Interest in Soroban Abacus is picking up throughout the world

According to International Journal of Research in Education and Science, “Soroban Abacus training helps students in terms of problem-solving abilities, creativity, development of concepts and interest towards mathematics.” This tool helps with calculations of numbers reaching trillions to be done within minutes. 

Abacus is locally known as Soroban in Japan. The New York Times states that it was used till the 1970s in Japan’s public schools. It’s not mandatory in schools now, but many private schools in Japan teach thousands of students to use the abacus. 

The increasing interest in Soroban in Europe 

The United Kingdom is leading in Europe with its outward interest in Abacus. Their government reportedly is planning to buy 360,000 abacuses for an astounding £1.4 Million in an attempt to increase the mental calculating ability of students. Moreover, there are plans in pipelines to first train the teachers. Well-trained and knowledgeable teachers would then teach abacus to primary-level students. 

The interest in abacus in Ireland has also seen a spike. Many private tutors are offering private abacus lessons to students aged between 4-13. Their goal is to use the abacus and improve the mental arithmetic development of their students. 

Moreover, European Abacus institutions are operating in different locations across 15 European countries. 

Soroban helps in fighting Dementia 

The use of Soroban isn’t limited to an increase and development in children’s mental capacity. According to Statista, 50 million people were suffering from Dementia in 2018, and the number was predicted to increase with time. So, that is another reason for the increase in global interest in the abacus which helps in fighting Dementia. 

The health of the brain starts declining much faster than the health of the physical body. Hence, efforts are required to maintain brain health. Learning abacus can stimulate the brain in areas that are underdeveloped or underutilized. Moreover, it helps to improve attention span and visual skills. 

The use of Soroban Abacus in Asia 

Alexei Volkov, in his book Computations and Computing Devices in Mathematics Education Before the Advent of Electronic Calculators, states that learning abacus skills in India improved the cognitive abilities of children aged 8-12 in several categories. This included problem-solving, concentration, working memory, associative memory, concept formation, creativity, and the ability to create mental images. Furthermore, studies in Turkey on the use of Soroban abacus yielded positive results. Students aged 7-12 had a positive impact on their abilities of creativity, problem-solving, and understanding of concepts.

Abacus has been favored in Asian countries since its inception. Japan, China, and Russia were the leading countries in the usage of Abacus. The modern era has proved that the use of the Abacus helped the children in the east develop a clear and concrete grasp of concepts and figures. So, the west is speeding up by getting their children familiarized with Soroban Abacus. 

At JAMS, Portland, we are here to help your kids achieve their maximum potential and to excel in math. Confidence in numbers helps in almost any area of life and it not only helps with their future but with their current classes too. Schedule an appointment with us to find out more.

Miwako Sensei has written an article, “What your kids can learn from the Japenese about math”  which can be read here: https://jamsportland.com/2019/05/27/what-your-kids-can-learn-from-the-japanese-about-math/

Nothing fuels the fire for math than discovering you can be a math genius! If you’re not sure Abacus will help your child, sign up for a free preview of our online Abacus Classes – there’s no obligation to register! Come meet with us, watch some kids in action, calculating at the speed of light! We guarantee you will have fun watching these little geniuses.




JAMS is proud to be the only Abacus math school in Portland and in the State of Oregon certified by the League of Soroban of Americas. Since 2001, we have dedicated to Abacus & Anzan instruction and to building a strong foundation of Mental Mathematics along with lifelong skills. JAMS empowers children to achieve academic success, so they will grow in areas that go well beyond the classroom. JAMS parents can expect their child to improve in 5 different areas: concentration, discipline, problem-solving, time management, and confidence. This is the teaching approach at JAMS since opening its doors.