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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yearn for
JOK: 1997
Our kanji will fill you with yearning, pining, and adoration. You can use it in a highbrow way when describing deep stirrings of the spirit and the life you long to have, or you can use it to talk about people you idolize or find hot. Learn about a festival featuring bamboo lanterns, illuminated buildings, and a "Path of Yearning." See how much 憬 shares with 憧 and how little sets them apart.
gap
JOK: 1999
Learn to use 隙 to represent everything from physical gaps to mental ones. Find out how drafts can blow through houses and marriages. And discover how to say the following: “Rain was dripping through a leak in the roof,” “Sweets are jam-packed in the box,” “He began to talk before I could state my name,” “He is utterly unguarded,” and “Internet scams catch users off guard.”
column
JOK: 2000
Learn to talk about single-digit temperatures and being "off by an order of magnitude." Discover creative interpretations of "beam," including one in your face; see what distinguishes those born in Showa 1–9; and learn to read warnings on low overpasses before crashing into one! Find out how the abacus, wells, sailboats, and kimono patterns all relate to our kanji!
thigh
JOK: 2004
What does it mean to be born from the crotch of a tree? Why do some monkeys in Japan wear shorts? Why do some Japanese men go to sacred places in their underwear? Why would yakuza walk like ducks? Why does our kanji (as “thigh”) factor into terms about wavering loyalty? The essay provides all these answers, also discussing mittens with just three compartments for fingers.
tiger
JOK: 2005
In the Japanese imagination, the tiger is both a fierce fighter and a drunkard! Through 虎, a new Joyo kanji, we encounter expressions about fighting, danger, courage, risks, and vigilance. We'll see which famous companies, musicians, and sports teams are named after this awe-inspiring animal, also finding out who wears tiger-striped underwear in Japan! Don't miss the fantastic photos of tigers in Thailand!
blockage
JOK: 2006
After learning multiple Japanese terms for "stroke," and two more for "heart attack," you'll impress yourself with your new ability to read medical text in Japanese. You'll also be able to understand the warnings on cigarettes. Then you'll take a major leap to the botanical world, contemplating the role of a particular flower in poetry, pop culture, and above all in family crests.
throat
JOK: 2007
Read about how the Japanese see the throat as instrumental in holding back harsh words and unpleasant emotions. Find out what it means figuratively to swallow food that's too hot and then to forget that discomfort. See which udon comes from Shikoku, learn why people in Japan talk about the uvula, and discover which body part looks like Buddha sitting in contemplation.
treat someone
JOK: 2009
Find out why 岸 (beach) is in a term for "arrogance," learn how treating others to a meal might relate to 傲, see why people often refer to a clan from 800+ years ago, discover who wrote a book with the translated title "Japanese Arrogance, Korean Arrogance," and learn to say, "The foreign missionaries treated the Chinese with the arrogance of those who belonged to a victorious nation."
scar
JOK: 2012
Find out how to talk about physical scars, as well as psychological ones, saying for instance that World War II scarred a place. Learn how to say, “The blood on the road must be mine,” “One senses that each era has left its mark on the city,” and “It sank without a trace.” Also discover what fingernail marks have to do with the ravages of nuclear testing and of volcanic explosions.
broken
JOK: 2014
Through copious book titles you'll see how the Japanese speak of experiencing setbacks and going on to succeed. Find out how to say, "I lost my nerve," "Repeated failures crushed his ambition," and "Don't be discouraged if you fail." Also learn to talk about demoralizing opponents and thwarting plans, as well as sprains, bruises, and "crush injury" (first identified in Japan).
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