Kanshudo Component Builder
Draw a component:
Type a component or its name:
Choose from a list:
Change component list
By default the Component Builder shows the most common Joyo kanji components (ie, components which are themselves Joyo kanji, or which are used in at least 3 other Joyo kanji). Select an alternative set of components below.

For details of all components and their English names, see the Component collections.
Kanshudo Component Builder Help
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. Once you have identified any component, search for it in any of three ways:
  1. Draw it in the drawing area
  2. Type the name in the text area
  3. Look for it in the list
Example: look up 漢
  • Notice that 漢 is made of several components: 氵 艹 口 夫
  • Draw any of these components (one at a time) in the drawing area, and select it when you see it
  • Alternatively, look for a component in the list. 氵 艹 口 each have three strokes; 夫 has four strokes
  • If you know the meanings of the components, type any of them in the text area: water (氵), grass (艹), mouth (口) or husband (夫)
  • Keep adding components until you can see your kanji in the list of matches that appears near the top.
Kanshudo Component Builder Drawing Help
The Kanshudo Component Builder can recognize any of the 416 components listed in the chart below the drawing area. Tips:
  • Draw a component in the center of the area, as large as you can
  • Try to draw the component as it appears in the kanji you're looking up
  • Don't worry about stroke order or number of strokes
  • Don't draw more than one component at a time
Not finding your component?
If you believe you've drawn your component correctly but the system is not recognizing it, please:
Let us know!

The Kanshudo Blog

Welcome to the Kanshudo blog! The most recent entries are displayed here; click on any headline to read the full post. Older posts are linked from the bottom of the page.
Search the blog using Site search. Enter 'blog' as one of your keywords to restrict your search to blog posts. For example: blog kanji

New Word Collections

Posted: 2020-05-13 | Tags: vocabulary kanji collections reference
The best way to learn Japanese kanji readings is to learn the most useful words that use them. In the same way, it is easier to learn words when you can tie your knowledge of the word to the kanji used to write it.
We're delighted to introduce several new vocabulary collections which address both of these issues at once, and are ideal for building both your kanji knowledge and vocabulary: the most useful word for every reading of every kanji.
See the new collections here
There are 2136 Jōyō kanji, which in total have 4266 official readings (an average of 2 readings per kanji), so the collections present 4266 words. Learning these words is the best way to ensure you know all key readings of each of the 2136 Jōyō kanji, and a great way to learn 4266 of the most useful Japanese words.
Additionally, we include the subset of 3319 words which are 'level-appropriate' - i.e., the words most useful to learn when you first encounter the kanji. (Some readings of kanji are much less common, and not worth learning until you reach a higher level.)
Use these collections to create flashcards, add favorites, test yourself with Quick Test, or play study games!

Dynamic details and furigana toggle for example sentences

Posted: 2020-05-01 | Tags: examples search usability furigana
Regular users of Kanshudo will know that clicking any kanji or word in search results will bring up a 'quick view' with key information, enabling you to answer most questions you might have without clicking through to the details view on its own page.
Now, example sentences have something similar: click any word in an example sentence's short form view, and a new section we call 'dynamic details' will load containing all information pertinent to that word: for example, any grammar points that touch on that word, inflections, word details, and details of any kanji it contains.
Additionally, we're delighted to announce a feature that has been requested many times: the ability to toggle furigana for example sentences! You can now click the icon to the left of any example to turn furigana on or off. You can modify your default preference in your Account page.
Let's look at an example (no pun intended!):

People often say that Japanese is a difficult language.
First, go ahead and click the furigana icon - notice how the furigana (kana characters that show you how to read/pronounce kanji words) appear / disappear.
Next, click on 言われる: you'll see the 'dynamic details' view appear with details of the inflection being used, the word 言う, and the kanji 言. There's a SEARCH link so you can search for 言われる in Quick Search, and if you want similar information for all words in the example at once, you can click the DETAILS link.

