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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fall over
JOK: 1643
This kanji is full of instability. If you fall to the floor, fall ill, fall to a better team, or have your government's cabinet fall, this is the kanji to use. You can also use it if you fell a boxing opponent, wrestle an attacker to the ground, or simply collapse a car seat. When you turn anything on its head, from a Spanish exclamation point (¡) to a change in the word order of a sentence, this kanji can again help you discuss that state of affairs.
pottery
JOK: 1650
While enjoying gorgeous photos of pottery that only Japanese clay and firing techniques can produce, you'll gain a sense of what pottery means to the Japanese, from its use in daily life to its Zen connections. You'll also learn how to say not only "pottery" and "potter" in Japanese but also "He made me who I am today" and "I'm drunk on music."
pagoda
JOK: 1651
This gorgeous photo essay explains the origins of the pagoda; presents historic pagodas in Japan; tells you how to talk about pagodas with 2, 3, or 5 tiers; and explains the "cosmology" of stone pagodas. From the Leaning Tower of Pisa to the literal and figurative Tower of Babel, you'll find out about towers, also discovering what it means to call someone a control tower.
load
JOK: 1652
Knowing 搭, you can board Japanese planes confidently. You'll be able to ask what time boarding begins and where. You'll know how to say, "I was told to check in 2 hours before my flight." When you hear "Welcome aboard" in Japanese, you'll understand. Outside of airline contexts, you can use 搭 to say that your PC comes with Android installed and that your mobile phone has a camera.
rice plant
JOK: 1656
This kanji has quite a split personality. Growing rice (稲) is a deeply down-to-earth pursuit. But 稲 is also linked to fanciful notions that lightning impregnates rice and that tofu-loving foxes are messengers for the god Inari (稲荷). He is reputed to help with crops, health, sex, and money, so Inari shrines abound, steeped in fox statues and other symbols—all a far cry from farmers’ earthy concerns.
cave
JOK: 1661
Find out how the structure of 洞 reflects the process of forming a cave. Learn to talk about limestone caves, stalactites, and stalagmites. See how the Japanese have used caves for everything from shelter to religion. Discover how people use 洞 to discuss insightfulness and to describe a particular kind of loss. Enjoy several photos of Japanese caves, as well as kanji signs for those caves.
ridge
JOK: 1663
After reading about this famous kokuji, you'll know how to say that you're "over the hump" of a crisis and that a trend has peaked. You'll also understand the significance of mountain passes in Japan, including the military importance they had in the past, the dangers they once posed to travelers, the way they've inspired woodblock artists, and the abundance of hot springs at passes.
pork
JOK: 1670
Sorry, vegetarians! This essay will be hard to stomach, as the bulk of 豚 terms involve pork. The good news is that 豚 also appears in fanciful sayings, harsh insults, and terms for other animals, including blowfish (“river pigs”), dolphins (“sea pigs”), and aardvarks (“earth pigs”). The bad news is that some of those animals also end up on people’s plates!
尿
urine
JOK: 1675
Find out why a novel and a memoir contain 尿 in their titles. Discover how Edo-era people repurposed excrement for a profit. Learn to say that you want to urinate, and find out how to discuss problems such as frequent urination. Also see why the Japanese are extra-aware of uric acid levels and albumin and why the Japanese word for "albumin" contains characters for "egg white."
sticky
JOK: 1679
Knowing this kanji enables us to talk about sticky substances (from natto and rice to Post-It notes) and about a stick-to-it attitude in life, in sports, and in business. Learn to say, "You hung in there very well, but I won." Find out which term for "tenacious" is positive (i.e., persevering) and which is negative (i.e., persistent). Also learn terms related to clay, adhesion, viscosity, and more.
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