Sunday, September 30, 2012

Soroban No Machi - Abacus City, Ono City

Soroban そろばん is the Japanese abacus. Japanese people are very good at mental calculations, 暗算 anzan. The first kanji means dark, and the second appears in the word soroban as well, 算盤 - calculation board. It is impressive how fast can the Japanese calculate with the abacus. And even without, just by moving the fingers in the air, like moving the beads of an invisible abacus.

There is an abacus museum in Ono City. The year is marked in orange - 2012.

A nostalgic visit to the abacus museum:

"Soroban World Map" - and the position of the continents is little different in Japan:

Maneki-neko to the left, the lucky cat:

8 August seems to be the Abacus Day:

Old methods of counting:

And a history of counting tools, starting with Mesopotamia:

Mikoshi - a portable shrine made of ebony and rosewood, 85 cm x 60 cm x 60 cm, using about 11,000 colourful beads to build it within six months. It takes about 100 abacuses of 23 digits for so many beads. So neat!

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