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Holy Mirrors, Ancient and Contemporary
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Image by timtak
Mirrors have been regarded as sacred at least given that the Han Dynasty in China. Many of these mirrors and from the subsequent Wei dynasty have been located in Japan. They bore photos of gods and sacred animals especially the Chinese dragon (1,2) . They had been extremely common, and possibly later manufactured, in Japan. The bronze mirrors are located in wonderful number in ancient (kofun period) burial mounds in Japan.

In the greatest archeological locate of 33 mirrors, the mirrors had been placed surrounding the coffin such that their reflective surface faced the deceased.

The Han mirrors had been &quotmagic&quot in that while they reflected they had been also able to project an image typically of the deities and animals on the back and refered to as &quotlight passing mirrors&quot (透明鑑) (Needham, 1965, p.xlic Needham &amp Wang, 1977, pp. 96-97).This magic property is due to the their approach of construction. When polishing the reflective face of the mirror, the patter on the back influences the pressure brought to bear on the reflective surface and modify the extent to which it is concave. Muraoka also claims that Differences in the (slight) &quotinequality of curvature&quot (Ayrton &amp Perry, 1878, p 139 see also Thompson, 1897, and Needham &amp Wang, 1977, p96 for a diagram) of the mirror result in the mirror reflecting light bearing the pattern shown on the reverse. Much more current research has elucidated the precise mathematical model describing the optics of these mirrors as a laplacian image (Berry, 2006), a type of spatial filter right now utilized for edge detection and to blend two photos with each other.

It is not recognized whether the mirrors common in ancient Japan were also in a position to project, but later during the Nara period mirrors were found to concel magic Buddhist photos, and for the duration of the Edo period, concealed Christians (Kurishitan) concealed images of the cross or of the Holy Mary inside their bronze &quotmagic&quot mirrors.

Mirrors in Japan contined to be created of brass, till the arrival of Western glass mirrors, and had been &quotmagic&quot in that they displayed the patter on their reverse when reflecting sunlight or other effective light source (Thompson, 1897). Ayrton (Ayrton &amp Perry, 1878 Ayrton &amp Pollock, 1879) claims that in Japan mirror vendors have been unaware of the &quotlight passing&quot good quality, and that there is no mention of this ‘magical’ top quality known to Han Chinese in Japanese texts. Even a Japanese mirror maker was unaware of how to make magic mirrors though had inadvertently created one himself by extensive polishing a mirror with a style on its back (Ayrton &amp Perry, 1878, p135).

As opposed to the ancient Korean mirror leading proper (three), the ancient Han and Japanese mirrors were produced to be rotated, displaying pictures in the 4 directions of the compas.

The explanation for the holes in the central &quotbreast&quot (or nipple) is unclear but it is identified to be pierced with a hole (of varying shape based upon the manufacturer) from which the mirror was suspended by a rope.

Bearing in thoughts that the images on the mirrors needed that the mirrors be rotated, the central nodule may possibly also have enabled the mirrors to be spun like a leading. I am not sure why someone would want to spin a mirror but my son does (see the toy explained later). I would very significantly like to see what the reflected &quotmagic&quot image becomes when spun. The creatures on the reverse will be merged in the reflected image but most likely not in a laplacian way – just as concentric circles. If any person has a magic mirror I would like them to attempt spinning it to see.

Skipping the holy mirrors in shrines, mirror rice cakes, and the mirror held by the Japanese version of Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates, King Enma, which holds a record of ones life, and, jumping to the present day…

Mirrors are popular in the transformational products utilized by Japanese superheros. The early 1970’s Mirror Man transformed using a Shinto amulet infront of any mirror or reflecting surface. Shinkenja, a group of Super Sentai or Power Rangers, that transforms thanks to their potential to create and then spin Chinese characters in the air, also transforms with the help of an Inro Maru (4) upon which is affixed a inscribed disk. When the disk is attactched to the mirror the super hero inside the mirror is displayed. Transformation (henshin) by signifies of a mirror is common too amongst Japanese femail super heros notably Himitsu no Akko Chan (Secret Akko), who could modify into numerous factors that had been displayed in her mirror, sailor moon, and OshareMajo (six). The female super heroes mirrors usually make noises rather than contain inscriptions.

The most recent greatest Kamen Rider OOO often transforms by implies of his Taja-Spina which spins 3 of his totem-badge &quotcoins&quot inside a mirror (video).
In this ancient tradition we see recurrence of the following themes
1) Mirrors being of fantastic benefit to the bearer enabling him to transform.
two) Mirrors containing hidden deities
three) Mirrors becoming connected with symbols: iconic marks, and incantations.
4) Mirrors getting made to be rotated or spun.

Thanks to James Ewing for the Mirror Man (Mira-man) reference and to Tomomi Noguchi for the Ojamajo Doremi reference, and to Taku Shimonuri and my son Ray for receiving me interested in Japanese superheros.


One particular of My students (A Ms. Tanaka, and a book about the cute in Japan) pointed out that the Japanese are into round issues, and it appears to me that this Japanese preference for the round may originate in the mirror.
Anpanman and Doraemon and many &quotcharacters&quot have round faces
The Japanese Flag features a circle representing the sun and the mirror
Japanese coats of arms (kamon)
Japanese holy mirrors are round
&quotMirror rice cakes&quot, and a lot of other kinds of rice cake, are round
The Sumo ring is round
Pictures of the floating globe (Ukiyoe) usually portray the sitter in a round background
Japanese groups usually have to finish up by standing in a round
The Japanese are fond of domes and have many of the most significant
The Japanese are fond of seals (inkan), which are round
Japanese groups just can’t assist standing in a round
The taiko drum is round
The mitsudomoe is round
Mount Fuji is round
But then there are probably round items in each culture?

Ayrton, W. E., &amp Perry, J. (1878). The Magic Mirror of Japan. Part I. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, 28(190-195), 127–148.
Ayrton, W. E., &amp Pollock, W. F. (1879). The mirror of Japan and its magic quality. London: Royal Institution of Excellent Britain.
Needham, J. (1965). Science and Civilisation in China: Physics and physical technologies. Mechanical engineering. Cambridge University Press.
Needham, J., &amp Wang, L. (1977). Science and Civilisation in China: Physics and physical technology. I, Physics. Cambridge University Press.
Berry, M. V. (2006). Oriental magic mirrors and the Laplacian image. European journal of physics, 27, 109. Retrieved from and women/Berry_mv/the_papers/berry383.pdf
Spatial Filters – Laplacian/Laplacian of Gaussian. (n.d.). Retrieved April 19, 2012, from
Thompson, S. P. (1897). Light Visible and Invisible: A Series of Lectures at Royal Institution of Fantastic Britain. Macmillan. Retrieved from…

2013 Hamann Mirr6r (Basis 2013 BMW M6 F13)
mirror manufacturers
Image by Georg Sander (GS1311)
Hamann Motorsport GmbH is a German automobile tuning organization primarily based in Laupheim. It specialises in Audi, Aston Martin, Bentley, BMW, Mini, Ferrari, Fiat, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, Mercedes, Rolls Royce, Porsche and Lamborghini cars. Hamann Motorsport was founded by Richard Hamann in 1986.
The business was initially founded only to perform with vehicles created in Germany, specifically BMW, but since then, has expanded its company into other auto manufacturers such as Lamborghini, Porsche, Aston Martin and Ferrari. It also creates its own, one particular-of-a-sort vehicles.


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