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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patent
JOK: 1410
From statues and commemorative coins to Nobel Prizes and Employee-of-the-Month awards, people honor achievements in many ways - even with edible testimonials! From this essay you'll learn the relevant Japanese vocabulary, the salient facts about two dramatic chapters in history (the Horeki River Improvement and the Shogitai), and the figurative usage of "yoke" in Japanese.
reef
JOK: 1413
Reefs lurk underwater, just waiting to cause shipwrecks, and the very components of 礁 may point to sailors’ anxiety about this. Read about fish that change gender, the connection between coral and fences, the reason some coral reefs are circular, and what a reef in outer space represents. Learn a kanji for “off the coast of.” And best of all, see what it means figuratively to run aground.
bell
JOK: 1414
Do you know the difference between a 鐘 and a 鈴? Hint: Each bell has a different religious affiliation! Do you know which parts of a bell are associated with dragons, colts, and breasts? Do you know how to eat a bell? Do you know why they ring temple bells 108 times? Do you know what it means to strike an alarm bell figuratively? Read the essay, and you'll soon know all of this!
stature
JOK: 1415
The simple-looking 丈 is a "coatrack" on which scads of meanings hang. Our kanji lies at the heart of 大丈夫 (okay), in terms conveying strength, and in several adverbs. Moreover, 丈 plays a key role in measurements of height (e.g., of people) and length (especially of clothes). Thanks to the last meaning, 丈 is in the name of an island famous for silks, drumming, and unreal beauty.
superfluous
JOK: 1416
Learn to joke around in Japanese and to say, “He was amused at my joke,” “I said so jokingly, but she got angry,” and “His joke eased the tension in the room.” Find out how to talk about excess verbiage, as with “This sentence is too wordy” and “I eliminated redundancies.” Discover terms for on-the-job uselessness and excess, as in “I’m swamped with unnecessary work.”
fold
JOK: 1419
Find out how 畳 can represent both rigid tatami mats and foldable items. See how the mats relate to cobblestones, sardines, wives, and bald priests. Learn to discuss room size in terms of these mats, even if the room contains none. Read about formerly X-rated restaurant waiting rooms. And discover why two famous directors dissed documentaries, despite having made them.
plot (of land)
JOK: 1421
Japan is rich in agriculture now, but it once faced severe food shortages. Find out how people ingeniously transformed volcanic soil into arable farmland. Learn to talk about soil figuratively (as fertile ground for innovations) or literally, saying things like "Plants take in water from the soil" (Hint: There's a way to say "water" other than 水!) Also see what makes hydrangea flowers blue or red!
lock
JOK: 1423
This kanji takes us into the worlds of both locks and pills. See a combination lock with hanzi instead of numbers, find out what "shrimp lock" and "tail lock" represent, and learn how the Japanese historically secured their homes. Also discover how pills can wear "clothing," read about a candy made to resemble medicine, and see why one pharmacist's book is revolutionary.
brew
JOK: 1425
If you went by the primary meaning of 醸 (brewing) or by the 'saké' radical, you'd have no idea why 醸 pops up in sentences about a house with a strange layout, sad violin playing, a chair that feels luxurious, political controversies, and so on. The essay shows why! It also explains terms related to brewing alcohol, as well as types of ginjo saké (and how it has become less flabby!).
spicy
JOK: 1432
This essay will make your mouth and eyes water! You'll encounter words for "spicy," "salty," and "mustard," plus a regional dish with shiso leaves rolled around chili peppers. You'll learn to order dry saké or vodka diluted with tomato juice. This essay even shows how to make kanji sandwiches with the 辛 radical. Good times! Oh, and it explores bitterness about life's hardships!
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