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!

Point of interest: 5 Effective Techniques for Learning Japanese Kanji

5 Effective Techniques for Learning Japanese Kanji - The long history of learning Japanese kanji in America.
488 words
The Japanese language has a long and fascinating history. The history of written language in Japan began in the 8th century. Initially, documents were written in Classical Chinese and retained their Chinese pronunciation and to an extent grammar. Over time, Chinese characters (kanji) were assigned to Japanese words, resulting in multiple ways to read the same Chinese character in Japanese.
It proved to be quite complex to write Japanese sentences using this system, however. As a result, two phonetic systems were invented to simplify the situation - hiragana and katakana - which could be used to spell out any word, in the same way as the English alphabet.
Although the written language has changed drastically throughout history, the modern Japanese written form combines Chinese characters and the syllabic kana. For more information about the rich history of the Japanese language, see An Overview and History of Japanese Language: Kanji, Hiragana, and Katakana.
  1. Learn and associate kanji visuals: Kanji, written Japanese, is highly visual. Each character is unique and often complex. A very effective technique is to identify ideas and images that the characters remind you of, and remember those associations. This will be a lot easier and a lot more effective than rote memorization.
  2. Use flashcards: Create flashcards for yourself and test yourself to make sure you understand the meaning of each word you learn. You can use index cards and create your own paper flashcards if you'd like, or you can use apps on your phone to create virtual flashcards. This is an excellent way to master both kanji and vocabulary.
  3. Learn through storytelling: If you enjoy stories, this is an excellent technique. It is a comfortable and entertaining way to learn kanji. Each kanji is composed of one or more components which have meanings in their own right. You can build a story using these components, and create a rhyme or sentence that describes the story. This technique, known as mnemonics, will help you deeply understand each character because you will remember the significance of each element. 
  4. Use a dictionary: There are many digital dictionary apps that you can use in order to find a word if you don't understand it. You can also use a physical dictionary if you prefer a more traditional approach - or a combination of the two. The phone apps are wonderful because they tell you exactly how to write the kanji and they explain the meaning of the word.
  5. Practice every day: It requires a lot of practice and dedication to learn Japanese. Practice is paramount to mastering the art of kanji. Try each of these practice techniques, combine them, and figure out what works for you. With time and dedication, you will be able to read and write Japanese kanji fluently!
For an extensive collection of information on learning Japanese kanji, read our blog, or take our tour. Feel free to contact us with any questions.
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