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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dream
JOK: 1844
Find out how to talk about sweet dreams, nightmares, and the daydreams you have while studying kanji. Learn to say, "I sacrificed the present moment for the future," "My dream finally came true," and "Never did I dream that ...," as well as "I'm crazy for kanji"! See how the Japanese neutralize inauspicious dreams and which part of a Tokyo temple was built as the result of a sleep dream.
fog
JOK: 1845
Find out how to refer to fog with different terms, depending on time of day and location, and learn to say that a lake is shrouded in mist. See how 霧 worked its way into a term for a baseball scandal. Discover a term for “totally at a loss” and learn how it inspired a clever put-down of those overseeing the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Also find out how to say that a dream vanished like mist.
daughter
JOK: 1846
See how to use 娘 as "daughter" versus as "young woman." Find out what it means when people say "A bug landed on the daughter-in-a-box" or how a young woman can figuratively be a signboard. Learn why the Japanese would write "parent and daughter" in an ateji way, rather than as 親子. See how various performers and manga characters have connections to 娘, as do Amazonian troops!
inscription
JOK: 1847
This kanji often gives items a stamp of approval. Inscriptions on metal vases, pottery, or swords convey authenticity. The prefix 銘- deems products (e.g., cakes and sakés) 'exclusively made' and 'of high quality." The term for "brand name" includes 銘, drawing on the connection between 銘 and reputation. And a great product engraves itself on your mind - again involving 銘!
destroy
JOK: 1848
With 滅 you can cut a wide swath of destruction. A generous supply of sample sentences will teach you to talk about everything from wiping out whole towns to eradicating diseases, as well as the fall of the Roman empire, the crumbling of traditions, and the extinction of species. You'll also learn terms for "recklessness" and "chaos," even finding out how to say "I'll make it up to you."
overgrown
JOK: 1850
Learn to talk about overgrown gardens, elephants hiding in thickets, and Bruce Willis's sparse hair! Enjoy profiles of celebrities with 茂 in their names, from visionary architect Shigeru Ban to baseball great Hideo Nomo to Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Donkey Kong. Read a fun folktale about a tanuki and a tea kettle. Also find out about a place name that pops up all over Kyoto.
silent
JOK: 1856
Silence plays a special role in Japanese, where one must often intuit what isn’t said, but that’s just one type of silence. The essay looks at many kinds, such as tacit agreements, unwritten rules, acquiescence, clamming up during quarrels, awed speechlessness, remaining silent after an arrest, silent tributes to the dead, mutism, and viewing a disturbing sight but doing nothing about it.
pleasure
JOK: 1861
Find out how to say "He is not a cheerful guy, to say the least," "The more, the merrier," 'I'm really unhappy about this,' and "Nothing offends people more than broken promises." Learn how 愉 stacks up against 楽 and why they're sometimes interchangeable. Peruse covers of books that teach people how to enjoy life more even if they're aging or are unappealing to the opposite sex.
kiln
JOK: 1881
This photo-rich essay brings you into the fascinating world of kilns in Japan, where people have fired pottery for 10,000 years! One kiln is named for a snake. Another climbs hills and requires people to stoke the fire around the clock for weeks. Find out about "kiln effects," wherein flying ash enhances a pot's beauty. Also learn to talk about baking food in ovens and building your own wood oven!
hug
JOK: 1882
Become a champion! Learn to say, “She is an ardent supporter of women’s rights,” “We must fight for our democracy,” “They stood up for the rights of their nation,” “Human rights organizations are putting pressure on authoritarian governments,” and “We put him up as a rival candidate.” Also find out why so many birds are fluttering around kanji compounds involving protection.
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