Obama Is Beautiful World!

I had class today, so I didn't even think of going to DC to witness Obama's inauguration, even though I would have liked my son to have seen it (at any rate, he said they herded everyone into the school gym and he saw it on TV there). I watched it at work: they put the CNN live stream on a big monitor in one of the classrooms at the Film Study Center and about 25 people watched it from there, clapping and commenting. Still, if I had gone to to the inauguration with my family, my wife and I decided we would've had to sing the wonderful song "Obama Is Beautiful World."

This song has floated around the net for a while, though most people mistake it for a song solely about Barack Obama. It is actually a song by the Anyone Brothers Band that celebrates as much the small city of Obama in Fukui Prefecture on the Japan Sea side of Honshu. A lot of these chiho toshi have been trying to think up ways to generate business and tourism as depopulation and economic inequalities continue to plague places outside the big cities in Japan (in the 1980s and 1990s, one way was to start a film festival, which is how Yubari and the YIDFF got started). Obama City took advantage of the candidacy of Barack Obama to create some merchandise and publicize the city. The song, done by a local band, is not unrelated to this and the lyrics speak as much about the town as the man. The wonderful Japanese English "Obama Is Beautiful World" can refer to the city, as well as to the world President Obama hopes to create.

But still, if Obama City is as the song says it is, let's hope the new administration can help make it such that we all can sing "Earth is Beautiful World".

Everything © Aaron Gerow. Send comments and suggestions to webmaster@aarongerow.com