The headline grabs your attention: “The ancient tool used in Japan to boost memory.” You’ve been more forgetful recently, and maybe this mysterious instrument — from the other side of the world, no less! — could help out? You click the link, and hit play on the video, awaiting this revelation that's bound to change your life.

The answer? A soroban (abacus). Hmm, that’s not likely to help me remember where I put my keys, is it?

This BBC creation is part of a series called “Japan 2020,” a set of Japan-centric content looking at a hodgepodge of inoffensive topics, from the history of Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki pancakes to pearl divers. The abacus entry, along with a video titled “Japan's ancient philosophy that helps us accept our flaws,” about that old chestnut kintsugi (a technique that involves repairing ceramics with gold- or silver-dusted lacquer), cross over into a dominant new genre exploring the country: Welcome to the Japan that can fix you.