Japanese Mirrors

Article metrics


YOUR correspondents, Messrs. Atkinson, Highley, and Darbishire, have referred to several conjectures and experiments respecting the curious Japanese mirrors and the patterns they reflect. None of these gentlemen have, however, referred to the suggestion offered by Sir David Brewster in the Philosophical Magazine for December, 1832. In this paper Sir David drew attention to some similar phenomena in the light reflected from the surfaces of burnished buttons of metal, arguing that in the mirrors (of which at that time he apparently had seen no actual specimen) there were slight actual inequalities of surface, artificially produced, but concealed from observation by their slightness of depth and by the brightness of the polish. This, of course, may be independent of the particular figures raised in relief on the back, as in the case cited by Mr. Darbishire; and so thought Sir David, for he added:—

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

THOMPSON, S. Japanese Mirrors. Nature 16, 163 (1877) doi:10.1038/016163d0

Download citation


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.