Obama Relives Childhood Memories as Asia Trip Ends

Trip offered opportunities for personal moments
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2010 2:14 PM CST
President Barack Obama visits the Great Buddha of Kamakura at Kotoku-in Temple in Kamakura, Japan, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – President Obama finished off his 10-day Asia trip on a personal note, visiting the Great Buddha statue in Japan that he last saw as a 6-year-old boy. “It is wonderful to return to this great treasure of Japanese culture,” he wrote in the guest book. "Its beauty has stayed with me for many years." The 40-foot, 100-ton statue dates to the 1200s. While there, he had green tea ice cream, just as he did when he was a child, Politico reports.

His whirlwind trip allowed other such personal opportunities: In Mumbai, he visited the house of one of his heroes, Gandhi—another hero of his, Martin Luther King, Jr., toured the same site in 1959. While in Jakarta, where he lived for four years as a child, he went out of his way to add some of his own personal reflections to the speech he gave, jotting notes about the street vendors, bicycle rickshaws, and unpaved roads he remembered. ““I think it really hit him: ‘I’m going back to Jakarta as president,’ an advisor tells the New York Times. “That’s a powerful thing.”

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