In my optimistic youth, I promised my Japanese wife that we would return to Japan someday to care for her aging parents. Twenty years later, she reminded me of my promise and that is how I came to be living in Yamanashi Prefecture at the age of 52.

I had grown used to the fast pace of change in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, where we had been living since 1998, and was more than a little concerned about how I would not just survive but thrive in my new home. I must admit that the first six months were very difficult for me, but I gradually began to see a path forward.

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