Kanshudo Component Builder
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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
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!

明 means 'bright'

Animation / stroke order not available.
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Strokes : 8    Frequency: 74   JLPT: N4    Usefulness: 2    Challenge set: 2    Grade: 2   Intermediate lesson: 7    Beginner lesson: -   Begins 181 words   Used in 606 words   Used in 3754 names   Component in 6 kanji (1 Jōyō)
Jōyō (常用)
   メイ   ミョウ
   かり light   あかるい bright   あかるむ to brighten   あからむ to become luminous (at dawn)   あきらか obvious   かす to lay bare    to open   ける to empty
On    ミン
Kun    -あ   あくる
Name    あきら   あけ   あす   きら   け   さや   さやか   とし   はる   み   め
⿰   sun; day   month; moon  
Explore these components visually on The Kanji Map ⇗
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In the most useful 10,000 words in Japanese, 明 is used 51 times, read 5 ways. 2 words use a non-standard reading.
Across all words in Japanese, 明 is used 572 times, read 7 ways (with 1 variation). 2 words use a non-standard reading.
Note: kanji quick view shows the most useful word for each reading which is also the most common variant, and in the 10,000 most useful words in Japanese. Words shown here draw from all words in Japanese and include less common forms.
メイ : 364 words FIND ALL
explanation; exposition
(click the word for examples and links)
ミョウ : 48 words FIND ALL
1. morning star; Venus  (see also: 金星)
2. preeminent person (within their own field); star (of the stage, silver screen, etc.)
(click the word for examples and links)
ミン : 6 words FIND ALL
Ming (dynasty of China, 1368-1644)
(click the word for examples and links)
かり : 108 words FIND ALL
dawn; daybreak
(click the word to view an additional 2 forms, examples and links)
あかるい : 29 words FIND ALL
1. bright; colourful
2. cheerful
(click the word to view an additional 2 meanings and 2 forms, examples and links)
あきらか : 9 words FIND ALL
obvious; evident; clear; plain
(click the word to view an additional 2 forms, examples and links)
ける (read as あけ) : 4 words FIND ALL
dawn (sometimes esp. in ref. to the 16th day of the lunar month onward)  (see also: 夜明け)
(click the word to view an additional 1 form, examples and links)
さや: 2 words. FIND ALL
clear; fresh; bright  (often written with kana only)
(click the word to view an additional 1 form, examples and links)
Part of a non-standard reading: 2 words. FIND ALL
noun (temporal) (jisoumeishi)
1. tomorrow
2. near future  (this meaning is restricted to reading あす)
(click the word to view an additional 2 readings and 3 forms, examples and links)
Henshall: 228 (originally: 208)  Joy o' Kanji : 208  Key to Kanji: 1001 

Cascading kanji view

メイ   ミョウ   あかり light   あかるい bright   あかるむ to brighten   あからむ to become luminous (at dawn)   あきらか obvious   あかす to lay bare   あ to open   あける to empty   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
ニチ   ジツ   sun; day   ひ    -か    
ガツ   ゲツ   つき month; moon   
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Search results include information from a variety of sources, including Kanshudo (kanji mnemonics, kanji readings, kanji components, vocab and name frequency data, grammar points), JMdict (vocabulary), Tatoeba (examples), Enamdict (names), KanjiVG (kanji animations and stroke order), and Joy o' Kanji (kanji and radical synopses). Translations provided by Google's Neural Machine Translation engine. For more information see credits.