he Japanese multiplication, or multiplication with visual lines, is a curious method used by Maths teachers in Japan to teach elementary school students how to multiply with numbers of more than one digit.
The method involves drawing a number of lines, separate to each other. For example, in the operation 13 x 12, take the first number (13) and draw a line up and three lines down; then take the second number (12) and draw a line on the left and two on the right, like a square.
Thus, in can be solved by counting the meeting points of the lines when they cross. The method works because the number of lines act as “placeholders” (in powers of 10: 1, 10, 100, etc.), and the number of points at each intersection is a product of the number of lines. Following the example:
13 x 12 = (1 x 10 + 3) x (1 x 10 + 2) = 156
Multiplication can be solved visually. There is a golden point (1 point), five gray points (5 points) and six points in cyan (6 points). If we combine them, we have the correct result: 156.
Although some believe that this is a very slow calculation method, the truth is that it is a curious and fun way to make multiplications and it works, as is proved by the great results in education systems of countries such as Japan