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. 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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whey
JOK: 1891
See why the kanji for “dairy product” contains the “saké” radical. While reading about dairy farming and dairy products, find out about “tree cakes,” “butter mochi,” and a snack that’s like sand. Discover the Japanese for “dairy-free.” Find out about a cheese ingredient that’s also in adhesives and other industrial products. And learn about an acid in milk, body odor, and vomit!
willow
JOK: 1898
Willows play important roles in Japan, lining rivers in several cities (and the streets of Ginza in Tokyo) and frequently appearing in ink paintings. Using pliable willow wood, people make everything from chopsticks and wicker to medicine. Sayings about taking things in stride often include 柳. There's also a link between 柳 and geisha, as well as a connection between willows and ghosts!
dragon
JOK: 1899
Unlike Europeans, who have feared dragons, the Japanese have viewed them as mythical or divine since ancient times. The dragon is even more important in China, where it symbolizes the emperor, is associated with water and weather, and is an imaginary creature in legends. In this essay you'll find out about dragons from every angle, including the following: animals with dragons inside them, tense relations between dragons and tigers, dragons that fly away, and the dragon inside the waterfall kanji. In more practical terms, you'll read about Chinese dragon boats, as well as Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, who both had connections to dragons. Finally, you'll discover whatever there is to know about the "dragon" radical - and why one might be tempted to call it the "hidden dragon" radical. Incidentally, 竜 is a Shin-Joyo kanji; it's a 2010 addition to the Joyo set.
tears
JOK: 1916
Learn how tears well up, trickle, and stream in Japanese and how to say that you're moved to tears. Start complaining about your pittance of a salary, and find out how to say that you've overlooked an insult. See how money can blunt the pain of a breakup. Also learn about the tears associated with sparrows, mosquitoes, crocodiles, and devils, as well as with chopsticks and blood.
base (in baseball)
JOK: 1918
This kanji seems to be designed for baseball haters, but this essay is for baseball lovers. Learn to say that the first batter up got a single, Ishida stole third, a player was thrown out at second, and bases were loaded with two outs in the ninth inning. You'll even be able to say, "Matsui pulled the Giants back from the brink with a grand slam that gave them a come-from-behind victory."
return
JOK: 1920
With the eminently useful 戻 kanji, you can talk about returning to a place, recovering from illness or jet lag, and making up with someone. Mastering 戻 enables you to say, "We can't backslide," "He brought the world back to its senses," "We must work hard to make up for lost time," "I'd like a refund," "The article revived my passion for Eastern religions," and much more!
zero
JOK: 1922
Knowing 零 gives you access to terms for subzero temperatures and 12:00. But far beyond that, truly grasping 零 enables you to say all of the following: “There is no chance of rain this weekend,” “They were shut out two games in a row,” “The sun peeked through,” “The milk boiled over,” “Hungry dogs were hoping for scraps,” and “I beg you to overlook my offense.” What a range!
calendar
JOK: 1927
Learn why Amazon describes a new calendar as 新暦・旧暦. Find out about Japan's relatively recent switch to a solar calendar, an event that inspired a novel, manga, and movie! Learn to calculate age and the year in multiple ways, read about the significance of turning 60 in Japan, and learn about calendars for illiterates and flower calendars. Also see why one temple has 暦 in its name.
husband
JOK: 1936
This kanji lets us in on the private lives of celebrities such as baseball player Ichiro Suzuki. When a Japanese man's name ends in -郎, it tells us about his family composition! Although 郎 has strong connections to goodness, it helps us deride men as jerks and "bad boys." On the flip side, words such as 太郎 enable us to speak of "the greatest," as in enormously tall trees.
corridor
JOK: 1938
Lose yourself wandering down rustic wooden covered passageways that connect buildings at shrines and temples, keeping people dry while providing psychological benefits. See how such corridors qualify as cloisters when they wrap around courtyards or even seawater! Also learn about a Japanese writer who had connections to the Marquis de Sade and Yukio Mishima.
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