The Soroban Abacus

soroban abacusAbacus is called “soroban” in Japanese and “swanpan” or “suanpan” in China and was imported to Japan from China, via Korea about 1600. Long ago before the Abacus was introduced in Japan the word “sanban” (“san-“ and “-ban” literally mean “calculation” and “board” respectively) already existed. So a new term for Abacus, “soroban,” was created to distinguish it from “sanban.” The Chinese character for “san” can be used in different ways – “sor” or “soun” – so “soro ban” was derived from “san ban.” Surprisingly, 58 different phonetic equivalents for “soroban” have been found.

Explore the wonderful history of and fascinating information about the Japanese Abacus in the pages we’ve provided:

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My son, Nicholas, was only 4 years-old when he started JAMS. He couldn’t write is numbers and counted to 20. Today Nicholas is 6 years-old and attends kindergarten. He adds and subtracts double and triple digits and has memorized his multiplication tables – AMAZING! I couldn’t be more sure that JAMS is the best investment in his future that we have made! -- Carrie Salehiamin