History own calculators and start businesses based on the

History of Calculating Machines in Japan A number of the world’s most renown calculator brands today are from Japan. In fact, it wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that the market for calculators is ruled by one of the companies in Japan. So what is the history behind calculators in Japan? This report will try to provide a basic outline of the history of developments in calculating machines in Japan. Before machines, or from the 15th century to the 18th century, the Soroban was used in Japan. Unlike the Chinese Abacus, which was introduced in Japan in the 15th century, the Soroban was modified to have sharp edged beads and thinner axis for faster calculations. The Soroban could perform the four basic operations.With the Meiji Restoration in the 1868, the Japanese industry started to grow. People from Japan started to travel to different countries to learn and bring back modern technologies. Thus, some of the first calculating machines were imported into Japan. Some of the machines that were imported were Brunsviga calculators, Odhner calculators, Thomas Arithmometers, and Comptometers. The Thomas Arithmometer was a machine created in 1820 by Charles Xavier Thomas de Colmar in France. The Odhner calculator was a pinwheel device created in 1878, by Willgodt Theophil Odhner in Russia. The comptometer is a key-driven device created by Dorr E. Felt in the US in 1887. In 1892, Odhner sold his patent rights to a German company Brunsviga. Although imported, these machines were extremely expensive. Only the army, insurance companies, and scientists were able to utilize the machines. Japanese engineers started to design their own calculators and start businesses based on the foreign models that were imported in. A patent was given to Roichi Yazu in 1903 for his Yazu Arithmometer, also known as the Automatic Abacus. This device was a hybrid of the soroban and the pinwheel type of calculator. The numbers were inserted into the machine like an abacus and the calculation was automatic. He created his own company in Tokyo and named it the Yazu Jido Soroban. However, Roichi Yazu dropped the arithmometer after producing about 200 units. He invested in building airplanes instead. Although his father tried to save the business by improving the device, the business failed and thus this machine was forgotten until it was rediscovered in 1965.Ohmoto Torajirou, founded the metal working factory Ohmoto Tekko. In 1923, he developed an improved version of the Brunsviga calculator. He named the machine the Tiger calculator. This calculator sold extremely well, as it was cheaper than the imported calculators. Tiger became the largest mechanical calculating machine manufacturer, manufacturing ~480,000 machines until 1974.  As the government inhibited imports of foreign machines in 1937, Japan-made calculators were distributed instead. Some engineers and workers spun out from the Ohmoto Tekko to create their own versions of the Tiger machine. One of the people who did this was Ikuzo Ochi. In 1934, Ikuzo Ochi created the Taiyo Calculating Machine Co. in Osaka. Two models were created- the Taiyo and the Aikoku. Maruzen was a famous machinery distributor in Japan. They had been active in distributing foreign models of calculators before the Tiger machine came around. The Maruzen and Taiyo merged together in 1939 to create the Maruzen Calculating Machine Co. , or also known as Maruzen Jimukikai Co. It is known that they received orders from the Japanese army to create high-speed calculators. With the end of the war, many different Japanese companies began to form and create improved versions of calculators. In 1945, the Nippon Calculating machine was created by Showa Yoko. This was also a spin-off of the Tiger machine. They changed their names to Busicom and produced calculators with the name Busicom as well. In 1951, Maruzen sold the company and the Taiyo company came back. During the same year, Tokyo Electric Co., later switched to the Toshiba Business Machine Co., sold a copy of the original Odhner machine named the Blue Star. In 1956, the Nippo Kikai Kougyo, a distributor of business office equipments, manufactured two calculating machines. In the following year, the Keybar Calculating Machine Co. created the Keybar machine, using the Brunsviga Model 10 as reference. In 1961, Pilot merged with Keybar to form PILOT Jimuki Co. Pilot stopped producing the calculators around 1969.It was around the 1970s that the hand-driven mechanical calculating machines started to disappear in Japan. From the late 1950s, Japanese engineers tried to create motor-driven machines. In the more western parts of the world, however, by the 1960s, the hand-driven machines were already replaced with motor-driven machines. Some of the motor-driven machines included the Monroe, Friden, and Marchant machines. Thus, by the time Japanese engineers started to produce motor-driven machines, the first electronic calculator Anita, an electronic comptometer, was sold in England in 1963. The electronic calculator models were followed by Sony, Canon, Casio, and other companies. Tiger could not produce electronic calculators fast enough and so used Anita calculator imports for business. There were multiple alliance made between Japanese calculator companies and American companies to produce a lighter, portable version of calculators. Some of the alliances included Canon with Texas Instruments, Sharp with Rockwell International, General Instruments with Sanyo and Busicom and Intel. By 1970s, smaller calculators started to be produced. This is the Sanyo Mini Calculator, Canon Pocketronic, Sharp Micro-compet. Busicom developed the micropressor i4004 with intel in 1971. They produced Busicom handy from 1971. They were the first actual pocket-sized calculators and also the first calculators to use LED display. However, Busicom went bankrupt in 1974. In 1972 Sharp launched calculators with DSM-LCD. Casio launched the first card-sized calculators in 1978. Also by 1978, Sharp produced solar-powered calculators. The first graphing calculator was created by Casio 1985. The developments 


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