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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knee
JOK: 2100
See what a Buddhist priest and a mollusk have to do with kneecaps. Also learn what role the knee plays with regard to intimacy, romance, negotiations, protection, influence, respect, and sudden emotion or comprehension. Find out why the Japanese would go down on one or both knees, even sliding forward on the knees instead of walking, and why rakugo performers hide their knees.
elbow
JOK: 2101
Learn how the Japanese talk about leaning on elbows, standing with arms akimbo, hitting the funny bone, and elbowing someone in the ribs. Find out about massaging the elbows versus massaging with the elbows. See what an "elbow gun" might be and what it means to pull someone's elbow figuratively. Also learn words for the elbows on dogs, clothes, and even buildings!
news of someone's death
JOK: 2102
Find out how to say “The news of his sudden death astounded me” and “I heard that my friend’s father had died.” Learn about a politician who died the very day he was elected, inspiring this photo caption: “Supporters suffer deeply at the news of the death of Noboru Tanigawa.” Also find out about the marketing potential inherent in death, at least as reflected on Amazon Japan.
hill
JOK: 2103
Find out why Gifu Prefecture is considered the center of Japan and has been crucial as a crossroads. Learn about Gifu products, from paper umbrellas and lanterns to swords, plus UNESCO heritage sites and a well-preserved town on the Nakasendo. Also read about cormorants that catch and regurgitate fish for the imperial family to eat, a practice that inspired a famous artist.
Chinese artifact
JOK: 2106
See how jade disks connect with a term for “perfect,” and read the fascinating history of a hunk of ore that inspired the word. Learn to avoid a kanji error that native speakers commonly make when they write about perfection! Find out how to talk about perfection and perfectionism, as well as about people who excel at something equally and who therefore tend to become rivals.
contempt
JOK: 2107
After reading this essay, you'll know how to do all of this: talk about looking down on others, express contempt, accuse men of sexist thinking, and say that you despise someone. You'll also understand why a famous thinker thought Japan should bid good riddance to the rest of Asia, why the nobles viewed samurai as savages, and how a word for "scorn" relates to a carpentry technique.
foot of a mountain
JOK: 2108
If a mountain's essence is its awe-inspiring height, its base shouldn't be important. Nevertheless, the foot of a mountain plays a role in several book and essay titles, in product marketing, and notably in the hunt for good soba. Learn about mountains named after hats, possibly after volcanoes, and even after bathrooms! Also find out about the famous parrot singing at the base of Mount Fuji!
bee
JOK: 2109
Find out why some Japanese eat bee larvae and "royal jelly," what traditional Japanese beekeeping involves, how Japanese and Western honeybees differ, and where bees thrive in Japan. Learn to count bees and to say that they're buzzing or that a swarm has attacked! Read about "buzzing" in the ears and bee uprisings, and see why a figurative queen bee seems sexy and marketable in Japan.
appearance
JOK: 2110
Find out how 顔 and 貌 differ when they represent "face." See what the Japanese mean when they compare someone to a sculpture. Discover the controversy surrounding the "last samurai," and read about a renowned photographer, as well as a rebellious pretty boy. Also learn to say, "I was captivated by her beauty," and to talk about drastic changes in appearance.
pillow
JOK: 2115
This wide-ranging essay examines literature over millennia, from ancient China to "The Pillow Book" to Basho and Soseki, plus the connections between pillows, travel, and poetry. The essay covers several types of pillows (e.g., those atop boxes, those you hug, and manly pillows), pillows as cures, pillow-flipping ghosts, figurative pillows (e.g., railroad ties!), a confection, and more.
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