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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divide
JOK: 1813
This kanji has to do with dissections, autopsies, and the even gorier practice of vivisection (which the Japanese Army has performed in shocking ways). But 剖 also pops up in tame words, such as the one for “anatomy.” And more abstractly, because 剖 represents a drive to pick things apart until one has answers, people use it in reference to analyzing things such as films and books.
simple; magnolia
JOK: 1819
The 朴 kanji, which looks like a child’s drawing, represents the full range of simplicity, from basic questions, straightforward flavors, and honest villagers to naivete and artlessness. Learn to say, “This may be a silly question, but …,” “It’s an apple pie with a simple flavor,” “The plain and simple style of this cartoon is impressive,” and “He is an unsophisticated man.”
black ink
JOK: 1821
Black ink has left an indelible mark on Japanese culture. People have used it to dye clothes, modify their bodies (e.g., tattoos), and censor information. Find out how the Japanese make solid and liquid ink and how they view brushstrokes as a mirror of the mind. Also learn about sumi-e (ink paintings) and enjoy gorgeous sumi-e from talented artists around the globe.
sink
JOK: 1823
As the abundant sample sentences show, 没 enables you to talk about passing out drunk, dropping a phone in the toilet, having things confiscated or rejected, lacking a personality, and going down with a sinking ship. Nevertheless, 没 strikes me as a happy kanji! It's strongly associated with sunsets, and it appears in words for "immersion" (e.g., losing oneself in blissful pursuits).
ditch
JOK: 1824
Through this photo-rich essay (which includes gorgeous pictures of castle towers alongside moats), you'll learn why the Japanese sometimes created dry moats, how moats with lattice bottoms deterred enemies, how moat layout related to socioeconomic strata, how both moats and canals have left marks on Tokyo and Osaka, what it means to "bridge a moat" figuratively, and more!
bustle
JOK: 1825
Find out how to say, “I was on the go all day,” “He is busy with fundraising,” “thanks to his efforts,” and “He ran down the road frantically.” Learn to read between the lines of this sentence: “He disobeyed his parents and ran away from his hometown.” And see how 奔 enables people to slip free of social mores, acting with wild abandon and even doing some “freewheeling” cooking!
flutter
JOK: 1826
The Japanese associate a fluttering flag with 翻, the kanji that heads off 翻訳 (translation). See what bridges the two concepts, as well as the idea of changing one’s mind, adapting a novel, dodging a tackle, rising in revolt, toying with someone, and doing a somersault! Find out how to say, “Everything has to be considered from another angle” and “This word does not translate well.”
simple
JOK: 1827
This cute kanji has a wounding message: you’re not nearly good enough! The essay is about nobodies. Find out how to say, “I saw at a glance that he was an ordinary man,” “I’m not a genius, just a mediocre person,” and “The professor’s idea is far beyond ordinary people’s imagination.” Also learn to talk about stupid mistakes and see why 凡 has a connection to baseball!
flax; flux
JOK: 1829
This essay will be totally rad, man. That is, it's about 麻, which means "hemp" and can serve as the "hemp" radical. The essay presents Japanese terms for "marijuana" and other opiates, as well as "drug addiction," "torpor," "anesthetic," and "paralysis." Oh, and there's also talk of sesame seeds and brown-nosing.
polish
JOK: 1831
The definitions of 磨 present contradictions. Polishing is gentle, but grinding is harsh. With the versatile 磨, you can say you've brushed your teeth, scraped pans, worn out shoes, and improved your skills. This kanji helps form the word for "Daruma." Find out why this popular round doll has crane-shaped eyebrows, a blank eye, and connections to snow and fire, as well as goal setting.
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