One in three Japanese are proficient with an abacus


I always thought that abacus use was a required part of the primary school curriculum in Japan, but looking at the results of this survey from Katte2Q regarding abacuses it seems it is not, though perhaps pretty close to it.

In primary school I used to use a slide rule, but I doubt I could use one today.

Here’s some video from Japan national abacus and mental arithmetic speed competition – the finger fidgeting you see is invisible abacus – at that high level the arithmetic is all muscle memory, so an abacus is not really needed:

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