Header image of a close-up of a soroban


If you are, like me, fascinated by this "old" tool called the abacus, or specifically the soroban, you've already managed to get your hands on a soroban and began to practice and learn how to add, subtract, multiply and divide with it.

If not, first, learn how to read a number on the soroban. Then, learn how to do the 4 basic operations by trying our virtual soroban, with step by step example of each operation. If you need more reference, try [1] and [2].

And now, you want to improve yourself. You've already found online generators of random numbers that help you practice (for example [3] or [4]). Maybe, you've even made one for yourself.

I have learned to use the soroban with the help of the very good book Le boulier, Initiation Le boulier's cover icon [5] by Jean Cumin and Jean Hossenlopp (published by Chiron in french). I have also read The Japanese abacus, Its use and theory The Japanese Abacus'cover icon, the book of Takashi Kojima. These 2 books talk about the soroban examination [6] [7] taking place in Japan for each grade, called kyu. They show examples of these examination and it's a good exercise to do these to practice and improve your soroban abilities.

So, I modified the little generator I already made for me to produce pdf files of these examination exercises. You'll find below screenshots of how such documents look like. To see a real example, just go and try the generator.

Click on image to get a full size view
A preview of Cumin 5th kyu exercise   A preview of Moritomo 3rd kyu exercise