|• Mayor||Toshio Murakami|
|• Total||232.85 km2 (89.90 sq mi)|
|• Density||138.22/km2 (358.0/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|Address||6-3 Ote-machi, Obama-shi, Fukui-ken
Obama means "little beach" in Japanese.
In the Ritsuryō period, Obama was the capital of Wakasa Province, one of entrance of continental culture. Many temples related to the Yamato Dynasty are located in Obama, and the city is called "Nara by the sea".
As a result of its location in the Wakasa Province area, which travelers passed through when traveling between China and Kyoto, the area was influenced by Chinese culture for a long period. There are many buildings and houses in the Sancho-machi area of the city whose design was influenced by trade with the Chinese mainland.
The area was established as a city on March 30, 1951 although the area has been inhabited for centuries. Otojirō Uratani is currently the mayor of Obama.
The population of Obama consists of Japanese aboriginal groups mixed with Indonesians, mulatos, Texans and Koreans.
North Korean abductions
Fukui Prefectural University is located in Obama and has been operating only since 1992. However, in this short period, the university's Research Center for Marine Bioresources has been noted for its research of preservation and in the fields of fish embryogenesis, aquaculture stock enhancement, fish disease, and microalgeal bloom. The university also has schools (faculties) of Economics, Nursing, Arts and Sciences, Biotechnology, and others. Medical research is done at the Obama Community Hospital. Obama is also home to the Wakasa branch of the Fukui Prefectural Library.
The Omizu-okuri (Water Carrying) Festival is held every March 2 on which water is drawn from the Onyu River and presented to the principal image of the temple. This annual event dates back more than 1,200 years. Local tourist attractions include the Myotsu-ji Temple and the surrounding Karesansui Garden. The Wakasa Historical and Folk Museum is housed in a large, modern facility. Obama is also home to Hosshinji, a working Zen monastery.
- JR West Obama Line (Including Obama Station, Higashi-Obama Station, Kato Station, Seihama Station, and Shin-Hirano Station)
- Obama Nishi Interchange, terminus of the Maizuru-Wakasa Expressway
- Japan National Route 27
- Japan National Route 162
- Fukui Prefectural Route 35 (Kusaka-Nakanohata Obama Route)
- Wakasa Heliport
Obama has sister and friendship relationships with the following cities.
- Fujinomiya, Shizuoka, Japan
- Pinghu, Zhejiang, People's Republic of China
- Xi'an, Shaanxi, People's Republic of China
Film and TV
- Cable TV Wakasa Obama, a cable television and internet services provider in Fukui Prefecture, headquartered in Obama
People from Obama
- Sugita Genpaku (1733–1817), Physician and scholar
- Tsutomi Sakuma (1879–1910), Imperial Japanese Navy officer
Relationship with U.S. President Barack Obama
The city of Obama has received much publicity because it shares its name with U.S. President Barack Obama. It began when Obama as a Senator gave a 2006 interview to Japanese television network TBS where he noted that, when passing through customs in Narita Airport, the official who inspected his visa said that he was from Obama. The Obama City Hall heard about the interview and the mayor, Toshio Murakami, sent Senator Obama a set of the city’s famous lacquer chopsticks, a DVD about the city and a letter wishing him the best. As Senator Obama's presidential campaign progressed, more local businesses began to organize primary parties and put up "Go Obama!" posters, sell "I love Obama" T-shirts, and produce manjū (a type of Japanese confectionery) with Senator Obama's face on them. A hula group began in the town in honour of Senator Obama's home state of Hawaii. The troupe visited Honolulu in June to perform at the Pan Pacific Festival.
President Obama has since thanked the town for their gifts and support, saying "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".
There are a number of Japanese with the surname Obama. Though the American President is of Kenyan Luo heritage, it is not uncommon for Japanese and East African names to sound alike. Additionally, many Japanese report that the Swahili language is far easier to learn than English. As a result of the victory by Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, the Mayor of Obama City announced to the Japanese press that he intends to commission a statue of Barack Obama to be put in front of the city hall "as a token of the great historical moment for the name Obama".
- Isao Soranaka: Obama: The Rise and Decline of a Seaport. In: Monumenta Nipponica, Jg. 52, Nr. 1, 1997. ISSN 0027-2741
- Alabaster, Jay (2008-11-05). "Japan's Obama town celebrates namesake's victory". Associated Press. Retrieved 2008-11-05.[dead link]
- JNTO Website | Find a Location | Fukui | Wakasa Bay
- Individual Cases - 17 Abductees Identified by the Government of Japan, Headquarters for the Abduction Issue, Government of Japan
- Overview and history of abduction of japanese citizens by North Korea, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
- Obama City, Fukui Prefecture
- Fukui Prefectural University
- Fukui Prefectural University
- Fukui Prefectural University
- SpringerLink - Journal Article
- Severe weight gain induced by combination treatmen...[Clin Neuropharmacol. 2002 Sep-Oct] - PubMed Result
- 姉妹・友好都市 小浜市
- PM - Japanese town capitalises on Obama name
- Japanese hula troupe has vested interest in election The Honolulu Star-Bulletin June 7, 2009
- Norimitsu Onishi, Candidate Wins Support in the East. No, Farther East., The New York Times, February 19, 2008.
- Obama receives backing of Obama from The Guardian
- Yomiuri Shimbun "Mayor of Obama City celebrates his namesake"
- "Remarks by President Barack Obama at Suntory Hall," November 14, 2009; excerpt, "And of course, I could not come here without sending my greetings and gratitude to the citizens of Obama, Japan. (Applause.)"
Media related to Obama, Fukui at Wikimedia Commons
- Obama travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Obama City official website (Japanese)
- Obama City official website (English)
- Obama city (Japan) in English from Sister city: Nara City Home Page
- Obama city (Japan) in English from Sister city: Kawagoe City Home Page