "heartening" and "to ruin."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 378
Harder Unread 313
Pro
Takuya broaches the topic he has come to discuss.
Notes: This episode contains a note that compares two ways of talking about having an "intention" or "inclination" to do something.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 374
Harder Unread 314
Pro
Akiko explains how she has grown to a surprised Takuya.
Notes: This episode contains a note on different ways the word for "responsibility" can be used, as well as a nice example of the "noni of lament."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 376
Harder Unread 303
Pro
Akiko describes what she is looking for--and what she is not--to a fuming Takuya.
Notes: This episode contains an excellent word for conveying remorse, and a comparison of three words related to apologies.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 372
Harder Unread 301
Pro
Akiko reunites with the gang feeling refreshed.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a way to create extra strong versions of adjectives and a word that means "to look dazed."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 355
Harder Unread 291
Pro
Back at school, Akiko also pushes forward with the writing project.
Notes: This episode contains great school vocabulary like "final exams," plus interesting notes, as always.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 356
Harder Unread 282
Pro
Akiko uses her story as the basis for a reading club at school.
Notes: This episode contains interesting expressions such as "to hear my request = to respond positively."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 355
Harder Unread 272
Pro
Akiko remembers her time working in audio production in Tokyo.
Notes: This episode contains a note on the multiple ways to write the word tsukuru.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 350
Harder Unread 277
Pro
Akiko reflects on the encounters that have led to this moment.
Notes: This episode contains fun vocabulary, such as the word for someone who works behind the scenes.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 345
Harder Unread 263
Pro
As the performance comes to an end, Akiko's audience reacts.
Notes: This episode contains great expressions like "to be on the edge of your seat" and a way of saying something is "deep; profound."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 344
Harder Unread 261
Pro
Akiko presents an idea she has been working on.
Notes: This episode contains great vocabulary, such as words for "editor," "equipment," "teary-eyed," and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 338
Harder Unread 255
Pro
Akiko juggles end-of-quarter reports and projects.
Notes: This episode contains a few new words such as the ones for "portrait" and "final exams."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 328
Harder Unread 237
Pro
An unexpected phone call jolts Akiko's nerves.
Notes: This episode contains mostly straightforward vocabulary and grammar. The Harder editions contains several notes on interesting expressions and vocabulary.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 328
Harder Unread 236
Pro
Akiko has an important conversation.
Notes: This episode contains useful vocabulary, such as an expression that means "to switch the phone to a different person."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 307
Harder Unread 235
Pro
Akiko makes a promise to her grandmother.
Notes: This episode, which contains mostly straightforward vocabulary and grammar, demonstrates that sometimes simple sentences can be the most powerful.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 310
Harder Unread 231
Pro
An update awaits Akiko as she wakes up the next morning.
Notes: This episode contains notes on several important vocabulary words and patterns.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 305
Harder Unread 221
Pro
An uncertain Akiko thinks about her next steps.
Notes: This episode takes up the word sayo(u)nara as well as the word tengoku.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 299
Harder Unread 219
Pro
Akiko faces a normal day in a changed world.
Notes: This episode contains notes on the word tsui and our old friend tonikaku.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 293
Harder Unread 211
Pro
Akiko meets someone at school.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a special use of hitotsu and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 295
Harder Unread 207
Pro
Akiko continues to talk with Brian.
Notes: This episode contains a cultural note about giving money at funerals, plus a note explaining the tricky suffix -ake, which can mean either the beginning or the end of a period.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 288
Harder Unread 201
Pro
Akiko prepares to return to Japan.
Notes: This episode contains a note explaining a use of the -te iku pattern that might not be obvious.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 281
Harder Unread 203
Pro
Akiko boards her flight.
Notes: This episode contains notes on the words masaka, ochitsuku, and more.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 294
Harder Unread 203
Pro
The passenger sitting beside Akiko engages her in conversation.
Notes: This episode contains a breakdown of a tricky expression, plus a note to help remember the unusual reading of a word that means "a fit/an attack."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 278
Harder Unread 189
Pro
Akiko lands in Japan and reflects on her conversation with the stranger.
Notes: This episode contains a discussion of a phrase with tokoro that could be interpreted in two different ways.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 262
Harder Unread 185
Pro
Akiko remembers the time leading up to her foreign exchange.
Notes: This episode contains a figurative use of the word katachi, "form/shape."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 265
Harder Unread 183
Pro
Akiko recalls the wise words of her grandmother.
Notes: This episode contains great vocabulary, as always.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 254
Harder Unread 170
Pro
Akiko brings us up to speed on the new developments in her life.
Notes: This episode contains interesting vocab and expressions, as always.
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 245
Harder Unread 163
Pro
Sometimes chance meetings can change your life forever.
Notes: This episode contains a review of a use of ue de to mean "upon that foundation."
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 218
Harder Unread 155
Pro
Akiko bids us adieu in this touching final episode.
Notes: Includes a message from the author. Thank you for reading on behalf of all of us!
Editions Status Total Readers
Easier Unread 246
Harder Unread 157