The Abacus and the Numeral FrameThe Japanese Abacus
Most recent Japanese abaci (soroban) have one counter above and four below. Some older Japanese instruments have five counters in the lower section. The right-most column represents units, the next tens, the next hundreds, etc. For numbers with digits to the right of the decimal point, the first column is for the smallest decimal term. In multiplication, some columns are used for the number being multiplied and some for the product. In part for this reason, there are more columns on most abaci than are usually used in addition. In any calculation, the counters that represent numbers are those moved against the crossbar.
"The Abacus and the Numeral Frame - The Japanese Abacus" showing 1 items.
- This wooden instrument has an open frame and is stored in an open wooden box. The frame (which lifts out of the box) has a cross bar and holds 21 parallel bamboo rods. Each rod holds one bead above the cross bar and five below. The beads have a similar shape to those of other Japanese abaci. All the columns of the abacus except the center one are labeled with Japanese characters on the cross bar.
- According to the donor,writing found on the back of the cross bar indicates that the abacus was made by Oh Tani (or Oh Ya) in Hiroshima and owned by Yoshizaemon Muraoka of Sakata-ken (a city in northern Japan, which was known by that name from 1871 until 1933, when it became Sakata-shi).
- Currently not on view
- Date made
- ca 1900
- Oh Tani or Oh Ya
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center