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. With a wealth 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.
Essays are available as an optional addition to a Kanshudo Pro subscription. You can also purchase them individually by clicking the download link, or purchase essay credits that can be used for any 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
.
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cram school
JOK: 1370
After a full school day, many Japanese kids head to "cram school" for intensive nighttime tutoring. In this essay, a variety of people chime in about why the Japanese do this, how it profoundly helps and hurts students, how it affects public education and society at large, and more. Copious comments from a former cram school head provide insights and a great language immersion.
genius
JOK: 1371
This kanji mainly pops up in male names, such as those of several authors (e.g., a prolific poet who translates Peanuts comic strips!), an astrophysicist, manga characters, and a prime minister. Learn to say, "He was a precocious child when he was little, but he grew up to be an ordinary adult." Also see what the Japanese think of geniuses and find out how one mom produced four.
wink
JOK: 1372
Early on, 瞬 meant “to blink,” later extending to "moment,” the duration of a blink! Thus, the essay examines blinking eyes, twinkling stars, and flickering candles, as well as crucial moments and things that happen in a flash. Learn to say, “The world will change in an instant,” “This moment will be recorded in history,” and “The moment he met Akiko, he fell in love with her.”
season
JOK: 1373
If you always think of a month as having 4 weeks, it'll blow your mind to conceive of it as having 3 parts. Learn how 旬 came to represent not only "10-day period" but also "season (for crab, strawberries, etc.)." See how restaurants use 旬 in coinages to convey that they're serving seasonal foods. Also learn about an innovative collaboration between a chef and a drug company!
abide by
JOK: 1380
Find out about a kanji that means "to obey" but has alcohol at its heart! Learn to say "You should follow school regulations," "The Japanese are a law-abiding people," "Noncompliance will not be permitted," and "I feel no need to abide by the law as long as nobody is watching me." Also see how 遵 relates to 順, and learn terms for "civil disobedience" and "nonconformist."
strap
JOK: 1382
Though 緒 looks simple, its yomi and meanings constantly shift in fascinating ways. It means what you see above, plus “clue,” and is associated with “together” and “secret.” Learn to say all this: “Just between you and me, he is a liar.” “To know someone, travel with him for a week.” “Space science is still in its infancy.” “She told me in confidence.” “I don’t mix business with pleasure.”
confer
JOK: 1384
From autobiographies to mystery novels to epic poems, stories take many forms. But all involve narration and description, and 叙 drives both. Learn to say, "I will describe the incident as it happened.” Find out about inverted descriptions and inverted mysteries, as well as a "Gulf War novel." Also discover two manga artists, including one who created a Fred Flintstone look-alike.
gradually
JOK: 1385
Learn to read signs about slowing down, and discover who the target audience is. Find out how to say, “She gradually became arrogant,” “I was nervous at first but gradually relaxed,” “The city plan is gradually getting under way,” and “The number of people who prefer to marry late is gradually increasing.” Learn a word that can mean both “quickly” and “slowly,” prompting confusion!
measure
JOK: 1386
Find out why the Japanese drink saké out of small wooden boxes. Learn how their role has changed in Japan over time, and see how they have brought out the playfulness in designers. Learn when to interpret 升 as a unit of measurement or as a container, and distinguish 升 from 枡, 斗, 合, and 昇, which have overlapping meanings. Finally, see why 升 is popular in a Chinese context. By the way, the JOK Notebook entry for March 1, 2013, takes a close look at eight of the Japanese sentences that appear in this essay.
artisan
JOK: 1388
See how marketers have coopted 匠, which conveys an impressive mastery of an art or craft. This kanji was originally associated with carpentry, which carries little prestige in the United States. To grasp how it could be the opposite in Japan, I consulted Len Brackett, once a temple carpenter in Kyoto. His comments illuminate this essay, as do photos of his work.
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