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

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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.
cheek
JOK: 2111
Learn how to talk about delicious food by mentioning cheeks that fall! See what full and hollow cheeks represent in Japan and how cheeks relate to smiling. Find out why people refer to cheekbones in connection with a verb that typically means "to stab." See why the Japanese once talked about fox pups' cheeks, and discover the figurative meaning of covering one's head with a cloth.
sudden
JOK: 2113
Learn to talk about the sudden rise of the Nazis and the outbreak of war. Find out how to say, “World War II broke out in 1939” and “A series of events caused the war to break out.” Also see how the Japanese refer to handlebar mustaches and what formed one prominent manga artist. And learn how the Japanese speak of penile erections and the lack thereof!
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.
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.
increasingly
JOK: 2120
Discover the shocking roots of the language and people of Japan (i.e., Yayoi versus Jomon). Find out about Buddhist figures and terms that have eluded you. And learn to say, “They hooted at his suggestion,” “That makes you even more attractive,” “That’s nothing more than a temporary remedy,” and “The origins of (certain) kanji will make your hair stand on end with fear.”
illustrate
JOK: 2122
Learn to compare life to climbing a mountain, to a stage, and to a voyage, while likening death to sleep. Discover the Japanese metaphor for being unable to use one’s talents in a new environment. Find out how to use “torii,” “bow and arrow,” and “bread” to stand for larger entities, along with “mountain” and “temple” in certain regions. Also see what alchemy and lemons represent in Japan.
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