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 19459
Harder (SFX) Unread 5119
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 3231
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 2183
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 7132
Harder (SFX) Unread 2309
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 1036
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 861
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 3851
Harder (SFX) Unread 1242
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 556
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 499
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 2086
Harder (SFX) Unread 827
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 317
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 337
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 1650
Harder (SFX) Unread 765
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 273
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 287
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 1441
Harder (SFX) Unread 698
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 255
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 258
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 1359
Harder (SFX) Unread 641
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 227
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 243
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 1230
Harder (SFX) Unread 621
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 212
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 229
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 1159
Harder (SFX) Unread 599
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 205
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 216
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 1109
Harder (SFX) Unread 565
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 196
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 208
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 1223
Harder (SFX) Unread 571
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 178
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 198
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 1020
Harder (SFX) Unread 533
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 169
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 186
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 1097
Harder (SFX) Unread 528
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 168
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 191
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 1012
Harder (SFX) Unread 504
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 158
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 179
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 1041
Harder (SFX) Unread 509
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 154
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 172
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 911
Harder (SFX) Unread 477
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 153
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 166
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 968
Harder (SFX) Unread 483
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 149
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 165
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 853
Harder (SFX) Unread 458
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 137
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 155
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 948
Harder (SFX) Unread 456
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 142
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 156
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 812
Harder (SFX) Unread 443
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 148
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 153
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 874
Harder (SFX) Unread 441
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 147
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 158
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 756
Harder (SFX) Unread 428
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 154
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 166
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 805
Harder (SFX) Unread 415
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 149
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 147
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 723
Harder (SFX) Unread 405
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 143
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 151
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 781
Harder (SFX) Unread 385
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 139
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 145
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 682
Harder (SFX) Unread 381
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 132
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 133
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 786
Harder (SFX) Unread 384
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 134
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 135