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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pearl
JOK: 1349
Japan invented a way of making pearls! Find out about pearl culturing and where to go in Japan to learn more about the inventor and his method. Read about divers (mostly women) who have risked it all to collect shellfish. Learn how to say "Tahiti is the pearl of the Pacific" in Japanese. And find out about strings of prayer beads, which have inspired a great figurative expression.
Confucius
JOK: 1352
Even though Japanese ways of thinking are based on Shinto, Buddhism, and Confucianism, many people think they have no religion. That sample sentence in this essay sheds light on how Confucianism (with its emphasis on hierarchy, filial piety, and education) permeates the culture but how the Japanese don't necessarily recognize the Confucianism underlying their values.
boat
JOK: 1354
Find out how to talk about small, hand-propelled boats, and learn about Japanese boats across the ages, from dugout canoes to washtub boats to small straw boats that play a key role during Bon. See why a book about a retiree unnerved Japan, and learn about a famous story in which a man delights in being arrested. Also learn a boat-related expression for traditional rivals.
reward
JOK: 1358
Learn to say all of the following: “He was paid well for the work,” “The lawyer’s fee was very high,” “He was too proud to accept any reward,” and “The enemy fired back at us.” Find out how the Japanese talk about nonmonetary rewards, unpaid work, executive pay, and (rather randomly) heckling. Also learn about how housecalls are still a thing in Japan.
uncle
JOK: 1367
Find out how two ancient Chinese brothers influenced current Japanese terms for “uncle” and “aunt,” lending them amazing specificity (though the terms don’t distinguish actual relatives from those close to the family). Decide whether 叔 has an inherent gender. Learn what to call a woman if you want to annoy her. And see why a type of fish is named “old man.”
cram school
JOK: 1370
After a full school day, many Japanese kids head to "cram school" for intensive nighttime tutoring. In this essay, a variety of people chime in about why the Japanese do this, how it profoundly helps and hurts students, how it affects public education and society at large, and more. Copious comments from a former cram school head provide insights and a great language immersion.
genius
JOK: 1371
This kanji mainly pops up in male names, such as those of several authors (e.g., a prolific poet who translates Peanuts comic strips!), an astrophysicist, manga characters, and a prime minister. Learn to say, "He was a precocious child when he was little, but he grew up to be an ordinary adult." Also see what the Japanese think of geniuses and find out how one mom produced four.
wink
JOK: 1372
Early on, 瞬 meant “to blink,” later extending to "moment,” the duration of a blink! Thus, the essay examines blinking eyes, twinkling stars, and flickering candles, as well as crucial moments and things that happen in a flash. Learn to say, “The world will change in an instant,” “This moment will be recorded in history,” and “The moment he met Akiko, he fell in love with her.”
season
JOK: 1373
If you always think of a month as having 4 weeks, it'll blow your mind to conceive of it as having 3 parts. Learn how 旬 came to represent not only "10-day period" but also "season (for crab, strawberries, etc.)." See how restaurants use 旬 in coinages to convey that they're serving seasonal foods. Also learn about an innovative collaboration between a chef and a drug company!
abide by
JOK: 1380
Find out about a kanji that means "to obey" but has alcohol at its heart! Learn to say "You should follow school regulations," "The Japanese are a law-abiding people," "Noncompliance will not be permitted," and "I feel no need to abide by the law as long as nobody is watching me." Also see how 遵 relates to 順, and learn terms for "civil disobedience" and "nonconformist."
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