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. With a wealth 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.
Essays are available as an optional addition to a Kanshudo Pro subscription. You can also purchase them individually by clicking the download link, or purchase essay credits that can be used for any 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
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blockage
JOK: 2006
After learning multiple Japanese terms for "stroke," and two more for "heart attack," you'll impress yourself with your new ability to read medical text in Japanese. You'll also be able to understand the warnings on cigarettes. Then you'll take a major leap to the botanical world, contemplating the role of a particular flower in poetry, pop culture, and above all in family crests.
throat
JOK: 2007
Read about how the Japanese see the throat as instrumental in holding back harsh words and unpleasant emotions. Find out what it means figuratively to swallow food that's too hot and then to forget that discomfort. See which udon comes from Shikoku, learn why people in Japan talk about the uvula, and discover which body part looks like Buddha sitting in contemplation.
treat someone
JOK: 2009
Find out why 岸 (beach) is in a term for "arrogance," learn how treating others to a meal might relate to 傲, see why people often refer to a clan from 800+ years ago, discover who wrote a book with the translated title "Japanese Arrogance, Korean Arrogance," and learn to say, "The foreign missionaries treated the Chinese with the arrogance of those who belonged to a victorious nation."
scar
JOK: 2012
Find out how to talk about physical scars, as well as psychological ones, saying for instance that World War II scarred a place. Learn how to say, “The blood on the road must be mine,” “One senses that each era has left its mark on the city,” and “It sank without a trace.” Also discover what fingernail marks have to do with the ravages of nuclear testing and of volcanic explosions.
broken
JOK: 2014
Through copious book titles you'll see how the Japanese speak of experiencing setbacks and going on to succeed. Find out how to say, "I lost my nerve," "Repeated failures crushed his ambition," and "Don't be discouraged if you fail." Also learn to talk about demoralizing opponents and thwarting plans, as well as sprains, bruises, and "crush injury" (first identified in Japan).
die, dice
JOK: 2015
Find out about a kanji that carries meanings as disparate as “dice” and “appearance” while popping up in terms for “baton” and “cheering.” Learn to discuss leadership roles and discover a link between dice and food. See ways of saying, “We rolled dice to decide whose turn it was,” “She bowed to acknowledge their cheering,” and “He has a slightly foreign appearance.”
cape
JOK: 2017
One could envy Saitamans. Their prefecture has gorgeous mountains, acres of colorful flowers, icicle displays, and a whitewater river. One city is in a national park and has a Shrine of Wolves, plus maybe a “Mikado” connection. Another city, “Little Edo,” has lovely old buildings and “Candy Street.” However, Saitama is the butt of jokes, especially in a “dissing” manga that’s now a movie!
fence
JOK: 2018
From bamboo fences to iron railings, from electric fences to doors on subway platforms, 柵 can represent many barriers in our daily landscapes. Learning 柵 therefore provides access to practical vocabulary. This kanji is also associated with ancient forts. On a more abstract plane, 柵 can stand for "ties of obligation between people," something that often shackles those in Japanese society.
temple
JOK: 2019
Find out about how 刹 (temple) once meant “to kill”! Learn about a shady network of Buddhist temples in the past. Discover how long a moment of consciousness is, and learn to say, “The moment I wasn’t looking, the accident occurred.” Also find out how to say, “I’m the sort of person who lives for the moment,” and how you can aggrandize this lifestyle by calling it a principle.
selfish
JOK: 2022
Learn two homonyms for very different types of thinking. Find out how to say, “The fear is that the law will be applied arbitrarily,” “We’ll have as much money as we like,” and “He exercised his power to the fullest.” See what “arbitrariness” has to do with linguistics. And find out what -まま means in four words, including one that implies unparalleled ability, strength, or political power.
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