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Obama - A Town in Japan That Banks on Barack

Reception desk at a hotel in Obama, JapanReception desk at a hotel in Obama, Japan
Obama is a name shared by a certain American senator and a Japanese seaside town, a fact not lost on city public relations boosters who realize that the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign could be the biggest thing to happen to Obama since... well, since ever!


Japanese society is in the midst of a crisis caused by an aging population and compounded by the lure of Tokyo, arguably the world's largest metropolitan area. Young people in rural provinces are leaving their burgs in the boondocks for the bright lights (and job opportunities) of the big city.

Efforts by local governments to raise their profiles, create new jobs and attract tourists usually focus on touting unique regional foods - jellyfish ice cream, wasp crackers and black garlic chocolates among them.

Obama (population 34,000) is different: they're playing the name game for all its worth and by doing so, are saving Japan and the wider world from yet another wacky snack fit only for blog fodder.

 

The rise of Barack Obama has at the very least saved us from mackerel-flavored ice cream, though bakeries in the town flog "manju" (sweet red bean pastries) stamped with "I Love Obama" and a caricature of the Senator's face.

Non-perishable products the town of Obama is noted for include fine lacquered chopsticks, a pair of which were sent to Senator Obama by the mayor of Obama. The Senator's reply: "I look forward to a future marked by the continued friendship of our two great nations and a shared commitment to a better, freer world." Crank up the t-shirt presses!

 


The latest manifestation of Obama-boosting comes courtesy of the so-called "Obama Girls", a troupe of hula dancers from Obama, Japan who have journeyed to Hawaii to compete in a dance contest.
Barack Obama was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, so do the Obama Girls (no connection with the "Obama Girl"  phenomenon) have some ulterior motive? You betcha...

"It will be our honor to dance in Mr. Obama's hometown," enthused 35-year-old team leader Chikako Shimizu. "We will brush up our performance, hoping that one day we will dance before Mr. Obama as he becomes president."

The girls may yet have their chance - Barack Obama seems delighted with the attention his last name is getting from Japan and he's indicated a visit to the town would be in order once a few other things - like winning the presidency - have been taken care of.

To see more noteworthy Japanese inventions, sign up for my latest articles here,

Steve Levenstein
J A P A N O R A M A
InventorSpot.com

Comments
Jun 8, 2008
by Anonymous

Mr. Obama's hometown

It will be our honor to dance in Mr. Obama's hometown," enthused 35-year-old team leader Chikako Shimizu. "We will brush up our performance, hoping that one day we will dance before Mr. Obama as he becomes president."

Jun 8, 2008
by Anonymous

To His name was Barry

Hilarious site you link it. It has everything (except any verifiable truth, but what bigot needs verifiable truth).

I think you may need to adjust your tin foil hat. It, or your mind, are a little askew. Even a few minutes of actual research will show you that these claims are completely false. But it must be a conspiracy, right?

Haha, people like you are the greatest entertainment on the internet. Like the old freak shows, only better! Keep up the good work!

Blog writer: Make the math question at the end multiplication and not addition. It will cut down on these comments!

Jun 21, 2008
by Anonymous

Obama is our Saviour

I don't know why people post these sites against Obama.

He is the saviour to the US, to deliver us from the Bush rule.

I pray daily to God that Obama will be our elected President and take care of all of the US.

Vote Obama for change or vote McCain and lead us all to more wars, and worse!!!!

Jul 7, 2008
by Anonymous

Obama

I was thinking over the last few years since Bush America continued decline was inevitable
I would have never dreamed of a candidate like Obama,and to be black,it more amazing....God is blessing America now...finally.

Jan 13, 2009
by Anonymous

Musakaaaaka

I love Obama. Obama my friend. Obama may maom. tu chaie dse