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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tie
JOK: 1951
Take a walk on the dark side with 錮! Find out how to discuss the length and severity of prison sentences (possibly including hard labor) and punishments in the past that involved exile to remote islands. Along the way, learn several words for "imprisonment" and "judicial sentence," and read about spiral shells, tinkering with molten metal, and political unrest in ancient China.
bribe
JOK: 1952
The Japanese are known for honesty, but there’s still a long history of bribery (especially in the Edo era) and plenty of ways of talking about it. Learn to say, “Did you or did you not accept the bribe?”, “Everybody suspected him of taking a bribe,” and “He is the last man to take a bribe.” Also find out about mnemonics involving Cairo and greasing someone’s palm with mayonnaise!
compile
JOK: 1958
You likely know 単語 (たんご: vocabulary). One can think of 単語 as the equivalent of a single book in the library that 語彙 (ごい: vocabulary; lexicon) represents. The Japanese associate the size of a 語彙 with adulthood (whereas some in the U.S. correlate the size of something very different with manhood!). See how the Japanese use 語彙 and 語彙力 (“word power”) syntactically.
song
JOK: 1962
Find out about 唄, which always plays second fiddle to 歌 but is more likely to represent Eastern songs, whereas 歌 is more for Western music. See why the Japanese prefer to see "Singin' in the Rain" in English. Discover a term that means "song sung by a blind person with the accompaniment of the shamisen, esp. in the Kamigata area of Kansai"! And learn a bit about Okinawa via its music.
grudge
JOK: 1964
From the Japanese perspective, those who carry grudges into the afterlife (including emperors!) become vengeful, troublemaking ghosts. Find out about that and how to drive nails into an effigy to lay a curse on someone. Also learn to say, “He has a grudge against you,” “The resentment runs deep,” “He seems to have it in for me,” and “The cockroach and centipede are my sworn enemies.”
flourishing
JOK: 1967
If you’re a spirited sort, this essay is for you! It’s about being full of energy, drive, vitality, curiosity, and the like. And it will teach you to say all of this: "This school’s ideal is to help students grow to be full of verve," "He’s not afraid to take on challenging work," and "He is writing prolifically." On the flip side, the essay sheds light on Jabba the Hutt’s less-than-laudable appetites.
hill
JOK: 1968
Find out what role 岡 (primarily 'hill') could possibly play in a bathhouse, on an inkstone, in a wooden carrying box, in unrequited love, and in a 2nd-class red-light district. The essay provides connective thread between uses of 岡 that otherwise seem completely random. See how 岡 relates to 丘, another kanji for "hill." And enjoy a bevy of photos with 岡 in the names of people and places.
me
JOK: 1970
Some sources call 俺 rough, arrogant, vulgar, and disagreeable. Others say it is informal and intimate. It conveys manliness, which could imply control over emotions, but it is also the pronoun men use when they lose their cool. All these contradictory statements are true! The mere idea of adding 俺 to the Joyo list provoked a bitter battle. Find out how and why men use this charged word.
tusk
JOK: 1972
Tusks and fangs may seem unrelated to our lives, but without elephant tusks, we wouldn't have ivory carvings, the color ivory white, a country named Ivory Coast, or the horrible song "Ebony and Ivory." Most of that is also true in Japanese, because 牙 appears in all those terms (excluding the song title). In fact, the Japanese rely on 牙 to an even greater extent; they also use it in expressions about showing hostility, preparing for a fight, and acting in evil ways. On top of that, 牙 is a radical in three Joyo kanji, and it's part of the Shin-Joyo set (the group of characters added to the Joyo set in 2010).
tile
JOK: 1973
Architecture buffs: don't miss this one! As the fantastic photos show, old Japanese buildings often feature striking roofs with alternating ridges and valleys of semi-cylindrical tiles, as well as elaborate decorative caps and unusual rooftop figurines. By studying 瓦 (a new Joyo kanji), you'll learn to talk about all this and so much more! You'll find out about the unexpected glamor of bricks in the Meiji era, 瓦 in words about metaphorical collapses, and this shape as a radical in several fascinating kanji.
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