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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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.
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!
bungling
JOK: 1487
With 拙, you can condemn art as crude, writing as unsophisticated, foreign policy as unskillful, and yourself as incompetent. But 拙 isn’t only about impossibly high standards. The essay shows that speed sometimes matters more than good results. Of course, maybe others won't see your shoddy work that way. Conveniently, the essay also teaches you to say, “I’m screwed!”
stealth
JOK: 1488
By reading about everything from art heists to kleptomania, learn to say that a person is suspected of theft, is charged with theft, and is guilty of theft. Find out what there is to steal from Japanese temples and how such thefts have played out internationally. See whether or not the Japanese have traditionally protected their property and whether or not thievery has been an issue in Japan.
hermit
JOK: 1490
Coming from an ancient Taoist context, 仙 blurs the line between what's real and fictional. It refers to a human who has become immortal with magical powers, as seen in Japanese folktales and art. People use 仙 in more grounded ways when discussing geniuses and oddballs. Find out why 仙 is in the name of a major Japanese city, one that pops up in the names of some beef dishes.
folding fan
JOK: 1492
You might be envisioning a handheld fan as a dainty item held by a dainty woman, but war commanders used to hold fans, and fans have served as weapons! Far from being confined to a genteel world, 扇 plays a role in words about instigating trouble. Learn about two shapes of fans and see how they influence animal and plant names, as well as descriptions of many everyday objects.
step
JOK: 1495
This kanji is for people who like to take action! Our character appears in the titles of "practical manuals" and books that offer "practical training." By studying 践, you'll learn to say, "Actions speak louder than words," "He used Western knowledge in a Japanese way," "Anyone can put it into practice," 'It's important to combine theory with practice,' and "He carried out his duty."
push open
JOK: 1496
Manners are paramount in Japan, and 挨 has to do with the right words said at the right time (though it originally represented rude behavior!). See how 挨 relates to greeting and parting from others, apologies, expressions of sympathy, speeches, the yakuza, visiting relatives, Zen dialogues, writing letters, and more. Also learn why you might give toilet paper as a gift!
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