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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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.
thick
JOK: 1681
This kanji brings us intense eye colors, strong cups of coffee, deep love, and flavorful food. Learn to talk about everything from the salt levels in the Dead Sea to hot-pink iPhones, dark soy sauce, and juice sold as a concentrate. Find out how to refer to the pronounced scars of World War II and to unusually well-defined Japanese faces. Also learn to say "chock-full of blueberry flavor."
grasp; bundle
JOK: 1682
With one essay, you’ll learn to say all of the following: “I don’t have a handle on the situation,” “She has good control over her class,” “We kept track of all our expenses from the trip,” “I grasped the entire structure of his argument,” “He’s the type that doesn’t worry about details,” “Spinach is 100 yen a bunch,” “The pitcher handle was broken,” and “Don’t lump all these issues together.”
cup
JOK: 1685
If you invite someone out for drinks, use saké cups, make a toast, and count how many drinks you've had, 杯 will come in very handy. And if you drink till you're tipsy and full in a cheap drinking spot filled with people, you'll need 杯 four more times. As if this kanji weren't useful enough, you can also use it when counting octopi (which you might do after enough drinks)!
reject
JOK: 1686
Words with 排 run the gamut from xenophobic policies to culverts that drain water. To make sense of this range, simply perceive 排 as 'pushing out what's bad or unnecessary.' When cars spew exhaust and people scurry to toilets, 排 drives this outward flow. With 排, you can also say that you're overcoming difficulties, doing away with old rules, or doing something at all costs.
plum tree
JOK: 1689
See how Japanese apricots (ume) relate to the rainy season, the new year, haiku, Osaka, a god sleeping in poisonous ume pits, shochu, senbei, syphilis, pine and bamboo, and childbirth. See how ume blossoms have inspired paintings, sweets, and color terms. Also read about ume-related pickles, a manly candy, flying ume, and shrines with connections to ume.
clap
JOK: 1695
Your heart will beat faster as you find out how to keep time in Japanese, how to be offbeat, how to clap at a shrine, and how the word for this differs from the term for ordinary clapping. Learn to say, "The moment I stood up, I hit my head." Find out why people compare julienned veggies to certain pieces of wood, and see all the ways in which the Japanese use that wood.
ship
JOK: 1698
Understand which kanji to choose when communicating about ships versus smaller boats. Discover terms for goods imported by sea, and find out how the use of airplanes changed the use of those words. Also learn to say, “We imported books by sea” and “Not a few people think that any foreign-made articles are superior to those made in this country.”
vague
JOK: 1700
One-third of Earth's surface is desert, and 1,900 square meters of the planet turn to desert every second. Learn about the desert that may one day be your home! Also find out how, contrary to what one would expect, rainy Japan has connections to deserts. It has two ties to the massive Gobi Desert, one historical, the other environmental. And Japan has little-known deserts of its own!
hair
JOK: 1706
Learn about historic Japanese hairstyles, including those resembling peaches or ginkgo leaves and one inspired by prostitutes, as well as a boxy pillow women used so as not to muss their hair. See what unexpected roles Edo-era barbershops played. Find out why you should grab the goddess's bangs, where to pray for your hair, and what Japanese men said about Marilyn Monroe.
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