Kanshudo 'how to' guides

Welcome to Kanshudo!

Here we present step-by-step guides to key functions and principles of Kanshudo. Answers to common questions can also be found in the FAQ.
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Your Kanshudo Japanese Mastery Level

This guide introduces the core concepts of Kanshudo: the Dashboard, Study Sessions, and your Japanese Mastery Level.

Getting started learning Japanese with Kanshudo

Designed for absolute beginners of Japanese, this guide provides the key information necessary to start learning Japanese, as well as comprehensive help for Kanshudo's Beginner Lesson series.

How to use the Kanji Wheel to guide your Japanese studies

The Kanji Wheel is a completely unique way to visualize your entire kanji knowledge, and intelligently focus your Japanese studies.

Kanshudo Challenge: the most effective way to learn kanji and words

The Kanshudo Challenge uses a combination of learning games and tests to teach you kanji and words in the most effective way possible.

How to read Japanese kanji

In this comprehensive guide, we introduce you to the different ways that kanji can be pronounced or 'read' in words, and how to use Kanshudo to find words that use a specific reading of a kanji. We also give you simple rules of thumb to use to determine how to read words you are encountering for the first time!

How to master Japanese kanji

In this guide, we teach you everything you need to know to make your study of Japanese kanji successful. If you follow this guide, you will make your kanji learning efficient, effective, and fun!

How to prioritize Japanese words to study

Kanshudo's complete guide to prioritizing Japanese vocabulary will introduce you to the most useful words in Japanese, and Kanshudo's 'usefulness' rating of words, based on a comprehensive analysis of actual usage in the real world. We'll also show you how to set your learning goals, and how to use Kanshudo to absorb Japanese vocabulary as quickly and effectively as possible.

Understanding inflections and conjugations

In Japanese several forms can be combined into a single complex word, and understanding how that works is a challenge for learners. Kanshudo provides tools to conjugate verbs and inflect words for you, and to help you understand how inflections combine.

Kanshudo's complete guide to writing Japanese

In this guide you'll learn the standard strokes used to draw all Japanese kanji, how to determine the stroke order for a kanji, the differences between printed and handwritten forms of kanji and more! In addition there are plenty of links to our kanji drawing practice tool so you can perfect your own writing style.

Read real Japanese with Kanshudo and Satori Reader

This guide introduces the Kanshudo Reading Corner, where you can read a selection of graded texts, fully annotated and linked to kanji and words for easy study. Plus, you can read about our partnership with Satori Reader, the leading online reading-focused Japanese site, and find out how to synchronize your kanji mastery data to customize your Satori Reader experience.

How to use the component builder to look up kanji

The component builder is a very fast way to look up kanji. In this guide we describe how it works, and provide detailed instructions for using it.

How to use Kanji Builder to build your kanji knowledge

Kanji Builder is a fun and challenging game that will help cement your knowledge of kanji.

How to use spaced repetition flashcards to study Japanese

Learn the most effective way to memorize both Japanese kanji and vocabulary.

How to create flashcards from imported word lists

You probably know Kanshudo contains the most comprehensive Japanese dictionary online. But did you know you can also import word lists from other dictionaries, or lists you create yourself? Use Kanshudo to help you learn Japanese words and kanji, and manage your progress with Japanese, alongside your favorite dictionary app!
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Change component list
By default the component builder shows the most common components (themselves joyo kanji, or used in at least 3 other joyo kanji). Select an alternative set of components below.

Full details of all components and their English names can be found here.
Help with the component builder
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.
For any components you recognize, if you know the English meaning or name, start typing it in the text area. Full details of all components and their English names can be found here.
Alternatively, count the strokes of the component, and scan the list to find it visually.
To find the kanji :
  • Notice that it is made of several components: 氵 艹 口 夫.
  • 氵 艹 口 all have three strokes, so you could look in the list in the 3 stroke section. 夫 has four strokes.
  • Alternatively, you could start typing 'water' (氵), 'grass' (艹), 'mouth' (口) or 'husband' (夫) in the search area, and the components will be highlighted in yellow.
  • Keep adding components until you can see your kanji in the list of matches that appears near the top.