I was very much interested in “Zen and the art of Premier League dominance” in the May 24 edition because koan in Zen, especially in the Soto sect, was addressed in “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword” by Ruth Bennedict over 70 years ago as an unscientific, irrational way of thinking. The American anthropologist depicted Japan’s culture chiefly as being based on shame (haji) and therefore barbaric and inferior.
However, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger uses the Buddhist philosophy for training. That is so great! This way of thinking will help players solve problems with self-solutions or revelation or enlightenment. Incidentally, the founder of Panasonic, Konosuke Matsushita, used this in business.
Now I am more interested in the Soto sect than the Rinzai sect in Zen.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.