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 14992
Harder (SFX) Unread 4053
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 2517
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 1753
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 5384
Harder (SFX) Unread 1762
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 778
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 688
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 2808
Harder (SFX) Unread 921
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 393
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 375
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 1532
Harder (SFX) Unread 597
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 223
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 253
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 1174
Harder (SFX) Unread 558
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 186
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 206
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 1017
Harder (SFX) Unread 499
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 178
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 184
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 954
Harder (SFX) Unread 454
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 160
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 176
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 839
Harder (SFX) Unread 435
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 152
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 168
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 784
Harder (SFX) Unread 405
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 148
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 161
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 746
Harder (SFX) Unread 381
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 140
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 154
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 863
Harder (SFX) Unread 386
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 124
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 150
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 680
Harder (SFX) Unread 357
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 117
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 142
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 758
Harder (SFX) Unread 351
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 115
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 147
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 680
Harder (SFX) Unread 332
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 106
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 133
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 715
Harder (SFX) Unread 335
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 107
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 130
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 590
Harder (SFX) Unread 307
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 100
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 120
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 662
Harder (SFX) Unread 316
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 98
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 117
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 544
Harder (SFX) Unread 297
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 87
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 107
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 643
Harder (SFX) Unread 290
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 84
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 107
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 513
Harder (SFX) Unread 285
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 90
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 105
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 586
Harder (SFX) Unread 282
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 92
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 111
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 464
Harder (SFX) Unread 267
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 95
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 115
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 521
Harder (SFX) Unread 259
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 92
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 101
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 442
Harder (SFX) Unread 254
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 87
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 107
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 508
Harder (SFX) Unread 238
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 79
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 101
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 409
Harder (SFX) Unread 237
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 78
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 88
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 513
Harder (SFX) Unread 234
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 82
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 87