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Researches on the Bamboo and Wooden Documents Related to the Multiplication Table Unearthed in China, South Korea and Japan and the Study of Mathematics in Basic Society

  • 중앙사론
  • 2020, (52), pp.287-326
  • DOI : 10.46823/cahs.2020.52.287
  • Publisher : Institute for Historical Studies at Chung-Ang University
  • Research Area : Humanities > History
  • Received : October 28, 2020
  • Accepted : November 10, 2020
  • Published : December 31, 2020

DAI weihong 1

1中國社會科學院 古代史所

Accredited

ABSTRACT

From the background of the cultural communication of East Asia, the bamboo and wooden documents related to the Multiplication Table which have been unearthed in China, South Korea and Japan, is a part of the cultural communication and exchange of Chinese characters. The similarities of the bamboo and wooden documents related to the Multiplication Table unearthed in the three countries are shown in the following four aspects.1)According to the sequence of the table, they were arranged from the ninth paragraph to the next paragraph. 2) The use of repetition symbol“〓”,When the same factors multiplying, repetition symbol“〓” is used in the Multiplication Table.3)20、30、40 were written in The Chinese character “廿”“卅”“卌”.4)It was used not only by grassroots officials but also by hand craftsmen.5)In terms of its nature and use, the Multiplication Table is not only a textbook used in childrens’mathematics education, but also a textbook and practice material for grassroots grassroots officials and hand craftsmen to re-study. Whether the conjunction of multiplier and product is used when the product is a unit digit, it is not used in some cases. For example, it is directly written as "二四八" instead of "二四而八", which is influenced by the writer on the one hand, and is also the actual state of the Multiplication Table in practical application. .Because of the times' difference and the development of the Table itself, the basic contents are different.And because of different writers with different purposes and roles, the contents and formats are slightly different. Since the Pre-Qin Period, the Multiplication Table was a basic knowledge for those who learned arithmetic at that time. It was not enough that they could only write, they had to use it correctly and skillfully.In the Tang Dynasty, there was a Doctor (博士) of mathematics under the Imperial College, and the Ten kinds of the Arithmetical Classic(算經)are textbooks for the mathematics education. The education of mathematics in Paekche, Silla and Japan was influenced by the Tang Dynasty. However, not all of them have the opportunity to study in official schools. In order to become an official and then get promoted in the assessment system, civilians and the officials at the grassroots level also have to practice their writing and math skills. As the basis of mathematical calculation, the Multiplication Table has become a common material for them to practice, which is one of the reasons why there are many bamboo and wooden documents related to the Multiplication Table unearthed in the three East Asian countries. The Multiplication Table, widely used and unearthed in East Asian grassroots societies, is a fresh and precious first-hand material for understanding the cultural transmission and communication of Chinese characters.

Citation status

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This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.