The SOROBAN, known as the Japanese abacus in English, is considered to be the first calculator in Japan and has played a significant role in the cultural and educational development of the country. We believe soroban to be representative of many aspects of the Japanese culture. We hope this soroban homepage will answer your many questions: What is soroban? Where does it come from? What role does it play in our changing modern society? Why is it considered so highly in the basic education for getting calculating ability?

What is Soroban

The SOROBAN is a rectangular wooden instrument used to do calculations based on the decimal system. The frame is 33 by 6 centimeters. It has vertical rods with sliding beads and a fixed bar across the rods. The standard Japanese soroban used today has 23 rods with 5 beads each, 1 above the bar and 4 below.