“Author and economist Taichi Sakaiya dies at 83” in the Feb. 11 edition prompted me to write.
I have just read one of his books, “Nihon Towa Nanika”(“What is Japan?”), first published in 1991 by Kodansha. In this book, Sakaiya wrote that Japanese diligence basically derives from the teachings of Ishida Baigan. It’s the school known as Sekimonshingaku (Enlightenment through heart learning).
His basic approach was “Shogyou soku shugyou” (“Everything we do makes us promote ourselves”). And diligence and thrift should go together.
As a son of a businessman, I couldn’t understand the low social position that businessmen had in the Edo Period. Ishida taught that money-making is not evil. He favorably emphasized the importance of business activities. I was very happy to learn what he said.
His surviving family deserves our deepest sympathy.
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.