The Japanese have a different writing from the western one and also diverse cultural issues. Many end up doubting how mathematics works in Japan, thinking about it we are writing this article. Japanese mathematics is called Suugaku (数学) and there are two of them in Japanese, the western one is called yousan (洋算) and the Japanese way of wasan (和算).
Japanese also has its own numbers using the ideograms, only they also use western numbers. The big truth is that Japanese numbers and counts are much more logical and systematic than Western ones. We recommend that you already have knowledge or about japanese numbers so as not to get lost in Japanese mathematics.
Wasan - The mathematical origin in Japan
Wasan was developed in Japan during the Edo period (1603-1867), the term wasan literally means Japanese (算) calculus (和). It was coined in the 1870s but is unfortunately declining because of the influence of Western mathematics. There are not so many differences between Japanese or Western mathematics, it is just historical, but in practice mathematics is always the same.
Among the history of mathematics in Japan one of the most proud inventions is the soroban or Japanese abacus. There is also the Sangaku which are mathematical puzzles that were placed in temples and shrines to challenge people. Seki Kowa was the most influential Japanese mathematician before contact with the West. He discovered solutions to solve systems of linear equations, eliminating dependent variables.
The difference between Japanese and Western mathematics is that they did not apply much of their research and discoveries to areas other than geometry. So they ended up adopting Western mathematics.
The Japanese have a method for making multiplications more easily. It consists of drawing sets of parallel lines that represent each digit of the first number to be multiplied. And then draw sets of parallels, perpendicular to the first sets of parallels, corresponding to each digit of the second number (the multiplier). Look at the figure and count the number of parallel line encounters:
I can't explain it well in words, but each alignment of the parallel lines represents a digit of the final result. And just like traditional multiplication, it is better to get the result by counting the numbers starting from the back. See one of the examples in the figure written in calculations to see how this method is simpler than the traditional one: 23 x 12 = (2x10 + 3) (1 × 10 + 2) = 2x1x102 + [2x2x10 + 3x1x10] + 3x2 = 276
How do the Japanese do calculations?
Mathematics in Japan is done in the same way as in the west. Even Japanese children are already introduced to the Arabic numbers we use, but they also use ideograms. One of the few things that changes is the pronunciation in Japanese, if you know English it is easy that they use enough variations of English.
We use the same signs as Western mathematics in Japanese. However, Japanese also uses the verbs to add, multiply ... along with Japanese ideograms. We use the tasu (足す) as an addition verb, to add or more. Example: 7 + 3 = 10 / nana tasu san wa juu desu (七足す三は十です). In Japanese we use the desu (です) to speak the equal (＝) such as: (X + Y = 50) in Japanese we would speak X + Y は 50 です。And we use the word ten to refer to the (. and,) of the decimal numbers. Example: 3,5 (san ten go).
In Japanese, we can also use the English variation of the 4 mathematical operations (kangenjojo - 加減乗除). They are the same as in Portuguese. Below we will see a list of their pronunciation:
|Japanese||Derived from English|
|Addition / more||tasu (足す)||purasu (プラス)|
|Minus / minus||hiku (引く)||mainasu (マイナス)|
|Multiplication / times||kakeru (掛ける)|
|Split / split||waru (割る)|
|Fractions to 11/13||bun (文)|
The verbs to add, subtract, multiply and divide followed by zan (算) are used to say addition, subtraction, division, etc.引き算 (hikizan), 掛け算 (kakezan), 割り算 (warizan),
Japanese math vocabulary
Of course, this is just the basics about math in Japanese. For you to go even deeper, we will leave a vocabulary table for you to carry out your research:
|Number||数字 / 数||suuji / kazu|
|Negative number||負の数||fu no suu|
|Positive number||正の数||I don't know|
|Fractions to 11/13||分数||bunsuu|