Mathematical Treasures - Korean sangi rods

Frank J. Swetz and Victor J. Katz

This set of late 19th-century sangi, wooden computing rods, originated in Korea. They are contained in their cloth carrying case. Sangi were also used in Japan up until about 1700. These computing rods or sticks, and their resulting numeration system, were originally derived from suanzi, rods used in China from ancient times through the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368). The Chinese rods were replaced by the suanpan, or bead abacus, which was then adapted with variations throughout Asia.

Another view of the set.

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