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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husband
JOK: 1936
This kanji lets us in on the private lives of celebrities such as baseball player Ichiro Suzuki. When a Japanese man's name ends in -郎, it tells us about his family composition! Although 郎 has strong connections to goodness, it helps us deride men as jerks and "bad boys." On the flip side, words such as 太郎 enable us to speak of "the greatest," as in enormously tall trees.
corridor
JOK: 1938
Lose yourself wandering down rustic wooden covered passageways that connect buildings at shrines and temples, keeping people dry while providing psychological benefits. See how such corridors qualify as cloisters when they wrap around courtyards or even seawater! Also learn about a Japanese writer who had connections to the Marquis de Sade and Yukio Mishima.
watchtower
JOK: 1939
Enjoy gorgeous photos of temple bell towers and temple gates and discover the rich symbolism of their design features. See how a building can be a tower even if its width rivals its height. Learn to talk about "castles in the air." And find out why 楼 appears in terms related to brothels and in restaurant names, as well as the title of a Michael J. Fox movie and the name of a cliff.
uncertain
JOK: 1942
Whether you're confused, embarrassed, annoyed, doubtful, tempted, or fascinated, 惑 can help you express your feelings. Just as 惑 can mean 'to lead astray,' it leads us to many topics - everything from planets, predictions, and seduction to impossible bosses and spam blocking. Find out how to say "suspicion of having had breast implants" and "suspicion of lying about one's age'!
framework
JOK: 1943
From spiderwebs to decorative borders on paper, a 枠 surrounds whatever is important. It also supplies support, as in a six-legged torii or in structures reinforcing fences, hedges, and even shorelines. Enjoy photos of gleaming wooden frames around openings in a traditional Japanese house. Also learn to use 枠 abstractly in reference to frameworks, allocated amounts, and quotas.
persimmon
JOK: 1946
Learn to say, “Some boys made off with all the ripe fruit on my persimmon tree.” Find out why a persimmon was named after a writing brush, which animal adores persimmons, and what a “persimmon house” might be! See what people go through to make persimmons edible, and discover how this fruit connects to a spicy snack, sushi, mochi, alcohol, tea, and skewers.
raise
JOK: 1947
Let Japanese teach you about English! That is, Japanese terms for "lactation" and "mammal" are closely related. This is also true of "mammary" and "mammal," but English speakers rarely perceive such a link. Similarly, one Japanese word can mean "bringing up" and "breastfeeding." In English, "suckling" covers both meanings, but we miss this until we study Japanese!
model
JOK: 1948
To understand Japanese writing fully, one needs to know about the three main scripts in which kanji and kana appear. Those styles affect stroke order, stroke count, and above all legibility! This essay contrasts the three main scripts and introduces three more, then focuses on the standard, square style, explaining how it looks and showing where one is most likely to encounter that style.
intimate
JOK: 1949
This spiky character may not look the part, but it is the kanji of reconciliations, cease-fires, and peace treaties, as well as harmonious marriages and lovers' talk. The Japanese use 睦 most when referring to friendships, particularly those that are deepening. Practice reading 睦 terms with a description of the TV show 'Friends' and a summary of the British film '45 Years."
iron pot
JOK: 1950
Pots look lifeless, but 釜 is full of fun. It plays a great role in a folktale and has connections to necessities in life, plus car crashes, cross-dressing, and demons who boil people in cauldrons. It pops up in colorful place names. And of course this kanji has a culinary side, appearing in terms for "rice cooker," the names of rice and udon dishes, a salty fish dish, a way of making tea, and more.
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