A couple of members have asked about the soroban and flash anzan training.
A good website to start with the soroban is this one:
To see how to do addition, subtraction, multiplication and division:
Here, you can also insert your own calculation and the page will create a video of how to do this on the soroban.
The biggest thing you need to learn is the automation process.
Once automated your fingers just move the beads without thinking.
After automation, you can start to mentally visualize the soroban and move the beads in your mind.
Learning flash anzan.
I have a couple of apps I use on my phone that I wrote about in different threads.
It is difficult to find good information on how to learn flash anzan.
This might be the reason why:
“People who become proficient in use of soroban almost automatically become adept at mental calculation, known as anzan (暗算, “blind calculation”) in Japanese. As a part of soroban instruction, intermediate students are asked to do calculation mentally by visualizing the soroban (or any other abacus) and working out the problem without trying to figure out the answer beforehand. This is one reason why, despite the advent of handheld calculators, some parents send their children to private tutors to learn the soroban.”
How long does it take to learn flash anzan?
“After years of practice, devotees develop the ability to do sums on a mental calculator, solely based on visualisation. The skill is known as “flash anzan” and is the centrepiece of an annual abacus competition.”
A little bit about the techniques used in flash anzan is found here: