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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noodles
JOK: 2118
Japan has oodles of noodles! Aside from udon, soba, and ramen, there’s chilled tsukemen, stringy somen, slender sanuki udon, horse chestnut flour noodles (which inspired a figurative term), and noodles named for Go stones. Read about ethnic separation of noodles, as well as manga and films centered on noodles. And see why the names of some non-noodle foods include 麺.
melt
JOK: 2119
Find out how far back the Japanese craved metal and see how acquiring it changed society, enabling people to have weapons, tools, coins, bells, sewn clothes, and even sacred mirrors. Learn to talk about metal experts, from blacksmiths and swordsmiths to metallurgists and those who separate metal from ore. Also discover why there are wavy patterns on Japanese sword blades.
gush
JOK: 2124
With 湧, you can talk about hot springs and cool pools. You will discover a famous group of springs at the foot of Fuji and will see how marketers associate brands and products with words for "springs." You'll also encounter a wealth of figurative expressions about things that emerge (e.g., a flood of ideas) and that come out of nowhere, whether storm clouds or enemy soldiers.
fertile
JOK: 2127
Learn to talk about fertile land, as well as a “fertile field” of thought. Learn to say, “Rich soil yields abundant crops” and “Where there used to be a fertile plain, there is nothing but a wasteland now.” Also find out about iodine—the terms for it, the human need for it, and the special Japanese relationship to this trace mineral. Finally, discover a psychoactive plant once used in magic brews!
kidnap
JOK: 2128
Find out all about the bizarre "abduction issue" in Japan, a mystery that has persisted for decades. Delve into questions about the origins of ramen and various ways of representing that word. Discover a manga character inspired by noodles! Learn to use 拉 to indicate that you've been crushed by misfortune or weighed down by worries. And see how such random meanings all connect to 拉.
indigo
JOK: 2130
Indigo became important in Japan partly because commoners couldn’t wear silk and instead chose cotton. Farmers’ indigo work togs shaped the creative inclinations of a contemporary dyer who loves to wrestle with indigo’s “persona.” A term for “temple” is inside a word for “pelican,” just as “cabbage” lies inside “kale” and “brussels sprouts.” The essay unravels all of these mysteries.
companion
JOK: 2133
Adults who are determined to be together for life, soulmates who reconnect with each reincarnation, pets who are steadfast companions—侶 brings us all that love, as well as the loss of love when death separates life partners. Find out how priests fit into the picture, see how one priest wants temples to be entertainment centers, and learn to say “sexual abstinence” and “secular burial.”
plain
JOK: 2134
If you appreciate things that are easy to understand, 瞭 is for you. It enables you to talk about clear explanations and user-friendly products, as well as things that are obvious, including the results of tests, someone’s romantic feelings, and secret alliances between countries. Learn to say, “Your opinion is off the mark. That’s clear to anyone” and “Will you please explain it more clearly?”
lapis lazuli
JOK: 2135
Find out why {search[瑠璃](るり)} can represent glass, as well as the mineral lapis lazuli and the bright blue color of that stone. Using {search瑠璃} people convey the blueness of everything from our planet as seen from space to the hue of flowers, birds, butterflies, and one kind of cockroach! Lapis is even the color of courage! Also learn about the performing art known as joruri, and see how it relates to puppet theater.
spine; ロ sound
JOK: 2136
With this deep dive into the world of Japanese baths, learn about the Indian roots of Japanese bathing practices, the custom of bathing at someone else's house, the way to heat cold bathwater, the purpose of bathtub covers, and figurative descriptions of muggy weather. Also find out about various bathing environments, whether indoor, outdoor, water-free, sandy, or hazardous!
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