By AMANDA BENSON
Sweetwater County Historical Museum 

Abicai on display

 

April 11, 2018



This month’s Artifact of the Month is a Japanese abacus, also known as a soroban.

The abacus is a counting device that allows its user to do quick mathematical calculations. The abacus used in Japan was adapted from the Chinese.

The elements of both abaci are similar in construction. They both have top beads “heavenly beads” and lower beads “Earthly beads.” The key difference between the two is the Chinese abacus has two rows of “heavenly beads” while the Japanese version only has one row.

This particular abacus can be dated between 1850 and 1930 just by the number of beads...



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