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  1. OK, now your are going to have to explain what a Soroban Abacus is and why it is different from a regular abacus, if it is.   Numbers are not my thing, but obscure and ancient skills of limited modern value are, as for so many in this group.

  2. Well, maybe I should have written "Soroban/Abacus" in the subject line.  Soroban is the Japanese word for abacus.  Americans use the word soroban to refer to the Japanese style of abacus, which is different from the Chinese variety in that it has only one bead above the bar, instead of two, and four below the bar, instead of five.  The beads are also shaped a little differently.  Stenomouse, tell her she is my idol–is she Japanese?  I've never heard of competitions in America, though I know there are a few schools in California.  Here is a picture of my baby.     _________________________________ Go, Speedwriter, go!

  3. Funny that I should run across an abacus/soroban discussion. I purchased a book (with small Chinese abacus) some years ago and get it out now and again to play with. I'm getting better at it, but I'd like to purchase a larger, sturdier version (and with more than 9 columns). I've looked online but the sources seem to be for "educational" abaci or are overseas vendors. Any ideas on US vendors or stores that might carry them?

    Courtney

  4. Hi Courtney, welcome to the group.  There is a great Yahoo abacus group: http://groups.yahoo.com/SorobanAbacus.  Tomoe Soroban (www.soroban.com) is apparently one of the few Japanese companies that will ship an abacus to the US.  I gather that the Japanese are somewhat protective of the whole thing.  The site is hard to navigate, but there is an english section.  The Japanese section has a wider selection of models.  People on the Yahoo group consider this to be one of the top suppliers.  But I got the one pictured above through E-bay for only five bucks!  So, keep checking there.   _____________________________ Praise the Lord, I saw the light line!

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