Historical Development And
Educational Value of Zhusuan Education
1. The Historical Development of '
The calculation tool called Zhusuan has a very old history in itself until
From around BC 3,000 ~ BC 2,000 in the Mesopotamia Area (now Iraq), it was said that
lines were marked on sand and little rocks were used for calculation.
Subsequently a calculation tool that is known as the 'line Zhusuan' was
made in ancient Greek, and the Romans also made 'Groove Zhusuan' which they
used for calculation.
It is said that these tools were introduced in China but there are many
different theories on how calculation tools spread through the world. From
around BC 770 ~ BC 476, China used 'Suanchou' for
calculation. And, the oldest record of a calculation instrument similar to
the Zhusuan can be seen in document dated AD 200. Principles of Algorithm,
is the first bead-calculation book in China, written by Wang
Wensu, an expert in bead calculation of the Ming Dynasty. According to the
document, the first Zhusuan introduced to Japan from China was in the 16th
While studying the tool for 400 years, Japan has improved and
revolutionized the Soroban (Abacus) to what we use today. In the recent
years, the modernized Zhusuan has been introduced back to China where it is actively
in use. Not to mention, Zhusuan is also commonly used in other countries
such as Korea, Taiwan, United States and Brazil. Zhusuan is
practical, useful in solving mathematical problems and especially is very
handy in teaching the concept of number to children in lower grades.
2. The Importance of Zhusuan
The children all across the world have a tendency of
disliking or fearing math. The basics of life are made from calculation.
Children who dislike calculation may not necessarily become the failure of
life, but they do tend to have difficulties in life and might result in a
delay in the development of the brain functions relative to calculation. It
may fairly be said that an improvement of calculation skills 'Zhusuan
etc…' are the basic of human education.
The Improvement of The Mathematics Sense
By teaching Zhusuan to children, especially at
the age of 4 ~ 12, they improve their use of the four arithmetic rules by
twice in speed once they obtain this ability.
The most remarkable quality of having Zhusuan Education is
that one can calculate simple numbers by Mental Arithmetic 'calculating
without using any tools'. Currently in China, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia and Japan people can calculate
up to 10 digits all in their head.
At the present, we are living in the so called 'computer
era'. Of course, computers are faster than Zhusuan if it is simple
calculation of numbers, that is, only if the computer is programmed
properly. But the fact is that people are the one that operate computers,
in Japan there has been
results that people without a mathematical sense are more likely to make
input mistakes. People who operate computers need the ability to catch
numbers and words accurately and with speed. The best way to improve that
ability would come from Zhusuan Education.
B) The Education Value of Zhusuan Education
At this moment, the Zhusuan bailey tests are divided into
20 different ranks. The one with the ability higher than 15th rank
'counting from the bottom' have constantly maintained grades in the upper
most class in Japanese high schools. These results are due to the fact that
Zhusuan Education has deeply effected the activation and development of the
human brain. Still it is unclear to whether the human brain has developed only
after the Zhusuan Education or a hereditary 'good brain' has improved due
to Zhusuan Education. Schools presently involved in psychology, cerebral
studies, and education Zhusuan studies have been doing researches related
to this topic. Occasionally, reports have been made from these researches
at an academy, and in the future new answers to this question should come
C) Effects of the Zhusuan Education on the Human
The cerebral studies have made remarkable progress in the
recent years. Professor Toshiro Hayashi of Kyoto University, who is a
representative scholar in this study, has reported the following issue
titled 'The Human Brain and the Zhusuan'
The nerve tissue of the sense nerve, which controls the
movement of the fingers, has been found to be very abundant, which means
the movements of fingers when using Zhusuan requires many nerve tissues
to move simultaneously. Furthermore, these movements of fingers
especially the thumb and index finger required greater skills compared to
playing a piano.
With regard to the above, it can be said that Zhusuan
education is a necessary step in the basic human education. Its
educational value to the children is vital to the human brain formation.