go to main contents
|INDEX TO LIST||NATURAL SCIENCE||SOCIAL SCIENCE||THE ARTS||MISCELLANEOUS|
S-9-2-1 : Main Contents begins from here.
The ruler in the capsule is marked in centimetres and millimetres according to the Metric system. This system was first used in Japan in 1893 and adopted as the official standard in 1924. However, in addition to the Metric system, Japan has many traditional weights and measures that survive semi-officially in the weighing and measuring of traditional commodities, such as rice. Lengths of fabric for kimono are measured in tan and Japanese dressmakers use an old measure called kujira shaku or the foot (12in) measure taken from the British system. (See also Appendix 10)
The abacus is a counting device of very ancient origin; evidence of its use has been found in many cultures all over the world, including ancient Greece and Rome and mediaeval Europe. In the 20th century, use of the abacus is restricted to the middle and eastern parts of Central Asia, China and Japan. The modern Japanese abacus (soroban) is a versatile instrument and it can be used to make complex calculations at high speed. The frame is divided longitudinally into two sections, the upper section having one bead per rod representing five digits and the lower section having four beads, each representing one digit. Sets of tables must be learned before multiplication and division can be perfonned on the soroban but with these tables as a basis there is almost unlimited calculation potential. Skilled exponents can visualise the instrument and the progressive movements of the beads, thus carrying out lengthy and complex calculations "in the head", and at great speed. Some Japanese children are remarkably skilled at this.
The contents of this site are excerpted from THE OFFICIAL RECORD OF TIME CAPSULE EXPO'70(March 1975). Please note that company and organization names may differ from those of the current ones.
© Panasonic Corporation 2010