Temple bells tolled, fireworks were set off and residents danced the hula in the cold Japanese city of Obama on Tuesday to celebrate the inauguration of Barack Obama, the 44th U.S. president.
The party began several hours ahead of the inauguration ceremony in the sleepy fishing town in western Japan, which has turned into the nation’s leading cheerleader for Obama.
Over a hundred Obama fans flocked to a local Buddhist temple to celebrate the inauguration in Hawaiian style, as a tribute to Obama’s birthplace.
A group called “Obama Girls and Boys,” made up of seven local men and 15 women, danced the hula while others joined to sing a song dedicated to Obama and the city of Obama.
“We are going to party all night until morning to celebrate the inauguration,” said 67-year-old local Rian Obata as she danced to Hawaiian music.
The town’s local souvenir shop welcomed tourists with “I Love Obama” signs and sold a variety of goods ranging from Obama sweet bean cakes to Obama chopsticks.
Barack Obama has known for some time about the small town that bears his name. Last year, the town’s mayor received a thank you letter from Obama for sending him chopsticks and a Japanese good-luck charm.
Source: Yoko Kubota, Reuters