Hole in the Wall

Friendship comes in many shapes and sizes.

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The narrator explains his living arrangements.
Notes: This episode contains great vocabulary and notes, such as the way to speak of your stomach growling, an adverb that refers to "careful/quiet/gentle" action, and a note about a use of mo to indicate an amount that the speaker finds noteworthy.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 3.1(928 votes)
The narrator's family experiences growing pains.
Notes: This episode contains lots of great vocabulary, such as words that mean "literally" and "at the risk of one's life," as well as a note about the style of narration in this story.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 3.1(422 votes)
Pro
The narrator explains more about his current home.
Notes: This episode contains excellent vocabulary and cultural notes related to traditional Japanese homes.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 3.0(173 votes)
Pro
The home of the narrator is situated near a convenient source of food.
Notes: This episode contains wonderful vocabulary, such as the word for "to come to light (of secrets, etc)," plus several cultural notes.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 3.0(149 votes)
Pro
With some encouragement from her mother, Kumiko performs a morning routine.
Notes: This episode contains vocabulary useful in a traditional Japanese home, such as "incense sticks," as well as notes on the verb gaman suru and a special use of nani wo.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 3.0(132 votes)
Pro
The narrator describes a part of Kumiko's morning routine and the impact it has on his family.
Notes: This episode contains more vocabulary for items found in a traditional Japanese home, a review of a word that indicates the speaker is imagining what happens in another place or time, and a step-by-step breakdown of a potentially tricky sentence.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 3.0(116 votes)
Pro
With the coast clear, the narrator checks out the day's spoils and gets an exciting surprise.
Notes: This episode contains lots of good food-related vocabulary, plus several extended notes, such as one on a variation of the "it's no good if " pattern.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 3.0(109 votes)
Pro
Kumiko and the mouse get their first good look at one another.
Notes: This episode features surprisingly useful vocabulary, such as a word that means "to hold in one's mouth," as well as a reminder about the no that stands in for another noun and a note on a use of toki that means "in such a case."
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 3.0(102 votes)
Pro
The narrator relates his recent encounter to his family.
Notes: This episode contains vocabulary such as words for "pale (of faces)" and "in an instant," plus a note on names.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.7(110 votes)
Pro
Chuuya and his father stumble upon something enticing.
Notes: This episode contains excellent vocabulary, such as a word that means "a trap," as well as a thorough explanation of a sometimes-tricky verb that means "to sandwich."
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 3.1(98 votes)
Pro
Chuuya and Kumiko make a connection.
Notes: This episode contains fun vocabulary, such as a word that means "to twitch" and one that means "a bite (of food)."
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.9(97 votes)
Pro
Kumiko introduces a new concept to Chuuya.
Notes: This episode contains expressions like the Japanese way to speak of "keeping" or "breaking" a promise, as well as a note on the use of honorific o among children.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.6(99 votes)
Pro
Chuuya reports his recent interactions, but his father has reservations.
Notes: This episode should feel straightforward, containing mostly vocabulary that we've seen before in this series, as well as another example of the accusatory nani wo that we met in Episode 5.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.7(87 votes)
Pro
Chuuya's morning is improved by a visit from Kumiko.
Notes: This episode contains lots of great vocabulary and expressions, such as "log," "to rub one's eyes," and "to share a piece of something."
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.8(85 votes)
Pro
Chuuya is excited to bring home Kumiko's gift.
Notes: This article demonstrates fun expressions like "to puff out one's chest with pride" and "to put in an appearance."
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.6(81 votes)
Pro
The family reacts in different ways to the unusual breakfast.
Notes: This episode contains notes on several words that can feel a little hard to get your mind around, such as one that means "to let your guard down" and another that means "I earnestly and repeatedly entreat you."
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.8(81 votes)
Pro
Excited by his new friendship, Chuuya looks forward to seeing Kumiko again.
Notes: This episode is a trove of mimetic words, including ones that mean "grinning," "gleaming," "smooth," and "with trepidation," along with a few notes to help you understand and remember them.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.9(70 votes)
Pro
Chuuya explains to Kumiko what their friendship has meant.
Notes: This episode contains notes on bakari occurring within a progressive, and a reminder about how to understand the word nanika when it is used as an adverb.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.8(70 votes)
Pro
Chuuya remembers a conversation with his grandfather.
Notes: This article contains interesting grammar points, such as "masculine assertion" sa and a variation on the copula used by old men in fairy tales.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.8(72 votes)
Pro
Chuuya's mother recalls a conversation with Grandpa regarding the strange breakfast item.
Notes: This episode contains useful vocabulary, such as an expression that literally means "making one's neck long = craning one's neck" in anticipation, and a discussion of the difference between two words that mean "content/contents."
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.8(68 votes)
Pro
Chuuya's realizes that he is in a special position.
Notes: This episode illustrates an alternative way of admitting fault, as well as a vocabulary word that means "to interact with" someone.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.8(62 votes)
Pro
As the family sinks their teeth into the gift from Kumiko, Chuuya anticipates his next meeting with her.
