Perhaps our resident translator of things Japanese can help explain this:

A 60-year-old man from Mobara, Chiba Prefecture, recited pi to 100,000 decimal places early Wednesday, smashing the world record.

It took clinical psychologist Akira Haraguchi–who also held the previous record–more than 16 hours to achieve the feat, which ended with the number 6.

The previous record-holder seems also to be Japanese. What’s up with that, James?

(Also, gotta love the Times’ headline: Rice balls power pi record.)


  1. By the time you’ve learnt 2-3000 kanji, each with multiple readings and meanings, and which combine with each other in pairs to give an order of magnitude expansion in complexity, a few digits of pi is small beer.

    Can you say “rote learning”?

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  3. Ah, so James’s nefarious plan is finally uncovered. His life’d goal is to break the record for pi recitation. This whole “learn Japanese to pass a test” thing is merely a diversion to lull Mr. Hiraguchi into a false sense of security. I give James a month to recover from the test, then some time to swot pi and, to celebrate the Queen’s Birthday next year, the Empire strikes back.

  4. ok, if you can memorize 100,000 digits via the rote method is that maybe the mental equivalent of an ultra-ultra-marathon? Just a long, long, long, long slog?

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