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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From Our Parents & Students...

It was great… REALLY great! My little brother (Evan) and I worked our way through the levels, competing and demonstrating. It was so much fun to show off the skills I had learned. I truly believe that if I get anything out of Abacus, it is that I am not afraid of math. I am so excited to be back in the advanced class, and learning once again! -- Mitchell H.