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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pickle
JOK: 1608
Pickles as colorful as fall leaves are a key part of Japanese cuisine, from bar snacks to traditional meals. This essay presents an array of pickle types (including alcoholic ones!), pickle shop photos, and reasons for all this pickling. Literally and metaphorically, 漬 also means "immersion." Learn to say that you're up to your neck in work, drenched in sweat, or immersed in a language.
pavilion
JOK: 1614
Find out why -亭 is suffixed to the names of many restaurants, buildings, and some artistic people. Learn to read scads of gorgeous signs, whether for eateries or shops. Discover how a ryotei is a restaurant far too expensive for many of us to try, and yet it can be hard to determine which restaurants qualify as such. And learn about a term for "husband," one that appears in colorful idioms.
sovereign
JOK: 1616
Find out why some people call Japan にっぽん, how the mikado kept himself busy centuries ago when he had no power, and how to address the emperor properly if you ever meet! The essay also examines how the old Empire of Japan has influenced the country today, from traces of imperial words in the contemporary language to Japanese feelings about what happened in the past.
parcel post
JOK: 1618
To distribute mail across mountainous islands over 1,500 years, Japan has used everything from special bells and “flying legs” to railway ferries and post towns on a network of highways. Learn about all this, plus a company that takes pride in the four months during which its drivers had no collisions. Also see what the mythical creature inside the old form of 逓 could do.
embankment
JOK: 1620
Embankments save lives and could even be why we have government! But they're so well integrated into landscapes that you could walk on an embankment and not know it. See why Japan has built these structures for millennia. (A folktale particularly brings the topic to life.) Also find out about embankment stew, tsutsumi dolls, 'super embankments,' and a "battleship seawall."
flute
JOK: 1624
Woodwind instruments have played a prominent role in Europe (e.g., the Pied Piper), but what about Asia? Find out about bamboo flutes in Shinto music, Noh theater, gagaku (old court music), hunting, and old-time candy peddling. Read about a bamboo instrument that resembles a phoenix and may express a ray of heavenly light! Also learn about a whistle that you'll hear only in Japan.
pluck
JOK: 1625
Do you know what it means to be pinched by a fox?! And do you know the Japanese for "bar snack" (which is also the term for "knob, handle")? How would you talk about picking strawberries? Learning about 摘 will give you access to this vocabulary. With 摘, you can also zero in on the fundamental aspects of something - or on people's errors! With 摘, 'picking' often turns into 'nitpicking'!
drip
JOK: 1626
With 滴 you can talk about dewdrops and eyedrops, fogged and rain-spattered windows, rain dripping off roofs, sweaty foreheads, IV drips, waterproof items, dripping-wet towels, meadows overflowing with freshness, drops of ink, and teardrop-shaped jewelry. Learn to say, "I felt a drop of rain." Also discover how three drops of water mysteriously fall from a shrine roof every day.
transfer
JOK: 1627
Have you longed to see certain politicians get the ax? This kanji enables that to happen! The Japanese mainly associate 迭 with political shakeups (so you'll learn to say, "Minister Tanaka's 'resignation' was actually a dismissal"), but the essay also includes sentences about nonpolitical firings. You'll find 迭 in Amazon Japan synopses of episodes of several TV shows (e.g., House of Cards).
Big Dipper
JOK: 1633
The dipper kanji helps you hold your liquor! That is, its core meaning is "dipper," a device to scoop saké. (It means "dipper" in the constellation sense, too!) Using 斗, we can also measure large quantities of that saké. By studying 斗, we find out about noshi. And that's not all! The 斗 shape is a ryakuji (a simplified form of more complex kanji), as well as a radical.
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