Academia & Science

History Lecture: The Secrets of Japanese Mathematics

10 March 2020


Science Museum, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London SW7 2DD

The Secrets of Japanese Mathematics

Sudoku and origami are the most well-known contemporary math games associated with Japanese intellectual tradition. But were they really Japanese inventions? If not Sudoku, and if not origami, then what kind of mathematics originated in Japan? This talk presents some important moments in Japanese history which helped create a unique knowledge system, so-called Japanese mathematics (wasan). We will investigate various pictures, booklets, sketches — some of which have been kept secret — and discuss the cultural and political influences in making Japanese mathematical tradition.

Note: This is a general lecture, open to the public. Background knowledge of mathematics is not required.