The abacus was invented as a counting tool to count large numbers in ancient times. During Greek and Roman times, most abacuses were made of stones and metal.
In the mid 16th century, the Chinese abacus which had seven beads in each column, two beads in the upper deck and five beads in the lower deck, was introduced into Japan. It became very popular, and was used especially by Japanese merchants as a calculation tool in business. In around 1930, the Japanese abacus, called “Soroban,” was modified into the modern configuration. It is made from wood, and has five beads in each column, one bead in the upper deck and four beads in the lower deck. The Soroban Abacus helps to perform mainly addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
The Soroban Abacus was one of the necessary calculation tools before the electric calculator was widely used in Japan. The Soroban has also been an excellent educational tool for children, helping them understand and recognize numbers since its introduction. Practicing the Soroban helps you to develop your mental calculation ability. After mastering the Soroban Abacus, you will need no calculator as you will be capable of calculating numbers by visualizing Soroban beads!
The Soroban has unique advantages in the digital age. Perfectly designed for decimal calculations, the Soroban can, with a little practice, be used to perform fascinatingly difficult calculations with ease. The Soroban is still taught in Japanese schools, helping children to develop an active approach to learning, and greatly increasing their powers of mental calculation.
This 5-digit US100 Soroban is imported directly from Japan. It was designed by Dr. Leo Richards who was the head of the Soroban Institute in the USA. It is designed for individuals with larger fingers. It is also suitable for the beginner because of the bigger sized beads. This Soroban can be used on an overhead projector, and is excellent as a teaching Soroban in the class room.
This Soroban is suitable for addition and subtraction, but is not really intended for work with multiplication and division.