Notes: This episode contains a good example of a sentence where the colors named must be nouns rather than adjectives.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.7(57 votes)
Pro
Chuuya is eager to know how he can repay Kumiko.
Notes: This episode contains two very extensive notes.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.8(58 votes)
Pro
Kumiko broaches a topic that has been bothering her.
Notes: This episode contains examples of the word datte used in multiple different ways.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.9(55 votes)
Pro
Kumiko explains to Chuuya why she needs his help.
Notes: This story has excellent vocabulary related to Japanese school...and playground taunts.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.9(56 votes)
Pro
Chuuya makes a momentous decision.
Notes: This episode contains great expressions, such as "to float up into one's head" and "entrust it to me!" plus friendly notes and breakdowns, as always.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.8(54 votes)
Pro
Chuuya and Kumiko hammer out the details of their plan.
Notes: This episode contains a note on using -tari with only a single clause.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.7(49 votes)
Pro
Chuuya has a difficult conversation.
Notes: This episode contains a few words that might be new, like one that means "fist" and a humorous expression for getting in trouble (if you're not the one in hot water!).
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.9(51 votes)
Pro
Chuuya's father offers feedback about the plan.
Notes: This episode contains a note about a contraction for negative verbs.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.8(50 votes)
Pro
As he takes in his father's concerns, Chuuya feels various emotions.
Notes: This episode contains fun vocabulary, such as the name of a children's game that involves staring and a word that means "to speak very quickly and one-sidedly."
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 3.2(49 votes)
Pro
Chuuya's father reflects on the changing times.
Notes: This episode contains great vocabulary such as the words for "generation," "the times," and more.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.9(49 votes)
Pro
Kumiko prepares for her big day as her mother worries over her.
Notes: This fun episode contains notes on aspects of school life in Japan, and a simple pattern whose meaning might surprise you.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.9(40 votes)
Pro
The plan is set into motion.
Notes: This episode contains a note about the word omoi-kitte.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.8(42 votes)
Pro
Chuuya gets a first-hand look at how the neighborhood children get to school each morning.
Notes: This episode contains nice reminders about douyara, a transitive use of yasumu, and more.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.9(40 votes)
Pro
It's showtime as Chuuya and Kumiko near the school.
Notes: This episode contains a note on two words that relate to two kinds of behavior common to schools.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.9(38 votes)
Pro
Chuuya is amused by funny human habit.
Notes: This episode contains fun glimpses into Japanese schools and a use of the sentence-ending particle mon (mono).
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.9(35 votes)
Pro
Class gets under way.
Notes: This episode contains fun school vocabulary, such as the expression for taking attendance.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.8(38 votes)
Pro
Chuuya gets a look at how lunch works at Kumiko's school.
Notes: This episode contains some great vocabulary and notes related to school lunches in Japan.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.9(36 votes)
Pro
Something happens at lunchtime.
Notes: This episode has several useful notes, such as one that takes apart an instance of the -te morau pattern and another that explains a pattern for expanding a verb into two parts so as to insert wa or mo between them.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.9(38 votes)
Pro
Kumiko and Chuuya share lunch.
Notes: This episode contains an explanation of a pattern that we saw in the previous episode as well, which means that an action nearly happened.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.8(34 votes)
Pro
Chuuya and Kumiko head outside for some fresh air after lunch.
Notes: This episode contains two extended breakdowns of potentially tricky sentences, one that takes up the noni of lament, and one that breaks down "heated questions."
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 3.0(31 votes)
Pro
Two boys make trouble for Kumiko.
Notes: This episode illustrates two ways to make adjectives more emphatic.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 3.1(30 votes)
Pro
The two boys try to make sense of the surprising turn of events.
Notes: This episode contains a note on a verb that is used in expressions such as "to sweat" and "to snore," as well as a breakdown of a tricky sentence.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 3.2(26 votes)
Pro
A grateful but concerned Kumiko and an inquisitive Chuuya debrief..
Notes: This episode illustrates a secondary use of the verb chuui suru that might be new to you.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.6(25 votes)
Pro
Chuuya carefully observes the other children during recess.
Notes: This episode provides an in-depth look at how to use the word nakama-hazure.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.9(24 votes)
Pro
During recess, Chuuya muses over what the boys said and what it might mean for him and Kumiko.
Notes: This episode contains a suffix that can be used to create words like "movie-lover."
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.9(20 votes)
Pro
After recess, Kumiko and Chuuya run into a bump in the road at the shoe boxes.
Notes: This episode contains a note on way of correcting yourself or orienting yourself to new information by asking yourself a blunt-form question.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.8(19 votes)
Pro
At the afternoon wrap-up meeting, Kumiko's teacher brings up the topic of the missing shoes.
Notes: This episode contains interesting notes about how to talk about school periods, plus the structure of a typical school day.
Editions Status Difficulty
Standard Unread 2.6(14 votes)