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 27854
Harder (SFX) Unread 7274
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 4478
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 2920
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 10584
Harder (SFX) Unread 3364
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 1443
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 1208
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 5938
Harder (SFX) Unread 1913
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 778
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 686
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 3427
Harder (SFX) Unread 1363
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 468
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 499
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 2844
Harder (SFX) Unread 1287
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 410
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 440
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 2565
Harder (SFX) Unread 1183
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 387
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 403
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 2411
Harder (SFX) Unread 1100
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 371
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 386
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 2204
Harder (SFX) Unread 1071
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 336
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 365
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 2126
Harder (SFX) Unread 1036
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 324
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 344
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 2050
Harder (SFX) Unread 993
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 314
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 324
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 2109
Harder (SFX) Unread 989
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 276
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 322
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 1876
Harder (SFX) Unread 950
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 270
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 314
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 1943
Harder (SFX) Unread 944
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 269
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 318
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 1832
Harder (SFX) Unread 916
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 253
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 304
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 1854
Harder (SFX) Unread 925
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 252
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 302
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 1695
Harder (SFX) Unread 885
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 247
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 292
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 1718
Harder (SFX) Unread 882
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 240
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 287
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 1593
Harder (SFX) Unread 846
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 227
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 279
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 1683
Harder (SFX) Unread 839
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 233
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 278
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 1545
Harder (SFX) Unread 823
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 240
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 268
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 1601
Harder (SFX) Unread 821
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 239
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 275
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 1477
Harder (SFX) Unread 799
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 270
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 290
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 1514
Harder (SFX) Unread 776
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 259
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 261
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 1402
Harder (SFX) Unread 763
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 254
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 258
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 1449
Harder (SFX) Unread 733
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 249
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 248
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 1327
Harder (SFX) Unread 725
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 234
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 233
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 1453
Harder (SFX) Unread 730
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 237
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 234