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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dark
JOK: 1461
This essay teaches you how to complain about vague comments, ambiguous replies, obscure explanations, uncertain stances, and lax attitudes. Moreover, the text touches on the role of ambiguity in Japanese culture, "aimai" accents in Japan, and disambiguation in computer contexts. Also find out about an unexpected connection between Oscar Wilde and Yukio Mishima!
follow
JOK: 1462
This kanji can represent opposites—both obeying orders and doing as one pleases! Learn to say, “I traveled wherever my fancy took me,” “The small boat drifted at the mercy of the waves,” and “The orchid has an extremely vivid color.” Also find out how to say, “Our techniques are unrivaled,” “This plan comes with a problem” and “It seems a long way from here to the town.”
cedar
JOK: 1467
Native to Japan, this towering tree lives 500 years - and more than two millennia on one island! Living cedars may be seen as sacred, receiving attention even from the emperor. Meanwhile, felled cedars turn into everything from soy sauce barrels to "magewappa." Discover unexpected relationships between cedar and saké, as well as between postwar reconstruction and pollenosis.
furrow
JOK: 1468
This kanji, which symbolizes the hills that some crop farmers make in fields, belongs squarely in the agricultural realm. However, 畝 also represents ridges in knit items, ribbed fabric, and the like, and therefore has a firm presence in the sphere of shopping! Plus, the Japanese once used 畝 as a measurement of areas. Finally, this kanji pops up in names, notably that of one heroic man.
well
JOK: 1470
Why have the Japanese worshipped well water, shouted down wells, and jokingly called the Edo era the "Ido" era? How do people use the shape of a well in everything from kimono cloth to business slang? How does 井 figure into economic and political discussions? Find out all of this and much more, including the role of wells in folktales, proverbs, and Haruki Murakami's fiction.
equal
JOK: 1473
Did you know that = meant "equals" even in ancient China? That symbol lies at the heart of 斉. As a result, the character factors into words about equality, symmetry, and proportion (e.g., "She has a well-proportioned figure."). The most important bit of 斉 vocabulary means "simultaneous." With this word you can say that an audience bursts into laughter together or that birds break into song at the same time. Meanwhile, a negative prefix turns a 斉 compound into a term for "asymmetry," one of the seven principles of wabi-sabi. Also find out when 斉 serves as a radical or component in other characters.
animal sacrifice
JOK: 1474
Parents often make sacrifices to give children a good education. Find out how to say that, and then discover how maternal self-sacrifice may be harmful. See which term for “war victim” is right, depending on what the person experienced. Learn to say, “I must help her at any cost” and “She worked at the expense of her health,” as well as jargon for being a sacrificial lamb in the consumer world.
die
JOK: 1475
Japanese perceptions of death emerge in this essay. The kanji in certain terms imply that a dying person is going far away or will be gone forever. Somehow “early + life” means “early death.” People refer so casually to the “world of the dead” that that phrase ends up in ordinary sentences like “I can’t believe it’s been six years since my dad died.” And one book urges the elderly to die at home alone.
reject
JOK: 1480
Learn to talk about rejecting suggestions and plans, and find out how to say, "They dismissed his criticism as hypocrisy." Read about campaigns against Japanese goods, and study Japanese Wikipedia passages about the North American history of banning Asian immigrants. Discover which sports Japan encouraged and disallowed during wartime. Bonus: study space science!
ancient; old
JOK: 1481
Discover how calling something "old-fashioned" in Japanese can be an insult or a compliment. Learn to say that the recent past feels like ancient history. Also learn to say "I used to be a different person," "Hollywood isn't what it used to be," and "That was then and this is now." Find out how although 昔 can currently mean "decade," it once meant a time span as long as 66 years!
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