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

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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surprised
JOK: 1172
Find out what this means to a Japanese person: "Right now I'm so surprised that my feelings are like a bluefin tuna from the shelf.' Also learn to say these things: "Much to my surprise, the door opened without a sound," "Everyone marveled at her courage," "The most precious thing in life is wonder," "I didn't mean to surprise you," and "His stupid answer surprised everybody."
dawn
JOK: 1174
Although あかつき sounds like “red moon,” it doesn’t mean that. Learn the etymology of this yomi. Find out how dawn connects to success and enlightenment and how to say such things as “When completed, this building will be the world’s tallest.” Learn the Japanese for “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” Read about a fascinating artist and an architect with 暁 in their names.
axe
JOK: 1176
The kanji 斤 originally meant 'ax' and now means 'loaf (of bread).' En route from one definition to another, it acquired yet another meaning: 600 grams. Find out how the Japanese came to associate one kanji with such disparate things! Also learn about 斤 as a radical and as a very common component.
koto
JOK: 1178
The koto (Japanese zither) connects to dragons, blindness, class differences, rice paddies, marriage, and an important myth. Find out why one needs to read each 琴 in 琴の琴 with different yomi. See which natural feature in Japan was named after a type of 琴, and learn about hidden kotos in the garden. Also discover certain Japanese words that always pull on people's heartstrings.
gallop
JOK: 1183
Most terms with 駆 will leave you breathless. It lies at the heart of words for "footrace," "rushing in at the last minute," and "pioneer" (one who has raced ahead of the pack). You'll learn to say, "He ran up the stairs panting," "Her desire to be a doctor spurred her on," and "He was driven by revenge." Find out why signs about Cinderella hang in Japanese subway stations!
accidentally
JOK: 1185
See how the disparate definitions of 偶 converge on one theme. Learn to discuss chance occurrences (e.g., "I happened to be in London then"). Find out about dogus, the otherworldly figurines that the ancient Japanese created, and see why people compare these statues to the Inuits. Also learn to talk about your idols, whether you adore Haruki Murakami or a North Korean dictator.
corner
JOK: 1187
Find out how the Japanese use 隅 not only literally but also figuratively, as when they talk about finding a refuge, feeling isolated, knowing something A to Z, nitpicking, and "lighting up the corner." Learn about a corner of Japan associated with an important strait, poetry, and scientific discoveries. Also find out about a fireworks festival in Tokyo. Enjoy several gorgeous book covers featuring 隅!
yield
JOK: 1188
In life, you must go with the flow sometimes but should "stand your ground" on other occasions. (Know when to fold them, know when to hold them, and all that.) Learn words about bending over - both literally (e.g., when putting on shoes) and metaphorically (e.g., when kowtowing to others).
dig
JOK: 1189
People use this kanji for digging up crops, excavating ruins, and mining; 掘 is quite grounded. But if you dig a little, you'll soon spot its figurative side. This essay will teach you to say "That old book is a real find" and "Someone rear-ended me." Through this kanji you'll find out about hidden treasure, an animal shaped like a tusk, and heating systems submerged in pits in the floor.
bless
JOK: 1196
In this essay, you'll learn to say "blessed with" (as in "She's blessed with intelligence and beauty") and to refer to people's wit, wisdom, and intelligence (all with the same word!). You'll also find out how to say that something (perhaps a dictionary or even the sun) is beneficial. But don't be under the impression that this kanji is only for positive thinking. It also enables you to talk about slick politicians, to complain that you're racking your brain, and to poke fun at your own natural laziness.
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