Kanshudo Component Builder
Draw a component:
Type a component or its name:
Choose from a list:
Change component list
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
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
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!


Kanshudo uses learning concepts and data developed by many individuals and organizations, for which we are deeply grateful.

Kanshudo concept, kanji data and mnemonics

The concept for the Kanshudo kanji learning system was created and developed over more than 20 years by Jonathan Kirk ⇗, an English entrepreneur who lived in Japan for several years, has visited over 100 times, and still gets an enormous kick out of reading Japanese novels. The Kanshudo system helped Jonathan pass the 'ikkyu' (the colloquial term for what is now N1, the highest level of the JLPT, the standard exam for measuring the Japanese ability of non-Japanese) with flying colors, work in a Japanese language consulting environment for several years, and co-found a successful business in Japan. Jonathan also used his Japanese to start a successful software-based language translation company, Elanex ⇗, which grew to be one of the largest language translation companies in the world. All kanji mnemonics are copyright Jonathan Kirk and Kanshudo, and their use is subject to our terms and conditions.

Kanji and radical synopses

Kanji and radical synopses are provided by Joy o' Kanji ⇗, a wonderful site which provides detailed (free) notes on many of the 214 standard radicals and long essays (purchase required) for several hundred of the 2136 Jōyō kanji.

Kanji animations

The SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) data used to generate the kanji animations is copyright KanjiVG and Ulrich Apel of KanjiVG ⇗, and used under Creative Commons License ⇗. There are over 11,000 individual kanji graphics, which represents a huge amount of work, and we are very grateful to Ulrich for making these available. The kanji animation algorithm is copyright Kanshudo.

Vocabulary dictionary

Jukugo and their definitions are in part based on the EDICT/JMdict dictionary file, originally created by Jim Breen of Monash University, and used here in accordance with their license terms. Jonathan has been following Jim's work since he first began studying Japanese, and he is one of the key figures in the development of open dictionaries and standards for Japanese text. We owe Professor Breen a large debt of thanks! For more information on EDICT/JMdict, see here ⇗, and on Jim Breen personally see here ⇗.

Example sentences

Kanshudo includes example sentences from a multitude of sources, including novels, newspapers, websites, and existing collections. We have also created many thousands of examples ourselves. Where possible we include an original source reference in the example details page for third party sources. In many cases (such as the examples from the Tatoeba corpus) we have modified the translations or the source text. In all cases the sentence parsing, inflection and grammatical analysis are by Kanshudo. All sentences are copyright Kanshudo unless otherwise noted.

Lesson material

All content for the Beginner Lessons and Intermediate Lessons (the 53 Stages of the Kanshudo) is copyright Kanshudo. The Beginner Lessons were put together by a team of Japanese educators - thanks in particular to Natalie Rees!

Indirect acknowledgements

The idea of using mnemonics was first introduced to Jonathan by the flashcards of James W. Heisig in Remembering the Kanji, and we are very grateful to Professor Heisig! Remembering the Kanji was first published in 1977, and is still in print, which is a testament to the power of the system. Read more about Remembering the kanji ⇗.

Site design

Our 'responsive' navigation system draws on the 'Mega-Site Navigation' system developed by Sebastiano Guerriero at CodyHouse ⇗. Thank you!