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!

The Joy o' Kanji Essays

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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.
memory
JOK: 1039
Our unreliable memories play fascinating tricks on us. See how the Japanese talk about such matters, from having mistaken memories to keeping things in mind. Learn a surprising way to improve your memory. And see how to say all of this: "A flood of memories is coursing through my head," "The older we get, the weaker our memory becomes," and "I wish I had a better memory."
concern
JOK: 1040
With 虞 one can convey anxiety about everything from storms to infections to failure. That may make this kanji sound forbidding, but it often involves preventive measures. See how 虞 differs from sound-alikes. Learn about a gorgeous tourist destination with 虞 in its name. Also find out how 虞 relates to crimes not yet committed, a beautiful woman, and quite indirectly to blowfish!
second
JOK: 1041
A kanji with a dizzying array of meanings, 乙 enables you to sequence items or rank them by quality. It also has definitions related to music, inventive tastes, young women, wit, astrology, and proofreading! This kanji cuts a fine form with its distinctive one-stroke swoosh, which is apt, as it can mean 'stylish.' On top of that, the 'fishhook' radical 乙 appears in several Joyo kanji.
candy
JOK: 1047
Japan produces desserts from the world over, but its traditional confections offer the most surprises. Find out how a Japanese "sweet" may not be sweet at all and how even a fried vegetable could qualify! Also learn about the connection between 菓 and the tea ceremony, a recurring confection fair in Japan, gift cakes and gift horses, and what gods in Japan like to eat and drink.
shoes
JOK: 1052
How did Japan come to make shoes from straw and wood? Why is the "leather" radical all but useless in 靴? How can you say "break in shoes," "tie shoelaces," and "wear two hats (actually shoes!)" in Japanese? How can "red shoes" not be shoes, and who in Japan famously wore red shoes? How have Japanese shoes indicated status? Find out all of these answers and much more!
item
JOK: 1054
Have you been confused about -箇 versus -個 as a counter? If so, you're not alone. This problem has existed for millennia! To complicate matters further, the Japanese generally replace -箇 with -か, -カ, -ヵ, -ケ, or -ヶ. And one doesn't even pronounce -ケ as け! This essay sorts out all such muddles and puts 箇 "in its place," showing how to use it to mean "place" and how to count places.
work
JOK: 1055
This Jekyll and Hyde character represents both hard work and thievery, and the samurai may have given 稼 its shady connotation! Learn to say, “I earn my keep,” “Losing their breadwinner was a shock to that family,” “I’ll make a little money, and Mr. White will never know,” “The factory is running at full capacity,” “It seems you're raking in the money,” and “I wish I earned more money.”
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