Seeing Things with ้ก kagami

้ก – Words using ้ก

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In today’s lesson, we will look at five words using the kanji for mirror: ้ก kagami


You may remember this kanji by looking at its three parts: ้‡‘ (gold) ็ซ‹ (stand) ่ฆ‹ (to see) = You stand to see yourself as gold.

Kagami by itself means "mirror" and is thought to have come from shadow (ๅฝฑ) and to look (่ฆ‹). Shadow, ๅฝฑ 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.

  • ็งใŒ้กใ‚’่ฆ‹ใ‚‹ใจใ€้กใŒๅ‰ฒใ‚Œใพใ™ใ€‚

  • 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:

  • ๆœ›้ ้ก bouenkyou telescope
  • ๅŒ็œผ้ก sougankyou binoculars
  • ้ก•ๅพฎ้ก kenbikyou microscope

ๆœ›้ ้ก bouenkyou telescope

You’ll recognize the ้ก as kyou. The first two characters ๆœ›้  bouen mean "to see at a distance." So, ๆœ›้  bouen plus kyou means telescope.

ๅŒ็œผ้ก sougankyou binoculars

ๅŒ็œผ sougan means both eyes and when kyou is added, it becomes binoculars.

้ก•ๅพฎ้ก kenbikyou microscope

The first kanji ้ก• means "exposed," "unconcealed". The second is "something very small." With kyou, you are exposing something very small.

Here are two bonus words that you may already know.

็œผ้ก megane (eye) glasses
่™ซ็œผ้ก mushi megane magnifying glass

Bimyo-na Nihongo

If you like this kind of lesson, you may enjoy this book: Bimyo-na Nihongo or check out our other books on building vocabulary.

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