This abacus consists of 23 rows of markers - 6 markers on each row, 5 above the demarcation bar and one below. The whole system is encased within the confines of a wooden framework. Representing an early form of Japanese "Soroban", this instrument shows modifications of the early Chinese type. 2 counters above the horizontal bar were recognised to be unnecessary since one counter above and 5 below still give the same total as 2 counters above. The Chinese characters are read from right to left and respectively mean "Units", "Tens", "Hundreds", "Thousands", etc. On this "teaching" Soroban, employed for instruction in elementary and complex calculations, the same pattern has been followed; i.e. one counter above the horizontal bar and 5 below.
Abacus [Early Japanese Soroban], 1978.1438. The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).