Kanshudo Component Builder
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Draw a component:
Type a component or its name:
 
Choose from a list:
Change component list
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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
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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
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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!
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JOY O' KANJI

The Joy o' Kanji Essays

Welcome to Joy o’ Kanji, which will enable you to discover the joy of kanji! Below you’ll find introductions to detailed essays covering every aspect of each Jōyō kanji. Through loads of sample sentences and images containing the character in question, the essays give you the real-world experience you need so you can master kanji. You can download the essays in PDF form. After reading them, you can play games and use flashcards to work with the vocabulary and sentences from the essay.
If a Joy o' Kanji essay is available for a kanji, you will see this badge next to it in search results.
You can also find all kanji with essays available using the special search keyword jokessay:true, and if you know the Joy o' Kanji ID (the number under the kanji in the display below), you can use the special keyword jok:1009.
These essays come from our partner, Joy o' Kanji.
More info about Joy o' Kanji
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JOK: 1009
Discover the connection between latitude and weaving. (Hint: It's as if the planet is wrapped in thread!) Learn to explain how things got to be a certain way. Read about a criminal case related to nail care. Learn about latitudes versus parallels of latitude. And play a game by considering latitudes in various titles and following them around the world to see which locations they represent.
potato
JOK: 1011
From Hokkaido to Okinawa, the Japanese grow many types of white potatoes and sweet potatoes and have scads of ways of eating them. Find out when 芋 represents which of its many definitions, why a "new potato" label is crucial, what "sweet potato color" means, and what a potato stamp is. Also see why sweet potatoes prompt passion, nostalgia, embarrassed laughter, and excuses.
epidemic
JOK: 1019
Learn Japanese words for “epidemic,” “pandemic,” “quarantine,” and “immunity.” Find out how to say, “An epidemic has broken out,” “In ancient times, many people died of plagues,” and “A worldwide plague of theft emptied art museums,” as well as “immune to measles.” Also learn to speak of immunity figuratively, as in, “I graduated from a boys’ school, so I have no immunity to women.”
ecstasy
JOK: 1020
Learn to talk about delight and pleasure, sexual and otherwise. See how the Japanese refer to religious exultation, and peek into a monk's daily life. Find out how to say, "I'm so happy for you," "I am very pleased to hear the news," and "I am most humbly delighted" (which is handy if you meet a VIP!). Get some culture by reading about fine artists, writers, a singer, and a folk-craft movement.
surpass
JOK: 1021
If you want to outdistance others, beat them to the punch, defer work till later, move to Kawagoe, climb over a wall, cross a mountain, be promoted over your boss, or simply excel, you'll need 越. It's also useful for violating borders and walking all over people. Finally, 越 enables you to cross into a new year - if you've taken the proper measures to welcome the New Year's gods.
audience
JOK: 1022
Did you know that in 1582 teenage Japanese envoys went to Europe and met the pope in Rome? And did you know that a 19th-century British painter depicted Queen Victoria’s encounter with a mysterious kneeling black king? Find out about all this, plus terms for meeting such VIPs. Also learn who opened Japan to foreign trade (not Perry!) and discover surprising words for “pope.”
monkey
JOK: 1028
In Japanese words and expressions, the monkey alternately comes off as badly behaved, wise, foolish, cunning, imitative, and uncontrolled in its passions. The interpretations of this creature's mind shift as quickly as a monkey jumping from branch to branch. Find out the Japanese equivalents of "fighting like cats and dogs," "monkey mind," and "Curious George." Also learn about the world-famous monkeys who see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil.
dirty
JOK: 1031
The 汚 kanji has 7 Joyo yomi! What's more, 汚す can be よごす or けがす, just as 汚れる represents よごれる and けがれる. Learn when each yomi is appropriate. Scads of sample sentences help you get the hang of the yomi, one of which played a key role in a major movie. Whether you want to talk about dirty rooms, dirty dealings, or dirty words, 汚 is your kanji.
concave
JOK: 1032
English speakers rarely refer to concavity, but the Japanese use 凹 in an astonishing variety of ways. They need it when writing about everything from dimpled golf balls, potholes, and cupped hands to inconsistent income and the moon's irregular surface. With 凹, one can also mention cognitive and psychological states. And this kanji is crucial in discussions of both topography and flat abs!
venerable old man
JOK: 1037
Learn to say “old man” in insulting and respectful ways, as well as “the great Basho.” See why it’s not weird to name a baby 翁. Find out how a monk defeated a rock, how the rock still causes trouble, and how a hammer was named after the monk! Read about a Japanese man named after the Great Wall of China. And see why Westerners and the Japanese have opposite views of the albatross.
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