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 21201
Harder (SFX) Unread 5570
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 3492
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 2372
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 7834
Harder (SFX) Unread 2526
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 1128
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 961
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 4264
Harder (SFX) Unread 1365
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 598
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 550
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 2354
Harder (SFX) Unread 939
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 348
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 381
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 1865
Harder (SFX) Unread 869
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 301
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 320
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 1650
Harder (SFX) Unread 789
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 282
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 287
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 1547
Harder (SFX) Unread 729
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 258
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 274
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 1404
Harder (SFX) Unread 708
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 237
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 260
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 1338
Harder (SFX) Unread 686
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 229
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 246
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 1284
Harder (SFX) Unread 654
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 221
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 233
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 1386
Harder (SFX) Unread 657
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 198
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 224
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 1182
Harder (SFX) Unread 617
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 190
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 217
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 1257
Harder (SFX) Unread 609
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 189
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 222
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 1163
Harder (SFX) Unread 588
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 179
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 210
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 1189
Harder (SFX) Unread 597
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 175
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 205
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 1054
Harder (SFX) Unread 562
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 172
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 195
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 1107
Harder (SFX) Unread 559
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 168
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 192
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 986
Harder (SFX) Unread 533
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 157
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 183
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 1084
Harder (SFX) Unread 530
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 162
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 184
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 950
Harder (SFX) Unread 516
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 167
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 179
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 1011
Harder (SFX) Unread 517
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 171
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 183
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 895
Harder (SFX) Unread 500
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 181
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 194
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 938
Harder (SFX) Unread 487
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 175
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 172
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 846
Harder (SFX) Unread 473
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 170
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 177
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 903
Harder (SFX) Unread 452
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 165
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 169
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 803
Harder (SFX) Unread 447
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 159
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 160
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 907
Harder (SFX) Unread 452
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 161
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 159