math problem Japan
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
February 22, 2024 ·  1 min read

Can You Solve This Math Problem That Went Viral In Japan?

A new math problem went viral in Japan because of how many people were unable to solve it. This Japanese math problem has made its way across the ocean and now we’re challenging you to see if you can solve it.

The Viral Japanese Math Problem

In Japan in the 1980s, 90% of 20-year-olds were able to solve this math problem. Now only 60% of people in that same age group were able to solve it. (1)

Can you solve this Japanese math problem?

A Trick to Remember

It has been a long time since many of us have had to do math without using a calculator. The thing is, if you write this Japanese equation into your smartphone calculator, you will most likely be given the wrong answer.
This is why many of us have forgotten some of the basic principles of solving equations that we learned in school.

To solve this Japanese math problem, you have to remember the Order of Operations. The simple way to do this is by using the acronym BEDMAS:

B – brackets
E – exponents
D – division
M – multiplications
A – addition
S – subtraction

Now try it again using that principle.

Extra Help

If you’re still having difficulty, we will break it down for you a little bit further. The first thing you have to do is complete the fraction, which is ⅓, or essentially 1 ➗ 3. From there you follow BEDMAS rules to get your final answer.

Other Fun Math Problems

Now that you’ve figured out the infamous Japanese math problem, you can challenge yourself with these other fun math problems:

Be sure to share this equation and the others with your friends and family and see if they can get the right answers.