What is Abacus?

Japanese Abacus (Soroban) Roman Abacus Chinese Abacus
Japanese Abacus (Soroban) Roman Abacus Chinese Abacus

The Abacus ("Soroban" in Japanese) is a very simple calculating tool, often constructed as a wooden frame with beads sliding on wires. The origin of the Abacus is unknown, for many different cultures are known to have used similar tools.

Why use the Abacus in the era of advanced technology? The answer is simple: it's FASTER!

Researchers have proven that "mental-image calculation" is more than five to ten times faster compared to using calculators. The brain activity of advanced abacus students shows a rapid movement in the right hemisphere of the brain, which is now known to instantly process massive information.

By learning how to convert numbers into images of beads and by speeding up the process, you can stimulate the whole brain and improve not only on mathematical skills, but also memorization, concentration, and many other skills and abilities that are keys to a successful, prosperous life. By working on your "image" brain, you can awaken the great potential that has been sleeping within you for a long time!

Soroban versus an Electric Calculator

On November 12, 1946, a contest was held in Tokyo between the Japanese soroban, used by Kiyoshi Matsuzaki, and an electric calculator, operated by US Army Private Thomas Nathan Wood. The bases for scoring in the contest were speed and accuracy of results in all four basic arithmetic operations and a problem which combines all four. The soroban won 4 to 1, with the electric calculator prevailing in multiplication.

About the event, the Nippon Times newspaper reported that "Civilization ... tottered" that day, while the Stars and Stripes newspaper described the soroban's "decisive" victory as an event in which "the machine age took a step backward...."

Some content taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abacus; Some images taken from http://commons.wikimedia.org