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The Chinese Abacus was an early aid for mathematical computations.
Its only value is that it aids the memory of the human performing the calculation. The earliest known written documentation of the Chinese abacus dates to the 2nd century BC.
This was mostly because of lack of time and resources, but as I have come to learn about, and appreciate, the manufacturing art and long history of abaci in various cultures.
I hope to learn more about this as together, we build this gallery. As I do with the other galleries, I wish to get donations of abacus from users from different countries so that we can place a name and history with them. As this gallery is being constructed, one of the best references for the history and use of Abaci is Totten Heffelfinger's website out of Toronto, Canada.
Other references, images and texts are provided Wickipedia and other sources.
The reason why there are so many digits up to 27 is that, when the calculation of multiplication and division is carried out, the right part and the left part of soroban are used separately.
(I am sorry I cannot do multiplication nor division by using soroban, but only addition and substraction) Sometimes they use the left part of soroban to store the result tentatively.".
In the early days of hand held calculators, news of suanpan operators beating electronic calculators in arithmetic competitions in both speed and accuracy often appeared in the media.
Early electronic calculators could only handle 8 to 10 significant digits, whereas suanpans can be built to virtually limitless precision.55-56) Chinese mathematics was in decline as Japanese interests were developing."The scholar Mori Shigeyoshi [early to mid 17th century] who flourished in this period is Japan's first 'mathematician'.Suanpan arithmetic was still being taught in school in Hong Kong as recently as the late 1960s, and in Republic of China into the 1990s.However, when hand held calculators became readily available, school children's willingness to learn the use of the suanpan decreased dramatically.He is, according to legend, supposed to have traveled to China and returned with a knowledge of Chinese mathematical achievements and the suan-pan, a Chinese abacus. The suan-pan was probably introduced to Japan much earlier.