Our town Obama
Obama City is located in the south-west of Fukui prefecture and is roughly in the center of Wakasa district. To the north is Wakasa Bay which is a part of the Quasi-National Park. It is made up of very steep and irregular coastlines. Sotomo is one of the best scenic places which represents the magnificence of Wakasa Bay.
To the south is a mountain range which runs from east to west, and it divides Fukui and Shiga prefecture. The climate is mild and clement.
Population: about 33,000 people.
History of Obamaišjj
Obama is called gNara by the seah.
From ancient times to the middle ages, Obama had deep historical and cultural ties between China and the Korean Peninsula. In those days, a lot of things were imported from China.
The Sea of Japan side that faces the continent played a very important role in Japanese society. Especially, Obama was the best and closest natural harbor from the ancient capital, Kyoto, or Nara. The sea route ran to the continent and the land route ran to the capital of Japan, so Obama was the east end of the Silk Road and was the front gate to Japan.
In Obama city, there are more than 130 temples and many Buddha statues, which were made and established in the Heian and Kamakura eras. This feature is very similar to Nara city, which is very famous for the Big Buddha and many temples. But the only difference between Obama and Nara is the sea. (Nara is located inland, while Obama faces to the sea.) Therefore, Obama is often called gNara by the seah.
Nowadays, Obama city aspires to be designated a World Heritage site in the theme of gHistorical temples, shrines and cultural background of Obamah.
Also, the mixture of cold and warm currents in Wakasa Bay provide us fertile fishing grounds, and Obama became known as gMiketsukunih, which supplied food to the imperial court in ancient times. Obama, as the capital of Miketsukuni with its rich, and good food, is a city which is full of uniqueness and fascination, and can provide not only residents but also visitors with peace and ease, making full use of these historical characteristics and fresh seafood.
Traditional Art and Crafti`H|j
- Wakasa Agate(į·mE)
- Obama is well-known for its Wakasa agate crafts. Wakasa agate is translucent, usually red, and it has a beautiful luster. This bright color is obtained by burning a rough stone of agate. By polishing the rough stone carefully with sand, the stone can obtain the characteristic luster. Usually, agate is processed into carved ornaments, incense burners, drinking cups, and jewelry.
- Wakasa Japanese Paper(į·a)
- Wakasa Japanese paper is made from carefully selected Japanese trees, with Obamafs beautiful water which is necessary for making Japanese paper. Wakasa Japanese paper is strong and has a very beautiful color. Beautifully dyed craft paper, paper dolls, and stationary are very popular souvenirs.
- Wakasa Clay Tiles (į·¢)
- Wakasa clay tiles are fired in a special kiln, called gDaruma-gama.h This high quality clay has fewer cracks and is glossier than other clays. This clay is used to make roof tiles, ornaments, and other interior decorations.
- Wakasa Lacquer Ware(į·hč)
- Wakasa-nuri is an elegant lacquerware, which has some 400 years of history. This solid and stately Wakasa lacquerware is valued highly among many people. Pine needles and cypress are used for the base, and after attaching eggshells and seashells, it is covered by color lacquer. The craftsman burnishes the surface until the characteristic design comes out. The craftsman are highly skilled and the process requires a very long time to complete. Therefore, these are famous for luxury souvenirs.
- Wakasa Lacquered Chopsticks(į·hč¢)
- Along with Wakasa lacquerware, lacquered chopsticks are very famous. Almost 80% of Japanfs total lacquered chopsticks are produced in Obama. As with the lacquerware, seashells and gold or silver leaves are attached to the base and coated with lacquer many times. After the lacquer dries, it is grinded until the colors appear on the surface. Each layer has a different color, so a beautiful pattern will emerge. Wakasa nuri-bashi (lacquered chopsticks) are considered to be luxury items. They are not only traditional designs but modern designs as well. There are stores specializing in chopsticks in Obama.