What a success! We had 35 participants from four countries engage in a two-day interdisciplinary conversation about traditional Japanese mathematics; there are some great photographs that captured the inspirational vibes at SWARM.


We are pleased to announce this conference and exhibition on traditional Japanese mathematics, held in honor of Hidetoshi Fukagawa, co-author of Sacred Mathematics: Japanese Temple Geometry and foremost expert on sangaku tablets.

Conference on Sangaku and Wasan At Randolph-Macon (SWARM)
Randolph-Macon College
Ashland, Virginia
April 28-29, 2017

Invited Speakers:

Hidetoshi Fukagawa (Daidou and Kogakkan Universities, Japan)

Rosalie Hosking (University of Canterbury, NZ), author of the recent Ph.D. dissertation Sangaku: A Mathematical, Artistic, Religious, and Diagrammatic Examination

Mark Ravina (Emory University), author of the forthcoming book Japan’s Nineteenth Century Revolution: A Transnational History of the Meiji Restoration

Tony Rothman (NYU), co-author of Sacred Geometry: Japanese Temple Mathematics

J. Marshall Unger (Ohio State University), author of Sangaku Proofs: A Japanese Mathematician at Work

David Clark, Associate Professor of Mathematics
Todd Munson, Professor and Director of Asian Studies

This Conference on SWARM will provide an opportunity for scholars, educators, and students to share and learn about the fascinating culture of math in Tokugawa Japan (1603-1868), also known as wasan. Of particular interest will be the phenomenon of sangaku, colorful wooden tablets inscribed with geometrical problems that were hung in shrines and temples throughout the country. We are hoping to foster a community with broad interests in wasan and a diverse collection of viewpoints to contribute to its study and dissemination, and to encourage collaborative relationships across disciplinary boundaries.

The event will also feature an exhibition of Tokugawa-era mathematics books and life-sized prints of sangaku tablets from across Japan.

A series of introductory talks will begin on Friday (April 28) afternoon, followed by a reception open to all conference attendees.  A limited number of (complementary) seats are available for the Friday evening banquet and keynote address. Presentations and workshops will continue through Saturday morning, with the conference wrapping up around lunchtime.

There is no conference fee, but please register by April 10; if you wish to attend the banquet, we ask that you register as soon as possible and no later than April 1. A limited amount of travel support is available for non-local students and secondary teachers; please send inquiries to

There will also be a session for short (15-20 minute) contributed talks. Please send abstracts to by April 1.

Funding provided, in part, by the AAS Northeast Asia Council and the Japan Foundation, New York.

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