A Town Named Obama

March 10, 2008 at 1:26 pm 1 comment

The presidential race heated up last week between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. But as the days go by, Obama is building momentum as the younger, more charming senator who promises to lead the country toward “real change”.

Thousands of miles away, a Japanese fishing town is hoping he’ll come through. With a meager population of 32,000, the city of Obama (meaning “small seashore”) is rooting for their namesake, not because they enjoy universal healthcare, but because publicity for the Illinois senator lends attention their way.

More than most U.S. citizens themselves, Obama dwellers have been active participants in this year’s campaigning, following state primaries, wearing Obama tees, and covering wall-space with “I *heart* Obama” posters. And then there’s the red bean cakes printed with an anime-style mug of the senator. It sure beats bumper stickers.

Though Mayor Toshio Murakami admits that it wasn’t until Senator Obama started picking up pace when the city became an active supporter. He figures 8-10 odds in his favor.

Last year, the mayor expressed his support, searching for Obama’s address online and mailing over a pair of lacquer chopsticks, one of the city’s regional products. Next, he’s sending a good luck charm (“omamori”) from the local shrine. No doubt, if Senator Obama were to actually respond with a “thank you,” the mayor will extend a grand tour of the fishing town. And if that should come about all eyes will be on Obama, both person and place.

Now if only there was a town in China named Clinton.

Himawari

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Entry filed under: Japanese Business, Japanese Politics. Tags: , , , , , .

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