July 31, 2004

Japanese Temple Geometry. During Japan's period of national seclusion (1639--1854), native mathematics thrived, as evidenced in sangaku--wooden tablets engraved with geometry problems hung under the roofs of shrines and temples. Also check out these sangaku problems.
  • The second link does not work, alas. These are pretty cool. My first-year calculus prof taught a couple of lessons on sangaku, and we solved one of the problems in class.
  • Sangaku problems? PS: nice link!
  • Ta, PF. And it was the third one down that we did. [banana, which circles inscribed on it, and also ellipses inside the circles]
  • Thanks for the corrected link, PF. (Must remind self to hit preview more often.)
  • A clickable map of Sangaku from various parts of Japan is available here. Nice post - I'd never heard of them before. PS. I found the above link at the rather good Mathematics Museum (BACKGROUND MIDI!).
  • Heard this on the radio a while ago. There's a new book out Title: Sacred Mathematics: Japanese Temple Geometry Author: Fukagawa Hidetoshi and Tony Rothman Publisher: Princeton University Press ISBN 978 0 691 12745 3