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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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!
dawn
JOK: 2063
This kanji may be graphically simple, but it's associated with a bewildering mess of meanings! Primarily, 旦 relates to dawn and the first day of a year or month, but 旦 also pops up in a term meaning "momentarily" (and its spinoffs). And then a very common word with 旦 involves powerful men (and their sons and businesses) and even geishas and mistresses. The essay connects these dots!
unravel
JOK: 2064
What do ripped seams and budding flowers have in common? What does it mean for a face to come apart at the seams? Learn those answers, as well as various words that apply when governments and companies collapse economically. See why some refer to Japan as a failed state and are predicting a national financial collapse, and find out how to say "America is unraveling."
detailed
JOK: 2065
This kanji is about getting the details right. When people are bent on doing that, they go to fascinating extremes. This essay covers books about drawing ultra-detailed otherworldly scenery, playing mah-jongg carefully, and creating sacred rock formations. You'll learn to say, "The company is famous for its accuracy" and "Her dyed works are very elaborate and at the same time dynamic."
sake
JOK: 2066
Learn how to drink shochu, how to make it, and how to classify it. See how a love of shochu made 16th-century carpenters resentful. Discover what shochu has to do with Marlon Brando, Napoleon, sweet potato shortages, and longevity. Learn when tastelessness is a virtue in a drink. And find out how moonshine inspired a term used to denigrate certain literature.
make progress
JOK: 2069
If you're overwhelmed with all that you need to do, 捗 is just the kanji for you! It has only one meaning and appears in very few words. Moreover, 捗 enables you to make upbeat statements such as "The city plan is getting under way" and "I made progress with work, so it looks like I can go home on time." The essay examines book titles about ramping up efficiency and productivity.
beech tree
JOK: 2070
This kanji yokes two very disconnected topics. With its on-yomi, 椎 primarily represents “spine,” so it appears in terms related to vertebrae, spinal diseases, and disc herniation. But with its kun-yomi, 椎 means “Castanopsis,” a type of tree. In that world we discover delicious nuts that look like acorns and even find our way to shiitake mushrooms, which grow on Castanopsis logs.
claw
JOK: 2071
Delving into the 爪 kanji introduces you to rich idiomatic expressions about a wide range of things: following in people's footsteps, not showing off, preparing to defeat opponents, saving money (sometimes to extremes), and bearing scars after traumas. This new addition to the Joyo set is a prevalent radical that's useful to know, but the variants can be hard to recognize unless you've learned what they are.
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