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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regularity
JOK: 1580
The 秩 kanji represents a type of orderliness way beyond the Marie Kondo kind. A life can be in order, though a sentence in the essay demonstrates what can happen: "His well-ordered life collapsed when his alcoholic brother showed up." Societies can be orderly, thanks to internalized social mores, the police, or martial law. Even the whole world has an order. Find out about all of this via 秩.
open sea
JOK: 1583
This kanji brings us into fascinating realms, including an island so sacred that women are forbidden to enter, offshore earthquakes that cause tsunamis, and World War II battles that the Japanese still analyze for their lessons about failure. Above all, studying 沖 takes us to Okinawa, whose distinctive culture bears the influences of surrounding nations. As such, it is the birthplace of karate!
inmost
JOK: 1585
With this short, energetic essay you'll learn the following things: * How to express sympathy when someone loses a close relative or a business. * Mnemonics for distinguishing 衷 from two look-alikes. * Words related to compromises and happy mediums. * How to talk about styles that blend East and West. * Terms that sound like sneezes!
stop over
JOK: 1587
This character once involved controlling horses. Now 駐 enables people to control cars and bikes (especially in terms of parking) and even to control each other! Using 駐, you can say that a company has posted you to Japan or that the government has stationed troops in a war-torn country. With 駐, you can also speak of envoys, such as the Japanese ambassador to France.
challenge
JOK: 1589
This kanji has three sides to its personality. One part is ambitious; you can use 挑 for setting world records, trying skydiving, launching a spacecraft, or just challenging yourself with an exam. Another aspect of 挑 causes trouble, enabling you to have a defiant attitude and challenge others (even bears!) to a fight. The final side is sexual; with 挑, you can turn people on!
sculpt
JOK: 1590
Do you know the purpose of the tiny sculptures known as netsukes? Do you know how a pharmacist’s mortar relates to a way of engraving? Do you know why the Japanese compare some people to sculptures or why two constellation names include 彫? Do you know about traditional tattoos that cover a great deal of the body, with the picture often coming directly from ukiyoe? You soon will!
watch
JOK: 1591
Japan has countless views to rave about, and this essay teaches many ways of doing so. You’ll learn to refer to a view “of” a tower versus a view “from” that tower. You’ll also understand the meaning of 眺 versus 見, plus 眺め (view) versus 眺望 (view) versus 眼差し (look). Bonus: finding out about Japan’s first Western-style skyscraper (with the nation’s first electric elevator)!
storm
JOK: 1593
Whether you're discussing a literal storm that uproots trees or a figurative tempest that blows through the political world, 嵐 is your kanji. This essay abounds in sample sentences describing all aspects of actual storms (from winds that rattle shutters to power outages and crop damage). Small excerpts from works such as Botchan also showcase 嵐 as an intriguing metaphor.
royal we; we
JOK: 1603
By focusing on a pronoun that emperors have used for themselves, you enter the world of their pronouncements. Learn why one said it’s as if he were being choked. Enjoy a close reading of the speech Hirohito made when telling his citizens (whom he called his “babies”!) that the war was over. See a photo of the handwritten speech. Also find out why they couldn’t grasp his basic point!
hillock
JOK: 1607
The mound kanji appears in very few words, but it's prevalent in Japan nonetheless, thanks to its role in surnames and place names. Mounds have also played a significant role in Japanese history, from burial mounds and memorial mounds to shell mounds. Unexpectedly, studying 塚 opens a fascinating window onto the Japanese past.
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