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 8205
Harder (SFX) Unread 2446
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 1356
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 1088
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 3061
Harder (SFX) Unread 1091
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 426
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 454
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 1544
Harder (SFX) Unread 565
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 207
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 236
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 833
Harder (SFX) Unread 358
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 112
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 161
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 643
Harder (SFX) Unread 325
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 90
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 125
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 538
Harder (SFX) Unread 287
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 86
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 111
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 512
Harder (SFX) Unread 254
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 84
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 106
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 429
Harder (SFX) Unread 244
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 71
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 100
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 410
Harder (SFX) Unread 225
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 68
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 91
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 401
Harder (SFX) Unread 211
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 66
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 89
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 533
Harder (SFX) Unread 217
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 59
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 89
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 368
Harder (SFX) Unread 203
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 50
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 75
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 453
Harder (SFX) Unread 192
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 55
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 84
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 383
Harder (SFX) Unread 185
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 49
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 72
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 421
Harder (SFX) Unread 188
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 48
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 66
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 321
Harder (SFX) Unread 165
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 40
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 63
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 388
Harder (SFX) Unread 168
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 45
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 63
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 284
Harder (SFX) Unread 159
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 37
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 55
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 386
Harder (SFX) Unread 157
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 39
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 56
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 264
Harder (SFX) Unread 157
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 39
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 51
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 346
Harder (SFX) Unread 152
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 40
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 55
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 226
Harder (SFX) Unread 142
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 40
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 54
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 293
Harder (SFX) Unread 137
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 36
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 45
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 212
Harder (SFX) Unread 134
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 30
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 52
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 283
Harder (SFX) Unread 120
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 24
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 48
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 185
Harder (SFX) Unread 117
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 26
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 37
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 287
Harder (SFX) Unread 111
Easier (Voice Only) Unread 26
Harder (Voice Only) Unread 38