No matter who became the head of the House, all members as well as employees owed him total obedience, as he owed it to the forefathers in terms of following closely the written House rules or oral traditions. The House members, as employees, con­ sisted of apprentices, journeymen and managers (detchi, tedai, bantō). Employment conditions were fixed by written contracts which ran usually to ten years' duration, and were regulated by the guilds. The detchi was recruited through recommendations from fellow merchants and often came from peasant families but also from other merchant Houses. The sponsor had to guarantee good conduct, and if the detchi, who was at the time of entrance barely twelve, misbehaved in a bad way, the sponsor had to pay indemnity. The detchi worked for room and board but received some gifts on festive occasions, like the mid-summer o-bon and New Year. He was not systematically instructed and was during the first years exclusively used for menial jobs and errands. For­ mal education consisted mainly of arithmetic in the form of the abacus; about other forms of education little is recorded. Mer­ chants had, on the whole, little use for books, which they con­ sidered a specialty of samurai. And since samurai were poor in busi­ ness, books were proved harmful to merchants, in their customary interpretation. The Confucian classics had as little to teach to practical businessmen in Japan as the Greek and Latin authors to the English merchants. In Japan a detchi and tedai learnt by imitating, and obeying the bantō and head of the House.