We all know that there’s a stereotype that people of Asian descent are better at maths. We also know it’s not necessarily true, but, of course, stereotypes are born from at least a seed of truth. Perhaps there is a reason that this seed exists: the Japanese, at least, have more awesome ways of figuring out multiplication.

The picture above doesn’t really make much sense on first glance, but when you find out how it works – your mind will be blown.

Basically, you take your first number and draw a group of lines corresponding to each number parallel to each other – so if it’s 21, for example, you draw a group of two lines and then further along, but still parallel, you draw one line. Then you take the second number and do the same thing, but crossing the other group. You then count up the intersections in each group and voila – you get your answer.

Here’s a nifty video that shows you how it works – and how it works for higher numbers as well.

This is way better than the long multiplication I was taught in high school. And University. Now can we make this work for division?

[Via Mad Ryan]