Navigation improvements

Posted: 2020-04-24 | Tags: navigation
We know ... Kanshudo can be hard to navigate! It is a complex system, and there is a lot to find. We hear you, and we've made some improvements that should make it a little easier! Here's an overview of all the various ways to find things on Kanshudo. If you already know your way around, jump to the Index pages section to see the new guides. If you're just getting started, read on.
First, just a reminder that you can let Kanshudo do the navigating for you: visit your Dashboard any time by clicking the logo in the top left of the screen, and follow the study recommendations. The study recommendation AI is designed to introduce you to all Kanshudo's key functions, which will help you become familiar with the system.
Site search
If you know the name of the feature you're interested in, but you don't know where it is in the menus, you can search for it using Site search. Site search results are included in quick search results, so you can just click the quick search icon at the top right of any page.
Top menu
The top menu provides quick access to Kanshudo's main functions organized by activity:
Index pages
You can get a more comprehensive list of functions organized by activity from the four index pages. All four of these are in the INFORMATION & HELP menu at the bottom left of every page:
We've just reworked all four of these index pages - they are now much more comprehensive and easy to follow.
Bottom menu
In addition to the four key index pages, the bottom menu includes links to most of Kanshudo's key features organized by content area: kanji & kana, words, grammar, as well as more search options and admin functions.
How-to guides
Finally, Kanshudo includes several in-depth guides covering how to use the system, as well as how to learn Japanese generally:

The new and improved Component Builder

Posted: 2020-03-31 | Tags: components componentbuilder search
The Kanshudo Component Builder has been a key feature of Kanshudo since very early on in Kanshudo's history. Its core function is the ability to look up a kanji based on any combination of its components - the standard 'radical' used in traditional dictionaries, or any other component or combination of components. Since it is much easier to identify components than to find a kanji in a long list, this approach to looking up kanji is very efficient.
The original Component Builder introduced a key innovation which made the process even faster: the ability to identify a component just by typing its name. Once you know the names of standard components such as 'tree' (木) or 'sun' (日), you could simply type the name rather than searching for the component visually.
Today we are delighted to introduce another leap forward: the ability to look up any of the 400+ components used in Joyo kanji simply by drawing it. Just fire up the Component Builder, identify the components in your kanji, choose the easiest, and draw it in the drawing area! Drawing a component is much easier than drawing a complex kanji, and our system, which is built on a custom neural net designed by Kanshudo, will recognize any of the components used in Joyo kanji.
To get started, click here to open up the Component Builder in Quick Search.
For more details, read our detailed how-to guide to the Component Builder.

Item view for flashcards and list view for favorites

Posted: 2020-03-17 | Tags: flashcards favorites
As we write this, the whole world is struggling with the covid-19 pandemic. Cities (including our own San Francisco) and countries are locked down, and people everywhere are suffering from the virus itself or its after effects, including economic hardship. Our hearts go out to everyone particularly affected by this, and we wish everyone who reads this our very best as we all battle this common enemy. Stay safe!
We're writing this post to let you know about two small but valuable additions to Kanshudo: an item view for flashcards, and a list view for favorites. Read on to find out what these are and how useful they can be!
First, we've added a new view to complement the standard favorites view. In the (original) standard view, each of your favorites is presented in the same way it appears in Kanshudo search results, along with the ability to click each item and see more detail, view a kanji's components quickly and easily etc.
The new favorites list view provides a short form text summary of each of your favorites, and allows you to select each favorite with a checkbox. You can then selectively add your checked favorites to a flashcard set of your choosing, which gives you much finer-grained control.
The new item view for a flashcard set essentially gives you the opposite. Until now, the only view of your flashcards in any given set was a summary view which gave you your learning statistics and rough data. Now, we've added an item view for your set cards, which shows you each of the cards in standard Kanshudo format. To see the item view, visit your flashcards index and click VIEW for any set.
Note that any flashcards you have imported as plain text (ie, without using smart import) will not appear in the item view. If at all possible use smart import - Kanshudo flashcards are far more useful when you use them to study kanji / words / examples / grammar that the system recognizes, as Kanshudo uses that to measure your Japanese Mastery Level.