Obama, Barack (Barack Hussein Obama 2d), , 1961-, 44th President of the United States (2009-), b. Honolulu, grad. Columbia (B.A. 1983), Harvard Law School (J.D. 1991). His father, a Kenyan economist, and his mother, a Kansas native, were divorced when he was two, and he spent his early childhood in Indonesia after his mother remarried. Soon after law school, he moved to Chicago, where he practiced civil-rights law, lectured on constitutional law at the Univ. of Chicago, and was active in the Democratic party. He was elected to the Illinois state senate in 1996, serving until he won (2004) a U.S. Senate seat.

Hailed as a young Democratic star, he electrified the 2004 Democratic convention with his keynote address. He became (Feb., 2007) a candidate for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, ultimately securing a delegate majority after a prolonged primary contest with Senator Hillary Clinton. The first African American to be nominated for president by a major U.S. political party, he chose Senator Joseph Biden as his running mate, and they subsequently defeated the Republican ticket of Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin. Obama, who led the Democratic party to its largest national victory since the election of Jimmy Carter as president, became the first African American to be elected to the office.

Obama's selections for his cabinet and other high-level government posts were notable both because they were announced earlier than had been typical (in large part because economic difficulties and overseas conflicts necessitated having a cabinet in place as soon as possible) and because the persons he selected were prominent and highly experienced. His government was initially most strongly focused on measures intended to revive the U.S. financial system and economy, reeling from the most serious economic downtown since the early 1980s and the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression. The measures, including a massive stimulus package and rescue plans for the financial and automobile industries and some homeowners, were projected to result in some of the largest U.S. budget deficits, as a proportion of GDP, since World War II; the 2009 deficit was $1.4 trillion. He subsequently sought congressional passage of a health-care insurance overhaul, which quickly surpassed other issues to become the most politically contentious of his first year as president.

In foreign policy, Obama broke with many aspects of the Bush administration's "war on terror," calling for a withdrawal of most troops from Iraq by Aug., 2010, the closure of the Guantánamo prison camp within a year (a goal that proved unachievable), the end of the use of interrogation methods denounced by many as torture, and a renewed focus on fighting the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. His administration also suspended plans for deploying a ballistic missile defense system in E Europe, focusing instead on defending against shorter range missiles based in Iran. Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oct., 2009, for his efforts to "strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."

See his Dreams from My Father (1995) and The Audacity of Hope (2006). See also biography by D. Mendell (2007); R. Wolffe, Renegade: The Making of a President (2009); K. H. Jamieson, ed., Electing the President, 2008: The Insiders' View (2009).

is a city located in Wakasa Area of Fukui Prefecture.


Facing Wakasa Bay due north of Kyoto and Nara, the city is about four to five hours by train from Tokyo, and is served by the Obama Line of West Japan Railway (JR West).

As of October 1, 2005, the city had an estimated population of 32,185 and a density of 138.22 persons per km². The total area is 232.85 km².


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".

In the Edo period, Obama was the capital of the Obama Domain and was the starting point of the Mackerel Road to Kyoto.

The area was municipalized as a city in March 30, 1951 although the area has been inhabited for centuries. Otojirō Uratani is currently the mayor of Obama.


Fishing is the major industry.

Other economic producers

Wakasa lacquered chopsticks, agate accessories, and other crafts are made in the area.


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.

Cultural influences

As a result of its location in the Wakasa Province area, which travellers passed through when travelling between China and Kyoto, the area was influenced by Chinese culture for a long period. There are cultural artifacts throughout the area. 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 Omizu-okuri (Water Carrying) Festival is an annual event that 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.


Sister and friendship cities

Obama has sister and friendship relationships with the following cities in the world:

Visitor attractions

Relationship with Barack Obama

The city of Obama noted the rise of American politician and the 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and decided to use the common name to boost publicity for the town. It began when the U.S. Senator gave a 2006 interview with Japanese television network TBS where he noted that, when passing through customs in Narita Airport, an official looking at his visa noted that he was from Obama. The Obama City Hall heard about the interview and the then 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 2008 United States Democratic Presidential campaign began to grow, more local businesses began to organize primary parties and post "Go Obama!" posters, sell "I love Obama" T-shirts, and produce manjū with Senator Obama's face on them.

Senator 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, meaning “small beach” in Japanese, though the American Senator is of Kenyan Luo heritage; it is not uncommon for Japanese and East African names to sound alike.

North Korean abductions

Obama is one of the locations where Japanese citizens were abducted by agents of the North Korean government, on July 7, 1978.

See also

Film and TV

People from Obama


  • Isao Soranaka: Obama: The Rise and Decline of a Seaport. In: Monumenta Nipponica, Jg. 52, Nr. 1, 1997.


External links

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