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Seeing Things with 鏡 kagami

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In today's lesson, we will look at five words using the kanji for mirror: 鏡 kagami

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You may remember this kanji by looking at its three parts: 金 (gold) 立 (stand) 見 (to see) = You stand to see yourself as gold.


Kagami by itself means "mirror" and is thought to have come from shadow (影) and to look (見). Shadow, 影 kage, also can have the meaning of reflection or image. So kagami may have come from kagemi--looking at one's image.

Anyway, kagami means "mirror" today and is the basis for our words in this lesson.

  • 私が鏡を見ると、鏡が割れます。
  • watashi ga kagami wo miruto, kagami ga waremasu.
  • When I look at a mirror, the mirror breaks.

Another reading for kagami is kyou and when stuck at the end, it acts kind of like the English suffix "-scope"

Here are the three main words:

  • 望遠鏡 bouenkyou telescope
  • 双眼鏡 sougankyou binoculars
  • 顕微鏡 ke