This paper sheds light on the amateur practitioner, who is essential to the constitution of as a source of revenue for sustaining performers who teach and as a conduit for the transmission of artistic traditions. Select amateur enthusiasts are important for reinforc­ing the structure of the iemoto (family head) system in . Drawing on ethnographic research, I examine how the process of learning intertwines with the working life of the salaryman (salaried worker), and how the rigors and pleasures of learning on a particular meaning in the context of his working life. The analysis focuses on the decades from the aftermath of World War II to the 1990s, the era in which the salarymen featured in this article worked in these companies. It also traces the rise and decline of this form of corporate-sponsored workplace recreation and considers the implications of this decline for the future of .