Japan’s Obama City celebrates Obama’s victory

Obama, a small seaside city in Japan, is celebrating Barack Obama’s victory in the 2008 US Presidential Election. Obama (小浜) means little beach/shore in Japanese…

The small city in Fukui Prefecture, with an estimated population of 32k, has been garnering plenty of media attention around the world for namesake reason since Barack Obama announced his intention to run for presidency in early 2007.

Obama City is hopeful that Obama’s victory would boost their tourism and economy. The number of visitors has increased by 20% since the Obama-Obama link was heavily publicised in the media last year.

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  1. I imagine the reason for all the visitors isn’t just the name of the city. I am a very big spokesman for the Prefecture, every day I utter its name only I pronounce it differently. But I think my promotional language is helping in the cause. Can I get a statue too?

  2. I agree, the statue is a bit much. Nobody even knows for sure how good a President Obama will be. You never know, Obama, Japan may not like him in 4 – 8 years. (I seriously doubt it but…) That just seems a little foolish thing to do. Desperate for tourism I guess.. ;)

  3. One thing is for sure, whether he turns out to be a good or bad President, it is still a historic event that he is the first man of black color to be elected President of The United States. This definitly will change attitudes about blacks in American politics forever.

  4. i don’t know what’s the big deal, but obama’s like a celebrity or a hero now.
    maybe i’d know if i was black.
    but i just saw in the news today that newborn black babies (on nov 4th, i think) are being named after obama. they’re either called barack or obama. if it was a daughter, then she’d be baracka, or michelle, which is obama’s wife’s name.

    agree with cole that no one would know how good a president he’d be. imagine he does something bad in the future…would the japanese city obama’s tourism decline? i think the japanese people are overreacting. if the statue rumour is true, it’d be really weird to see an america president’s statue in a japanese city.

  5. About the statue, I think I’ve misread something.

    There is already a statue (albeit an amateurishly made statue) in a shopping mall, but the mayor probably has nothing to do with it.

    My apology for the mis-information.

  6. Seoulman… off course not all visitors are going there for namesake, but it does make the small city rather famous among foreigners. I can imagine foreign visitors paying the place a visit just for the Obama reason if the travelling is not too troublesome.

    I am not really surprised to see a black president for US. There were plenty of signs that most US folks are liberal with skin colour… and the election has just proved the open mindedness of the people. It’s still a milestone nonetheless.

    Would be interesting to see how Obama performs as president; but I actually think that he is lucky to be elected during an economic slump… the situation probably won’t get much worse than it is now with or without Obama.

  7. i’ve always heard that americans are racist, particularly white americans.
    i guess it’s more towards asians than blacks though.
    furthermore, there are quite a few states in the US where a majority of their population is consisted of black people.
    so yeah, i didn’t think obama’s race was a major issue in this election.

    by the way, his cartoon face on the tees in the video looks funny =)

  8. thats so cute haha. i think the whole world over is celebrating! :)

  9. Anonymous says:

    >>i’ve always heard that americans are racist, particularly white americans.
    i guess it’s more towards asians than blacks though.

    um, well every country has its share of prejudice but I don’t think asians are usually targeted as much as blacks have been targeted in america. actually, right now i think mexicans are the group that are most discriminated upon, at least near where i live, (not that they’re being hunted down, but they’re just the butt of jokes and stereotyping) because of immigration and illegalness etc..

  10. Please folks. Suffice it to say that there are racists in every race. (we’ve already heard before about how alot of the Chinese felt about Zhang Ziyi and the whole “disgrace to the Asian race” thing she endured when she started dating her now husband.

    Some can talk about whites, but that Chinese “Disgrace to Asians” attitude is very similar to what the majority of whites ‘used’ to think about blacks years ago. And the comment about whites being racist towards Mexicans. Try listening to what Mexicans say behind closed doors sometimes. They pretty much only stay within their own race and confine as much of their dealings to each other as they can. Remember, Mexico doesn’t have as many different kinds of races living within it’s borders either. So they’re more ‘comfortable’ being with their own as well.

    America on the other hand has been a melting pot of races for a long time unlike places such as China, Mexico or Japan or wherever where the populations have largely been monolithic. So, America has had to learn to be more open about race out of neccessity. They know a little about living and working with many other races together. That’s not to say that racism isn’t still alive in America but considering all the different races packed into schools and neighborhoods together these days, they’re doing OK IMO.

    Today there are more kinds of races living in United States borders than ever before. Blacks, hispanics, whites, Asians, middle easterners, Indians, and even among all those you have differing cultures inside. American blacks, African blacks, American born Asian kids meeting Asians fresh arrived from Asia. All that makes for a pretty heavily diverse group. Unlike what alot of other countries have. And they’ve learned to adapt to it fairly well considering.

    Here’s a tidbit of information. In the election McCain took a majority of his votes from whites, and almost all blacks voted for Obama. But they weren’t as many total black voters as whites. Yet Obama won, so what does that mean? It means that a large number of whites also voted for Obama as well.

    America has been working towards this historic event for a long time. So I commend them on it. And I commend the American people for electing a guy that seems to be intellegent enough and hopefully honest enough to get the country back on it’s feet and start establishing itself on good terms in the emerging global economy and world relationships.

  11. lol, just to clarify…
    it’s not me who’s saying americans are really racist.
    it’s just “what i hear” from people a lot.

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