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 27101
Harder (SFX) Unread 7048
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 4367
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 2844
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 10256
Harder (SFX) Unread 3246
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 1403
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 1165
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 5740
Harder (SFX) Unread 1831
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 758
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 661
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 3277
Harder (SFX) Unread 1299
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 449
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 476
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 2700
Harder (SFX) Unread 1224
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 394
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 416
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 2423
Harder (SFX) Unread 1122
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 373
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 377
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 2277
Harder (SFX) Unread 1036
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 354
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 362
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 2076
Harder (SFX) Unread 1011
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 323
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 343
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 1999
Harder (SFX) Unread 975
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 312
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 322
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 1928
Harder (SFX) Unread 939
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 303
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 300
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 1990
Harder (SFX) Unread 936
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 266
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 300
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 1767
Harder (SFX) Unread 896
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 257
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 292
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 1837
Harder (SFX) Unread 889
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 254
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 298
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 1730
Harder (SFX) Unread 864
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 239
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 283
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 1750
Harder (SFX) Unread 871
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 238
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 281
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 1600
Harder (SFX) Unread 832
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 233
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 271
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 1627
Harder (SFX) Unread 828
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 228
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 266
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 1502
Harder (SFX) Unread 794
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 214
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 258
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 1590
Harder (SFX) Unread 787
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 220
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 258
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 1454
Harder (SFX) Unread 771
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 227
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 251
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 1512
Harder (SFX) Unread 768
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 228
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 257
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 1389
Harder (SFX) Unread 751
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 257
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 271
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 1425
Harder (SFX) Unread 730
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 245
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 246
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 1320
Harder (SFX) Unread 716
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 241
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 242
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 1369
Harder (SFX) Unread 688
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 235
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 234
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 1250
Harder (SFX) Unread 678
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 221
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 221
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 1373
Harder (SFX) Unread 684
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 225
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 221