I read Mark Kitto's book China Cuckoo. For those who don't know him, Mark Kitto is the founder of the famous English-speaking magazine (and now also website) That's Shanghai (later followed by That's Beijing and That's Guangzhou). After years of incessant administrative and legal struggles with the Chinese authorities, the Communist Party seized his company and forbid him to ever work in the media in China again.

He was encouraged to leave China, but stayed and started a B&B business with his Chinese wife on top of Moganshan mountain, 100 km south-west of Shanghai. He tells his story about his life in Moganshan in China Cuckoo. In the epilogue, he wonders what has kept him in China in spite of all the conflicts and setbacks he experienced with the Chinese government.

What he writes on p.342 makes for an interesting topic for long stayers in Japan too. Please read the passage and share your story about how you came to live in Japan and what made you stay.

Quote Originally Posted by Mark Kitto
I am often asked what am I doing here, why did you come to China in the first place. It is a standard question from friends in the UK. Long-term China hands who know something of my story ask me the more awkward one: 'Why are you still here?'
Good questions.
Why leave home, friends, family, the familiar environment and lifestyle that brought you up, that your education prepared you for, and take off to live in an alien country and culture? And China of all places, a particularly alien country and culture that outsiders have been struggling to understand and adapt without success for centuries? What is it about China? And why, for heaven's sake, stay here when you have been so completely shafted?
Just replace 'China' by 'Japan' in the text, and that works pretty well for our own interests here.

In my case I left, but I want to hear the story of those who stayed, who are still there after many years. I you have lived less than 3 years in Japan, please abstain (you could still change your mind, believe me).