Kanshudo Component Builder
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Draw a component:
Type a component or its name:
 
Choose from a 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:
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JOY O' KANJI

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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home country
JOK: 1792
If you think you know how to say 'Japan,' 邦 comes as a surprise. In Japan, native speakers call each other 日本人 (Japanese), but in other countries they could also use 邦人 (overseas Japanese national). Crossing borders means that vocabulary changes, along with currency and converters! The essay compares 邦 with other kanji for "Japan," looking at the nuances 邦 lends to words.
hug
JOK: 1794
Discover key differences between two verbs written as 抱く. Learn about grudges and sitting on eggs and what connects these things. Read about (not) hugging in Japan, an odd translation of a Beatles song title, bundling products, armfuls of things, caretaking, patience, ambition, and being saddled with work. See how one book title sounds dull in English but erotic in Japanese.
bubble
JOK: 1795
Learn to talk about bubble baths, soapsuds, frothy waves, and whipped cream, as well as many types of alcohol, from bubbling champagne, foaming beer, and sparkling wine to happoshu, Hoppy mixed with shochu, and awamori. Find out what it means to "eat bubbles." Also discover ways of saying that efforts are in vain or that things (including companies) are as short-lived as bubbles.
imitate
JOK: 1798
Although 倣 pops up in words for “copycat” and “counterfeit goods,” it’s not all bad. Imitation may lead to innovation. As one Japanese writer said, “Imitation is the mother of originality, its only real mother.” Our kanji also factors into terms for following in people’s footsteps. Back on the dark side, find out what the “Trump Cannon” is, and see why the Asahi Shimbun is hated!
summit
JOK: 1799
Packed with fun quizzes and great photos, this short essay teaches you to talk about soaring peaks, successive peaks, and the tallest mountain in a range. You'll find out why people compare Mount Fuji to a lotus blossom. The essay also pays close attention to yomi issues, including an unusual pattern of phonetic changes and the oddity of an identical kun-yomi and on-yomi.
busy
JOK: 1806
Busyness is a key part of Japanese life. A wedding invitation may include an apology for having a ceremony at such a busy time. Learn to say that busyness is work-related. Find out how to read 忙しい with two yomi, each with different meanings. Discover terms for being busy versus simply looking busy. And enjoy sayings about finding odd moments of leisure when swamped.
room
JOK: 1809
Because 房 has many disparate definitions, one can't immediately see how they connect. The key is to think of the small spaces you get by dividing a big space several ways. The heart divides into 4 chambers. An orange splits into equal sections. A prison has many small cells. The 房 kanji covers all these meanings and more, including associations with wives and sex.
to brave
JOK: 1812
Could you capture sharks or defuse bombs? You can at least talk about such risk taking after reading this essay. You’ll also learn to say, “They were ready to run the risk of being shot by the enemy,” “Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” and “She is a born adventurer.” Even if you’re risk-averse, you can still use 冒 to say, “Don’t push your luck” and ”I don’t want to run such a risk."
divide
JOK: 1813
This kanji has to do with dissections, autopsies, and the even gorier practice of vivisection (which the Japanese Army has performed in shocking ways). But 剖 also pops up in tame words, such as the one for “anatomy.” And more abstractly, because 剖 represents a drive to pick things apart until one has answers, people use it in reference to analyzing things such as films and books.
simple; magnolia
JOK: 1819
The 朴 kanji, which looks like a child’s drawing, represents the full range of simplicity, from basic questions, straightforward flavors, and honest villagers to naivete and artlessness. Learn to say, “This may be a silly question, but …,” “It’s an apple pie with a simple flavor,” “The plain and simple style of this cartoon is impressive,” and “He is an unsophisticated man.”
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