Is Abacus Education still effective in adulthood?

Many people think that learning Abacus is a child’s lesson, but in Japan it has been useful for people as a computing tool closely related to their lives since ancient times.

Recently, the Abacus which can be said as the former ancestor of the “brain train boom” is reviewed as a learning material that can be utilized not only by children but also by adults. But is there any effect on adults brain whose growth has stopped already?

This article will talk about how Abacus is still useful not only for kids but for adults also.

Activate the brain and to prevent dementia!

The scene: Granddaughter sitting with laptop and grandfather holding Abacus

Various studies have found that using Abacus gives a great stimulation to the adult’s brain.

One of these is from Ryuta Kawashima, a professor at Tohoku University who is active in researching about forefront of the brain, has proven that Abacus uses the prefrontal cortex of the brain which leads to developing the ability to process things logically.

Furthermore, moving the fingertips help stimulates cerebral blood flow, so great expectations are expected on the prevention and improvement effects of dementia.

Activates brain function by repetitive exercise using fingertips!

The scene: Teaching Abacus to an elderly person.

It is known that learning Abacus which was experienced by the child can activate the brain function through a repetitive exercise using the fingertips. These actions are shown by the psychological process positively. There is 3 special effect.

Specific effect

  1. Improve cognitive and communication skills
  2. Activation of ‘prefrontal cortex’  that controls self-reliance function
  3. Demonstrated function improvement of people suffering from dementia, brain injury, brain dysfunction

Simple calculations adds energy to the elderly’s brain.

The scene: Elderly women standing in the park

Tohoku University professor Ryota Kawashima and other professors of the same university gave a presentation at the international conference entitled “A study about how elderly’s brain works more when doing simple calculations.”

The research went well with the cooperation of 44 elderly people (70 to 98 years old) in a special nursing home for senior citizens in Fukuoka prefecture. One elderly said, ” I do calculations 20 minutes per day and I still continued doing simple calculation for half a year already”.

In the meantime, when examining the function of the frontal lobe responsible for the thought and behavior, it seems that the result got better after 3 months and the degree of nursing care improved.

Activates concentration switch using Abacus

The scene: Sir Edison (IPPO’s Students) taking up an Abacus Examination.

“I was devoted to table tennis in club activities at school that time and goes home around 11 o’clock every day after practice. And, I still continued my routine even though during exam period, so I could not get the time to study. I suddenly asked myself “How could I activate my concentration?

By then on, I started learning Abacus and realized that my mind got better as I can acquire something like my concentration.

So, after practicing abacus for 5 minutes, I notice that it activate my concentration ability effectively, then I started to study afterward and it seems that I could memorize my lessons only for one hour.”

This story is from one person from being a student to an Abacus instructor. It is an example how Abacus could activate one’s concentration.

Even adults have different levels. Reliable with individual correspondence

In learning Abacus, there are individual correspondence according to the ability and pace of each person regardless of what age, even if you are an adult. Those who did not experience can start from the basic of addition and subtraction and for those people who have experience in doing Abacus in the past would check the parts that they remember through step by step from the beginning.


The scene: Sir Edison holding his certificate for passing 8th-grade Abacus exam.

Doing an Abacus is effective for adults brain activities and stress control management, which is increased as they grow older. It is also a prevention of elderly people with dementia. It might be a good idea to try learning Abacus not only your children, but also your parents, grandparents, and all in the family.

Reference: いしど式まとめ from ISHIDO-SHIKI JAPAN
Translate: IPPO Japanese Math School

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Abacus Teacher at IPPO Japanese Math Inc.
Hi! My name is Richel. I am one of the teacher here in IPPO. Let's do Abacus together and hope you enjoy reading the article. Thank you!! 🙂

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Hi! My name is Richel. I am one of the teacher here in IPPO. Let's do Abacus together and hope you enjoy reading the article. Thank you!! :)