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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seedling
JOK: 1740
Find out about the literal side of 苗 (e.g., all that happens before rice seedlings go into paddies) and the figurative aspects of 苗 (e.g., when the "seedlings" of a culture bear delicious fruits). See how seedlings played key roles in "The Mutiny on the Bounty" and in one Nobel Peace Prize winner's work. Also discover why 苗 can mean "Hmong" and how it relates to smallpox.
cat
JOK: 1742
The cat is omnipresent in Japan, appearing in nearly every house in olden times and in cat cafes today. Having inspired scads of charming expressions, as well as Hello Kitty and beckoning porcelain figurines, cats have also stimulated the imaginations of creative types from Kuniyoshi to Soseki and Haruki Murakami. Find out why Japanese people have such deep affection for cats.
seashore
JOK: 1743
Why did the Japanese once cling to poles in the sea in hopes of curing disease? Where can you ride camels in Japan or nest in a hole on a hot beach in order to heal? Find out about all this, plus beach rituals, beach-inspired literature, and a sandbar-inspired pattern that has influenced designs of everything from tables to cakes. Also enjoy photos of the prettiest beaches in Japan.
VIP
JOK: 1744
Learn to talk about guests, whether they're party guests enjoying refreshments, foreign guests in Kyoto ryokans, guest speakers, or a queen who is guest of honor at a ceremony. Also learn words related to VIPS (e.g., imperial family members or CEOs). See pictures of posh state guest houses where U.S. presidents have stayed. And discover two connections between pigs and guests!
aid
JOK: 1748
What binds us together - laws or love? Do we merely follow mandates to pay taxes and alimony, or do we help each other out of concern? The essay raises such questions by focusing on financial obligations toward others. These issues became urgent, says one book, after the disasters of March 11, 2011, made people realize that they had become cold and needed to renew their bonds.
frightening
JOK: 1749
Learn to talk about cowards, risks, and the politics of fear, as well as horror films and terrifyingly complex kanji! See how both the meanings and yomi of 怖 can provoke anxiety. Understand how 怖 and its near twin 恐 relate to each other. See what it means figuratively to be bitten by a snake and thus to fear a rotten rope. And find out about fears and phobias specific to the Japanese.
proceed towards
JOK: 1751
If you're going places physically (as when you head to a destination) or psychologically (as when you follow your heart), you'll need 赴. For instance, it will help you talk about heading to a war zone, going somewhere in person, or even riding into the jaws of death! And if you want to discuss job transfers and being posted overseas or away from your family, this kanji is indispensable.
float
JOK: 1752
See what role 浮 plays in dejection and in happiness so intense that it causes accidents. Find out what "loose teeth" means figuratively. Learn to say 'I feel out of place,' 'The tree stands out against the sky,' and 'He's cheating.' Discover what floated in the "Floating World" of Edo. Inspire memories and ideas by combining body parts with 浮. Also learn about maglev trains in Japan!
skin
JOK: 1757
“A chameleon can change its skin color and blend in with surrounding trees.” “Ayako’s skin is sensitive to chemicals.” “My son’s skin breaks out easily.” “This cloth has a nice texture.” Discover how to say all these things while learning why 膚 breaks down as “tiger” + “stomach.” Find out about an idiom involving “unwounded skin,” and see how people refer to “autumn chill” even in spring.
dance
JOK: 1761
Traditional Japanese dance may seem tangential to your life, but it has connections to the gods, so don't overlook it! Also, 舞 is a core part of Nihongo, factoring into terms for bustling activity, story settings, being in the limelight, behaving well or badly, treating others to meals, visiting the sick, seasonal greeting cards, and closing up shop, as well as the words for kabuki and butoh.
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