This week my Japanese language teacher finished talking about "Koban wa nesugata no yume" "小判は寢姿の夢". This short story comes from Ihara Saikaku's (1642-1693) last major prose work, "Seken munezan'yo" (1692). The twenty short stories collected in this book revolve largely around the life of lower-class city dwellers in the Kyoto and Osaka region on the last day of the year, a time when the year's debts had to be settled. "小判は寢姿の夢" talks about how a poor family settles its debts. Its solution is for the wife to leave behind her new born baby and to work as a wet-nurse for a rich family, knowing that her own baby would probably die of starvation without mother's milk. This story comes to an end when the husband finally decides to bring back his wife so that the family can stay together to celebrate the arrival of the New Year, putting aside their financial worries for the moment.