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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shell
JOK: 1075
The flexible 殻 can represent shells from the sea, from trees, and from animals. It also helps to describe people's personalities and can symbolize remnants. Though remnants may seem worthless, the Japanese know how to put many to good use. Find out what coffee grounds can do for you! Also learn a word with 殻 that has become popular since the big earthquake of March 2011.
seize
JOK: 1079
It might seem from the primary definition of 獲 and from its “animal” radical that this kanji is mainly for trapping wild animals, rounding up strays, chasing prey, and catching fish. You can certainly use 獲 in those ways, but this kanji also enables you to talk about acquiring languages, capturing an enemy’s equipment, winning literary prizes, getting ahold of busy people, and much more.
menacing
JOK: 1080
A country poses a threat by expanding its military presence. Cats arch their backs to menace dogs. A type of crab intimidates a sea anemone by lifting it overhead. Parents issue threats to study harder, managers threaten employees with dismissal, someone threatens to reveal an ex's secrets, and you might resort to threats to get money back. Learn to say all of this with 嚇!
harvest
JOK: 1081
Learn which words the Japanese use for harvesting apples, corn, and even pearls versus catching a haul of fish. Learn to say, "I got a lot out of that project," which uses "harvest" figuratively, and "Apple season will come soon," which doesn't. Get into the minds of advertisers who use 穫 to tout a product's freshness. And enjoy a bounty of harvest images, plus a memorable folktale.
lagoon
JOK: 1084
Find out about an annual event with the unstated goal of coating all participants in mud! See why Japan's lagoons are vanishing while its tidelands are increasing. Learn about how the most famous Japanese "lagoon" is not a lagoon. Read about lagoon-based obsessions, famous writings about lagoons, and hidden aspects of Niigata Prefecture (e.g., that it is snowier than Hokkaido!).
hoarse
JOK: 1086
A few words with 喝 are about applauding people, and the rest are about crushing them! Discover the thread connecting terms about (1) cheering for performers and winners; (2) intimidation, threats, and extortion; and (3) a random shout that helps Zen priests achieve enlightenment. Also see how highly religious terms from Zen have made their way into a popular TV sports segment.
thirsty
JOK: 1087
This kanji is both about having insufficient amounts of things (whether water, money, love, or phosphorus) and thirsting for them physically or psychologically. Learn to say, “I’m hungry and thirsty,” “Eating spicy food makes you thirsty,” “I satisfied my craving for nature,” and “Our people thirst for independence.” Also find out which verb quenches thirst and learn how to paint with a dry brush.
brown
JOK: 1089
Find out why the Japanese use 褐 for the color of coffee and why they once dyed armor and weapons indigo for good luck. Learn to say, “She got her dark skin and brown eyes from her father.” See how “chocolate world history” differs from “brown world history.” Find out about “brown fat” and “the brown plague.” And discover the shocking ancestry of a beloved French author.
and another
JOK: 1091
Do you know how to say in Japanese, "The lecture was interesting as well as meaningful," "It was not only quiet but also eerie," and "He speaks English and writes it, too"? How about "She is cheerful, friendly, kind, and moreover considerate" and "Don't respond to your teacher's kindness with indifference"? After reading this essay, you'll know all this and much more!
sweet
JOK: 1093
Even though 甘い (あまい) seems ultra-simple, it has six definitions! Some are straightforward (e.g., sweet tastes and smells). Others are unexpected, as when "sweet" words deceive or spoil others. You'll learn the term for "sweet tooth" and for its opposite, a word that has nothing to do with food! You'll also find out about 甘 as a radical in eight Joyo kanji.
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