The previous chapter discussed the crucial weeks and months following a new recruit’s entry into organizational culture and his induction into the requirements of salaryman masculinity at a time when the juxtaposition of earlier assumptions about salaryman masculinity and the emerging post-Bubble assumptions was particularly pronounced. This chapter will continue to explore these ongoing individual negotiations and engagements with the expectations of salaryman masculinity, during these historically significant years. The focus of this chapter is the link between the idea and reality of ‘work’ in relation to defining salaryman masculinity. Specifically, I explore the ways in which my informants framed this link between work and masculinity on a day-to-day basis. This question of the ‘meaning of work’ for individual employees is crucial in fully appreciating workplace and organizational culture at any point in time. However, this question takes on even greater weight when we consider that the period I focus on in this book marked the watershed between (what today comes across as) a nostalgic ‘golden age’ of near-full employment of the pre-1990s ‘Japan Inc.’ era and the post-1990s era of permanent work becoming increasingly elusive for large swathes of young Japanese men (and women). For instance, as noted in earlier chapters, by the early to mid-2000s, over two million Japanese under the age of thirty-five were engaged in part-time or temporary work (Yuzawa and Miyamoto 2008: 156, 157). Ironically, this narrowing of access to permanent employment actually worked to accentuate its societal appeal (see Taga 2011b: 190-193). Thus, the young men whose narratives I draw upon were positioned at a historical moment of cross-currents, not only with respect to the discourse of the salaryman, but also in relation to the very idea of ‘work’ in itself, and its relationship with notions of masculinity. The chapter starts off by setting out the conceptual framework of the work/ masculinity nexus. I then bring in the voices of my informants in order to explore such themes as the importance of work in defining their sense of masculinity, the types of work they associate with masculinity, or the lack of it, their imagining of the discourse of the salaryman in the context of the workmasculinity nexus, and the lived experience at the individual level with the work-masculinity nexus.