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無視する (mushi suru: to ignore)     not + to see, look at

Mushi (無視) involves the on-yomi SHI. But the kun-yomi of is mi(ru). That means that at least three kanji have the kun-yomi of mi(ru) and mean “to see”:


All three include .

Any others out there that fit the bill? Yep, there are two. Both relate to seeing someone in a medical way, and neither involves :

: to examine a patient, diagnose
: to watch, look after (often medically), take care of

These differ so much from the others that they pose no real risk of mix-ups. To know more about these two kanji, see the link.

On and

So … how are the first three different? You probably know all about (KEN, mi(ru)), your all-purpose kanji for seeing. So let’s look only at the others.

(SHI, mi(ru))

This kanji, which rarely goes by its kun-yomi, is the character to use when discussing eyesight:

視力 (shiryoku: eyesight)     to look at + power
近視 (kinshi: nearsightedness)
     near + eyesight
視界 (shikai: field of vision, visibility)
     to look at + bounds

This kanji primarily means “to regard, look at, gaze,” as in these words:

視聴者 (shichōsha: viewer, audience)
     to look at + to listen + person

Interesting that this word incorporates rather than the more common and rather than the more common (to listen). We’ve seen before.

敵視する (tekishi suru: to regard as an enemy)
     enemy + to regard
重要視する (jūyōshi suru: to regard as important, think much of)
     weighty + important + to regard

The first two characters, 重要 (jūyō), combine to mean “important.”

(KAN, mi(ru), shime(su): outlook, look, appearance, condition)

We looked at lots of examples of this one in September, so I’ll refer you back to that page to avoid repetition here. But you won’t find any kind of overall analysis there of how stacks up against the other mi(ru) candidates. Here’s one important difference. Whereas and are about the act of seeing, has more to do with being seen, with how something looks. One meaning is “appearance,” as we see in this word:

外観 (gaikan: appearance, exterior, facade)
     outside + appearance

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