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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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.
fell (an enemy)
JOK: 1707
See how trees can be difficult! Find out why marketers emphasize that products have been made from wood felled in thinning the forest, and discover the thinking behind thinning forests at all. Then explore figurative uses of 伐 in terms about savage behavior, punitive expeditions to subjugate rebels, and the conquest of other countries. Also learn about a Japanese Robin Hood!
sell
JOK: 1715
Find out the staggering range of items that Japanese vending machines sell (including eggs!), as well as several terms for such machines. Learn to say that a type of car is on the market or will soon be (which requires a different word!), retailing for a certain amount, though a sales promotion will bring a discount. Scads of photos reinforce the most important 販 terms.
partition
JOK: 1718
One shrine is handing out sweets. Other shrines sell amulets or magic beans. The essay contains signs with details about such offerings because 頒 represents the way in which people distribute goods. That includes printed matter; sample sentences are about disseminating manga at the Comic Market, handing out brochures at City Hall, and publishing stories in booklet form.
queen
JOK: 1724
Think you know what a princess is? This essay, which is largely organized around photos, illuminates the meanings of “princess,” “empress,” and “crown princess”; 妃 versus 姫; “regnant” versus “consort”; and much more. We look closely at Japan’s imperial household (especially Princess Masako), as well as royalty in Britain and France, even touching on Monaco and Manchuria!
exposed
JOK: 1726
With 披, it's as if trumpets have sounded. This kanji enables you to unveil plans, make announcements, debut songs, and show what you're capable of doing. Connected with introductions, displays, and performances, 披 pops up in contexts ranging from weddings to kabuki and Noh to sumo. But this kanji also has a sensitive side; with 披 you can pour out your innermost feelings.
shabby
JOK: 1727
Because 卑 means 'base, lowly, vile, vulgar, mean,' it acquaints us with uncouth human behavior. Then again, 卑 can also mean 'humble' (i.e., the opposite of 'arrogant'), which is definitely a positive quality, especially in Japan. With this essay you'll learn Japanese words for "self-deprecation," "vulgarity," "despicable," "low class," and "coward." You'll also encounter an expression that means "Too much humility is pride." After reading about 卑, you'll even know how to say, "my humble opinion," which is kind of like IMHO, but not quite!
door
JOK: 1730
Knowing 扉 will open doors for you! Learn about 扉 as a door to buildings, cabinets, shrines, and even trucks. Discover how the Japanese associate 扉, 戸, and ドア with different types of doors. See how 扉 works as a metaphorical door to the heart, the unknown world, and more. And find out how doors can connect to a goddess, book layouts, filleting methods, and even executions of war criminals.
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