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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put up a sign
JOK: 1198
If you want to display things for all the world to see, this is the kanji for you! Find out how to talk about everything from Help Wanted signs and bulletin board notices to flags hoisted on flagpoles. Learn to say, "It came out in yesterday's paper." Come to understand the puzzling term "BBS.' Also learn to refer to the subject line of an email and to "aforementioned" comments.
meet
JOK: 1207
Eminently practical, 迎 plays a role in terms for shuttle buses, welcome parties, and phrases like "Your ride is here," "I'll come get you," and "I met her at the station." But you can also use 迎 to discuss pandering, an optical illusion at dawn, and autumn leaves at their peak. Moreover, 迎 has a strong link to death, as in the case of spirits who welcome you to the other world before you die.
whale
JOK: 1208
See how whales relate to cows, hippopotami, and boars. Learn anatomical terms from blubber to the blowhole. Discover why sperm whales are “incense whales” in Japanese, see what “the scent of dragon slobber” represents, and learn why 鬚 (beard) appears in important whale words. Find out about Osaka’s whalebone bridge, and learn how the Japanese talk about the whaling controversy.
shoulder
JOK: 1212
Your head rests on two good shoulders. The roads you travel on may have shoulders. Metaphorically, your shoulders help you carry the weight of burdens. Clearly, you need to know how to discuss shoulders. This essay will teach you key vocabulary and expressions related to this topic. You'll find out, for instance, what a tap on the shoulder means in Japan. Furthermore, you'll learn what the slope of shoulders indicates about someone's state of mind.
sword
JOK: 1214
This packed-to-the-gills essay teaches everything about the Japanese sword, from its connections to Buddhism and samurai to its metaphorical role. You'll learn how people use 剣 and 刀 quite differently. Fantastic photos provide glimpses of sword-bearing martial arts, supplementing the discussion of kendo. In one quiz, you'll even consider which animals come equipped with swords!
illusion
JOK: 1226
This kanji enables us to talk about what isn’t really there: illusory countries on old maps, phantom limbs, an alcoholic’s hallucinations, sorcery, and mythical creatures. Learn about phantom rice and phantom railroad lines, and see what “pursuing phantoms” really means. Find out about magic mushrooms in Japan, as well as mushroom statues created long ago and very far from Japan.
mystery
JOK: 1227
Find out about the shape that figures prominently in the name of a green tea and the word for "brown rice." It's also the "blackness" radical. What a colorful character! Or should I say "What a mysterious character"? It primarily means "mysterious," and it unexpectedly lends that meaning to such common words as 玄関 (げんかん: entranceway).
alone
JOK: 1229
The 孤 kanji runs the gamut from lonely isolation to enjoyable solitude. This character pops up in terms for orphans, solitary islands, villages cut off by floods, someone fighting alone for a lost cause, and countries that are isolated economically and politically. Learn to say, "She led a solitary life," "To tell the truth, I felt lonely," and "We shouldn’t confuse solitude with isolation."
boast
JOK: 1233
Learn about the positive kind of pride that even dogs (and flowers!) can feel, and see what Japan is proud to show the world. Discover five ways of saying "to take pride in." Also learn to say "I'm proud of you" and "He proudly made an announcement." Read about terms for "ostentation" and "exaggeration," finding out how one of them relates to political propaganda.
hand drum
JOK: 1234
Learn about a wide range of Japanese drums, including the small, ropy type played on the shoulder. See what "taiko" means in Japan versus abroad, and learn how ensemble drumming was created quite recently. Also discover traditional drumming contexts, from the battlefield to the shrine to the theater. Find out which "drums" you can consume and where drums lie in the human body!
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