BOOKS / 出版物

Wasan, the Fascination of Traditional Japanese Mathematics

Wasan, the Fascination of Traditional Japanese Mathematics

Sakurai Susumu
Translated by Emma Ford, with Gaynor Sekimori

Science

¥2,600

Published by JPIC | Hardcover | ISBN 978-4-86658-017-3 | 180 pages | 188mm (h) x 128mm (w) | March 2018

About the Book

Wasan—a unique form of Japanese mathematics—was developed during the Edo period (1603–1868), a time when the entire country was isolated from the rest of the world. Mathematics was enjoyed as a form of entertainment by adults and children alike and by people of all social classes. Jinkōki, an extraordinary mathematics textbook, was used at private elementary schools called terakoya and became a bestseller that could be found in every household. Furthermore, world-class works were produced by Japanese mathematicians such as Seki Takakazu and Takebe Katahiro.

This book explores the beauty and fascination surrounding wasan by providing a guided tour that goes back in time over three hundred years and navigates through the mysterious and incredible world of mathematical wizardry found during the Edo period Japan.

About the Author

Born in Yamagata Prefecture in 1968, Sakurai Susumu graduated from the Department of Mathematics and the graduate school at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. He is a science navigator and was a Fellow of the Center for the Study of World Civilizations at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (2007–2013). While studying at the university, he taught at cram schools and explained mathematics and physics to students in interesting ways. In doing so, he developed “Science Entertainment,” which includes activities that communicate the surprising and inspiring nature of mathematics through human interactions between people and familiar objects. Sakurai lectures all over Japan and has authored books such as Omoshirokute nemurenaku sūgaku (Mathematics, Too Exciting to Sleep), Kandō suru sūgaku, (Inspirational Mathematics), and Setsugetsuka no sūgaku (Mathematics of Snow, Moon, and Flowers).

内容紹介

江戸時代、鎖国中の日本には「和算」という独自の数学があった。殿さまから子供まで、遊びのような感覚で数学を楽しみ、寺子屋の教科書として普及した驚異の数学書『塵劫記』は「一家に一冊」という大ベストセラーに。一方で、関孝和、建部賢弘といった和算家たちの残した業績は、世界にひけをとらないレベルにあった。知られざる江戸の数学ワールドを案内しながら、驚くべき和算の魅力を探る。

著者紹介

桜井 進

1968年山形県生まれ。東京工業大学理学部数学科、同大学院卒業。サイエンスナビゲーター。東京工業大学世界文明センターフェロー。在学中から予備校講師として教壇に立ち数学や物理を楽しくわかりやすく生徒に伝える。その傍ら、身近なものや数学者の人間ドラマを通して数学の驚きと感動を伝える「サイエンスエンターテイメント」活動を展開、日本各地で講演を行っている。著書に『超 面白くて眠れなくなる数学』『感動する!数学』『雪月花の数学』他多数。

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Original Japanese Version / 原書情報

夢中になる! 江戸の数学

夢中になる! 江戸の数学

桜井 進 著

集英社 刊