I'm overjoyed about President-elect Obama. Thank you to everyone who helped make it possible. I cut out a picture from the newspaper here of him and Michelle and their two daughters, and I put it under the clear mat on my desk - alone with various postcards. The students make a little fun of his big hand gesture - and they picked up "Yes we can" from TV sometime and want to know how to say it in Japanese - because politicians here are very sedate and never have that celebrity feel that American politics do. But I get a little happy thrill everytime I look down and see that picture - a disbelieving feeling like waking up Christmas morning. I clearly remember learning American History in school and discussing, "The United States will never be open-minded enough for a black president - or at least not in my lifetime." Even this time last year I thought it would end up being too much - but I'm so happy to learn I was wrong. The news about Proposition 8 is still a terrible disappointment, as though we've taken one step forward and one step back. But right now I'm in the optimistic frame of mind that the future holds better things.
And to keep this on topic, how does Japan think of Obama? Well, he makes some people burst into song: