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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weird
JOK: 2040
The Japanese constantly say 凄い! (すごい!: Amazing!), so it’s amazing (!) to find out about 凄 and all of its surprises: the reason for its “ice” radical, the way 凄 has just one Joyo yomi (it's not すご•い!), and the shockingly negative nuance 凄 can have (as in words for "ghastly" and "violent"). Learn terms that intensify 凄い. And discover the revolting ingredient in a Viagra-like drink!
wake up
JOK: 2041
Whether you awaken from sleep, awaken to reality, or wake up your pineal gland, 醒 is your kanji! It enables athletes to awaken dormant talents, leading to headlines such as "Naomi Osaka Comes to Life"! Discover how to talk about spoiled fun and ruined moods and how to say that you're half-asleep. Also learn how you can sober up with a double shot of the "saké" radical!
envious
JOK: 2045
Learn to say, "Anne is the envy of all her friends," "She could only stare at her slender friend enviously," and "It has a location anyone would envy." Find out how to talk about envying success or a new house, and learn the Japanese for things like "enviably beautiful skin" and "The Philippines is in an enviable position." Also discover the Buddhist equivalent of the 10 Commandments!
composition
JOK: 2048
For millennia, humans have jotted down notes, and 箋 has long served that purpose. Find out which materials the ancient Chinese and Japanese wrote on before paper. Also learn terms for pieces of paper that serve various functions, from Post-its and stationery to prescriptions. As several images show in this illustration-packed essay, the word for "prescription" can be richly figurative.
tray
JOK: 2049
Learn about inventions in Japanese dining, such as box trays and low personal tables, both of which people whisk away after meals. Read about formal meals in which one eats from dishes on multiple trays, and learn when a tray should or shouldn't have legs. Find out why a popular bento box has theater connections and why one meal-related term means "a woman's sexual advances."
target
JOK: 2050
Whether you want to talk about aiming a camera or aiming a golf shot, this kanji is for you. It literally has to do with guns but figuratively offers much more, appearing for instance in terms for intentions and hidden agendas. Through 狙, find out what made a female Soviet teenager famous in World War II, and learn who may have conspired to take down a recent U.S. president.
go upstream
JOK: 2051
Learn to say that a temple dates back to the 9th century and that a conflict goes back to childhood. Find out how the Japanese say that they've hiked toward the source of a river or sailed up the Sumida. (The verb changes on the return trip!) See how the Japanese have been pioneers in time travel. Also become versed in the habits of salmon and the way their lives end in a noble but tragic way.
refreshing
JOK: 2053
Learn to mention lactic acid bacteria in ads for alcohol as a way of making a drink sound refreshing! Of course, as many sample sentences and ads in this essay reflect, the Japanese also refer to sleep, cooling drinks, autumn weather, breezes, certain pills, shampoo, flowers, and (surprisingly) music as refreshing. Oh, and cigarettes, coffee, and (did I mention?) bacteria!
footprint
JOK: 2055
Read about people who vanish into thin air. Some disappear inexplicably (e.g., Agatha Christie!), others opt to change identities (e.g., a famous manga artist). The circumstances determine the vocabulary you need; learn to refer to the Japanese abducted by North Korea versus those who disappeared during a disaster (such as the 2011 tsunami) and are presumed dead.
piled high
JOK: 2060
Learn to say, “The desk was piled high with documents.” Also see how layers of minerals and earth can yield helpful clues about what really happened with past volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis. Find out why it’s beneficial to have shallow parts of the sea, and learn how they form. And discover how horse or cow dung and piles of human waste can enhance your life!
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