Are you thinking what is this hue and cry about abacus courses? There are so many abacus training centres, and you are confused about the abacus benefits. Worry not! As Gama Abacus is here to inform about abacus and bring forward a few of zillion abacus benefits.

Here is abacus Wikipedia from us.

The Naming

Abacus is a Latin word that was derived from the Greek term 'abax'. Greeks used abax to refer to the flat counting board where people moved pebbles and stones to add and subtract.


Abacus is an ancient device used for calculations. But do we know how old it is? An abacus finds its roots in the Babylonian era. Historians found the first signs in 2700-2300 BC. Abacus calculations of that era were confined to addition and subtraction. The Greek historian Herodotus also mentioned the abacus as a device that uses pebbles for calculations.

Later the scholars who travelled along India and China used the device extensively and exchanged knowledge which led to further development of abacus calculations. The Greeks' knowledge about abacus methods was extremely famous during the Achaemenid empire, the Etruscan civilization, Ancient Rome, and the French Revolution.

There were multiple limitations when calculating through the early abacus, and these led to evolution. Finally, when the abacus reached china, they had decided to make it a comprehensive tool for calculating. After passing through the knowledgeable hands of multiple dynasties in China, the abacus could deliver decimal calculations. Still, it lacked the concept of zero. It was only after travelling to India and Japan that abacus beads evolved into what they are today.

Here is a timeline of the history on abacus and how it emerged as today's well-known soroban abacus training.

  • 29.12.2013Ancient abacus (300 BC to 500 BC)

    The Greek calculating device, Salamis, is of this period. Roman calculi, too, identify as the abacus of the ancient era. Stones and metal were used to make the abacus training boards of this era.
  • 15.08.2013Middle age (5 AD to 1400 AD)

    People in this era saw a bit more advanced abacus calculation. Most calculating boards were crafted in wood, and the beads shifted from being vertical to horizontal. The well-known ancestors of abacus calculation in this are Apices, coin board, and line board.
  • 11.05.2013Modern abacus (from 1200 AD)

    This is the time when the modern-day abacus took shape and became a prevalent calculating device. The Chinese suan pan, Russian schoty and the Japanese soroban are the inmates of this period.

Insights of the Modern abacus

The Chinese suan pan

Suan pan means the calculating tray. The abacus calculations through this device happened with a 20cm tray that had 7+ rods. The suan pan is divided into two parts, wherein there are 2 beads each in the upper portions and 5 in the bottom.

The Russian schoty

Schoty has ten beads on each rod except one that has four. The abacus calculations are performed by moving the beads from left to right. Russians used schoty for calculations until the 1990s.

The Japanese Soroban abacus

The present-day abacus is the Japanese version. It has an odd number of rods that are never less than nine. The basic model consists of 13 rods, but standard ones can go up as 21, 23, 27 and sometimes 31 with abacus beads. Each rod represents a digit, and as the rods increase, one can perform calculations of larger values. The soroban abacus benefits are that it can calculate any complex digit with ease. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, square roots of a whole number and even decimals are an easy game on this board.

How information about abacus became an interest of study for people?

The Japanese students were taught abacus from their primary grades. It was after World War IInd that the west hugely altered the Japanese educational system. But still, there was something about the potential of Japanese's brains that hit the world. In the 20th century, the power of mental calculation or blind calculation came into prominence, and that is where abacus learning became a topic for thorough research to scientists.

Gama Abacus upholds the Japanese soroban to turn it into a modern device for abacus training. It plays a key role in igniting an individual's cognitive skills and building a strong foundation for the future.