In an epic battle between the Japanese abacus and an electronic calculator, which do you think would win? On November 12, 1946 the abacus was put to the test! In the capable hands of Mr. Kiyoshi Matsuzaki, the abacus won in a decisive victory of 4 to 1!

The Nippon Times reported at the time that “civilization… tottered Monday afternoon as the 2,000-year-old abacus beat the electric calculating machine in adding, subtracting, dividing and a problem including all three with multiplication thrown in… Only in multiplication alone did the machine triumph.”

Haley Shoda, a 5th grade competitor at the “American & Japanese Children’s Soroban Contest” also prefers the abacus to the calculator, because “it’s quicker and it’s more accurate, cause on the calculator you make more mistakes…”

Try challenging your student to a contest of mathematical might. We have a sneaking suspicion that the abacus would take the title!