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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Abacus has been a wonderful benefit to our son. He has applied the principles learned in everyday life. From school work to a visit in the shopping mall, our son has applied abacus principles in everything from problem solving to calculating a total sale or discount in a store. Abacus has given our son an edge over other students. Sensei Miwako is a caring and focused on all the students. She is patient, helpful, and most of all encouraging to the students. We are grateful for her service to our son. -- Cal and Denise Huey