Konosuke's workday began at the crack of dawn with a careful cleaning of the store. When the shop was spotless, he polished the hibachi brazier while looking after his employer's children until it was, once again, time to fall exhausted into bed.
However, when his first payday finally arrived, the single five-sen coin he received seemed a veritable fortune, and made all the hard work worthwhile.
In less than a year, the hibachi shop went out of business, and Konosuke found a new apprenticeship at a store selling bicycles, which, at the time, were luxury items imported from the U.K. The bicycle shop also handled small metalworking jobs, and he quickly learned to use a lathe and other tools.
Treated as a member of his employer's family, Konosuke spent five happy years there.
Although Konosuke considered leaving his apprenticeship for a job that would allow him to take night classes and complete his education, his father convinced him to stay at the bicycle shop, saying, "The skills you are learning will ensure your future. Succeed as an entrepreneur, and you can hire people who have an education."