In this article, I’m covering some of the readings for the kanji character 「見」. I assume the reader is familiar with the readings for 「見る・見ます」, and try to focus instead on a couple of readings found in compound words.
Following that, I list some examples of other kanji characters besides 「見」 that are used to write the verb 「みる」.
Please note: These examples come from a combination of my own authorship, and various snippets from the Tanaka Corpus of example sentences. They may not be relied upon for accuracy, as in some cases they were not written by native Japanese writers; they are intended to illustrate their particular readings and how they might be used, to the best of the author’s ability to provide them.
Additionally, this article explains my current, quite probably flawed, understanding of how the verb 「みる」 is written for various nuances. Believe at your own risk; verify all information against authentic Japanese texts as you are able. Also, note that in many of the cases where I use a kanji character other than 「見」 to write the verb 「みる」, you will find many cases where 「見」 is used in the same situation. Regarding some of these, I have heard mixed claims from Japanese as to whether such usages are “correct” or not; but they certainly happen quite frequently. 「見」 seems to be beginning to replace some of its cousins as a sort of “default” form for 「みる」, even in some cases where it may not be the most appropriate character of choice.
She may seem pretty meek on first glance, but I get the sense she can get things done when she needs to.
彼女はat first lookいっ
He is apparently a pianist.
I knew at a glance that he was an honest man.
His appearance has changed so much that you may well not recognize him.
She is not so young as she looks.
He always takes sides with her.
彼女のpoint of viewみ
観る might be used used over 見る to indicate that you are watching something take place, or that you saw something happen. It is particularly used in reference to “seeing” or “watching” a play, movie, or TV program.
She is seeing a Kabuki play now.
Many Americans love to watch the I Love Lucy show.
I saw him run away.
彼がrun away; fleeに
Tom saw a play in the new theater.
I get goose bumps when I see a horror movie.
視る might be used in preference to 見る when the “seeing” isn’t really referring to just the concept of something visible literally being before you and being seen, even though it might be. One article I read stated that 見る is when light bounces off an object and hits your cornea; whereas 視る is everything that happens after that (how your brain processes it). You 見る a painting, but you 視る the objects within a painting. 視る could be used to refer to seeing hallucinations (though 見る is also used).
視る can mean “to regard,” “to notice,” or “to take notice”; for instance, it is used in the word 無視 (むし) which combines with 無 (without; not) to mean “ignore”.
As far as I can tell, it occurs much more commonly in kana than with the kanji, but it’s worth being able to recognize it, and understand how it differs from 見る. The examples below are all from me, and so are particularly iffy; I have not been able to find many occurrences, and most of those I found seemed to be using it for technical language expressing cognitive “seeing”, as opposed to purely visual “seeing”. Knowing this, keep in mind that all of the examples given below are a bit contrived, as you most often wouldn’t see them written with that kanji; they’d probably be written with kana, or even with the character 見.
You were in the dream I had last night.
He’s regarded as a musician, but he doesn’t play any instrument.
Although he was there the whole night, Mr Yamada never noticed that man at all.
I am going to see the dentist (lit.: have the dentist see me) tomorrow.
You’re acting bizarre; you should have your head examined.
She insisted that I should see the doctor.
She went all the way to see her doctor only to find him absent.
彼女はall the wayはるばるい
My brother fell sick, so mother stayed home to look after him.
弟をtake care of; look afterみ
Since I was 12, I have been looking after my father.