Soroban: The Japanese Abacus
Soroban, the Japanese abacus, provides a visual and tangible tool which allows students to see and manipulate a physical representation of abstract numbers. The soroban can not only help consolidate arithmetic skills and improve concentration, but also allows the exploration of mathematical concepts through the lens of Japan.
The Japan Society offers loans of soroban, including free long-term loans of teaching soroban, and tutorial videos. To access the videos, please complete this short form. To enquire about borrowing soroban, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
This scheme of work can be used as a complement to your curriculum to: help students understand place values, practice number bonds, and manipulate numbers quickly.
- To identify and represent numbers on the soroban
- To use the soroban for addition and subtraction
- To perform multiple operations (addition and subtraction) on the soroban with fluency
See the and lessons for more information.
Note: This is a pilot resource and is being further developed. Some sections may be revised or updated.
The Japan Society has class sets of soroban and teaching soroban available to borrow, subject to availability. To request, please visit our loan resources page.