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50 COMPONENTS

The 50 most common components

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Here we present the 50 components which are used most frequently in the 2136 most common kanji (the Jōyō Kanji), prioritized by frequency (i.e., the most useful / common components are first). They appear in the actual form in which they are used - so components which have multiple variants appear multiple times in the component list (although this only occurs once in the top 50).
Study the 50 most common components now: start with Drawing Practice. Then create free
FLASHCARDS
Contents
1. Introduction to components
Every Japanese kanji is made of one or more reusable 'components', which (typically) have the same meaning whenever they appear. This enables you to learn a kanji by thinking of it as a collection of components. For more on this, see our introduction to kanji components.
Learning the most common components will greatly accelerate your ability to master the kanji. Luckily, Kanshudo makes this very easy, because every kanji is presented in cascading kanji™ format, with each component shown below the main kanji. This means that you are constantly encountering the most common components, which quickly reinforces your memory of them.
The most frequently occurring component is 氵, an abbreviated form of 水, which occurs in 114 of the most common kanji! In other words, just learning that one component will give you a head start at learning 114 kanji, which is over 5% of the kanji in daily use. Even the 50th most common component, 巾, which means 'turban', occurs 16 times.
2. The 50 most common components
1-5 water mouth tree man hand SEARCH
6-10 say thread grass sun ground SEARCH
11-15 heart move roof woman / female body part SEARCH
16-20 shellfish one gold grain hill SEARCH
21-25 bamboo sword heart strike ten SEARCH
26-30 rice field mountain little bird 广 stony cliff page SEARCH
31-35 whereupon effort inch car fire SEARCH
36-40 eye step big again rice SEARCH
41-45 king stand group cover / covered corpse SEARCH
46-50 horse stone man net turban SEARCH
3. Further study - the 214 standard radicals and more components
Alas, 50 components is not the end of the story ... In fact, there are a few hundred, although some of them are used very infrequently. For further study, see our three comprehensive lists of components:
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Change component list
By default the component builder shows the most common components (themselves joyo kanji, or used in at least 3 other joyo kanji). Select an alternative set of components below.



Full details of all components and their English names can be found here.
Help with the component builder
For detailed instructions, see the Component builder how to guide.
To find any kanji, first try to identify the components it is made up of.
For any components you recognize, if you know the English meaning or name, start typing it in the text area. Full details of all components and their English names can be found here.
Alternatively, count the strokes of the component, and scan the list to find it visually.
Example
To find the kanji :
  • Notice that it is made of several components: 氵 艹 口 夫.
  • 氵 艹 口 all have three strokes, so you could look in the list in the 3 stroke section. 夫 has four strokes.
  • Alternatively, you could start typing 'water' (氵), 'grass' (艹), 'mouth' (口) or 'husband' (夫) in the search area, and the components will be highlighted in yellow.
  • Keep adding components until you can see your kanji in the list of matches that appears near the top.