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Soroban

The is an abacus developed in Japan. It is derived from the ancient Chinese suanpan, imported to Japan in the 14th century. Like the suanpan, the soroban is still used today, despite the proliferation of practical and affordable pocket electronic calculators.

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Soroban students who train to visualize the physical soroban develop especially fast mental arithmetic abilities. In comparison to the instantaneous mental calculations, punching in numbers into an ordinary calculator is slow.

Contributed by Sharon Pneh

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