Personal Angles

Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi and his wife Chizuko were married in 1967. They have a family of five, including two daughters and one son. The Obuchis also have a canine companion, their Pekinese named Rinrin.

Hobbies and sports
The Prime Minister's hobbies include reading, watching movies, listening to music, and viewing paintings and other works of art. He is a great fan of the works of the late historical novelist Ryotaro Shiba, and he is a particular admirer of Ryoma Sakamoto (1835-1867), a key figure in the momentous events leading to the Meiji Restoration of 1868 and the hero of Shiba's novel Ryoma ga yuku (Ryoma Goes Forth).

The Prime Minister enjoys the music of Tchaikovsky and Grieg, especially the latter's Piano Concerto in A minor. His main sport is now golf, but in his student days he practiced aikido and body building.

Collector of ox figures
Probably the Prime Minister's most unusual hobby is collecting figures of oxen. The collection relates to the fact that he was born in the Year of the Ox, the second year of the traditional 12-year Chinese zodiac (Rat, Ox, Tiger, . . .). He started collecting the figures following his initial election to the Diet in 1963, and after three and a half decades the collection now numbers in the thousands.

With his many interests, the Prime Minister has built a wide circle of friends and acquaintances from various walks of life, including politicians and business executives, writers and artists.

Photos courtesy of Jiji Gaho Sha and Kyodo News.

Obuchi and his wife attend
the Japan Fine Arts Exhibition.

Enjoying a party at the home of
world-famous Japanese pianist
Hiroko Nakamura.

Obuchi admires some specimens
from his large collection of ox figures.

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