We Built This City: How A US Presidential Election Inspired A Japanese Town’s Rebranding Campaign

Nov 5th, 2008 // 2 Comments

I left the TV on last night and awoke to one of those “ain’t life wacky?” reports from CNN’s Jeanne Moos, who is always interviewing a parachuting dog or talking hamburger or some such. I may or may not have had something to drink last night, so the whole report was like awaking from a fever dream. Cutting through my Cabo Wabo-fueled haze like those evil fishermen from The Fog was the insidious, yippy song in the clip above, which I’ve been yelping to my poor cat all morning.

The Japanese city of Obama–it means “Little Beach”–has been rooting for an Obama victory all year for not altogether altruistic reasons. The town thrives on tourism, so they did what any tourist-hungry town would do: They hired a bunch of cute girls, put them in hula skirts, and called them “Obama Girls.” (Of course.) Upon Obama The Person’s presidential victory, Obama The City’s mayor sent Obama The Person a telegram congratulating him. (Morse code was too fancy.) The Obama Girls are hoping to bring their hula dance to the inauguration, and the town leaders want to construct a new airstrip that’s Air Force One-compliant in case Obama The Person decides to visit. Uh, might want to spend that money elsewhere, guys.

Bonus fact: There are actually two Obamas in Japan, but this Obama pounced first. In your face, Other Obama!

Live version!

Japan’s Obama town celebrates namesake’s victory [AP]


  1. Anonymous

    I can’t believe I just watched all 4 minutes of that. I think my motor skills are slow to react today.

  2. Lucas Jensen

    @jesusuk: Yeah, a minute’s about all you need.

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