☆Ootomo-no Yakamochi’s poem:
What a bitter dream –
That dream of th’ meeting so sweet,
As I wake in th’ morn,
Realize that I’m so forlorn,
Feeling for your hand in vain….
This is a love song made and dedicated by Ootomo-no Yakamochi to his dear wife, Sakano-ueno Ohotome. One dreams about meeting his love, and realizes it was only a dream, and the couple is far part from each other in reality – such songs appear among the Tanka poems rather often, most probably because the marriage in those times was often “commuting marriage”, where a husband visits his wife at her home, rather than living together.
In addition, men often went on their own, leaving his family at home, when they are dispatched on duty to other provinces. This latter custom still lingers in today’s Japan.