Tokyo, Japan - Baro, real name Barrack Obama, is now to be found in Tokyo as an aspiring enka singer. "I never would have entered the presidential race if I thought there was a chance of me losing my erection," explained Baro, in his newly acquired Japanese accent.
Enka is practically unknown outside Japan, where it is enjoyed by the older generation for its simple themes of love and loss. And Baro seems an unlikely star, with his African-American looks and hip hop style.
"I've re-researched my roots, and most people don't know that my grandmother was Japanese," explained Baro, between sips of sake. "Using recovered memory techniques with my therapist, I now recall how she used to teach me old enka songs from the 1940s when I was young."
A slightly embarrassed Baro added, "I never expected I'd lose an erection when I was younger so I didn't pay much attention to those songs. But now that I've lost it, I came back to my roots in Japan to rediscover my Japanese mojo."
Used to public appearances during his failed presidential bid, Baro has been busking as a street performer in Kabukicho, Tokyo's infamous red-light district. "Enka is all about love and loss, so what better place than here to perform? I even got invited into one of the bordellos by this Japanese geezer as he wanted me to sing while he banged this chick."
"The money was good, and I learned a few Kamasutra techniques that might help with my other problem as well," boasted Baro.
Unlike his recent rejection in American politics, the Japanese public seems eager to embrace Baro. Ms Anaru Sekkusu, an avid Baro fan in Tokyo, told this reporter that Baro is quite popular with young Japanese women.
"Oh, we love Baro. He's so sexy," swooned Ms Sekkusu. "I've never heard him sing enka, but we have heard rumours about the size of the African-American penis. Even if you cut his in two because he's mixed race, and cut it again because he is part Japanese, it still might be a good deal longer than what Japanese boys have to offer. Personally, I'm glad he lost the American erection."
The older Japanese generation has also taken Baro to heart. Eighty-three year old WWII veteran Ero Oyajii remembers the American occupation of Japan in the 1940s. "Yes, there were some Black soldiers here then. I remember they liked to hear enka singing and tried it themselves when singing in the showers in their barracks. Are all African-Americans named Barrack?"
Mr Oyajii, slightly distracted by a group of passing schoolgirls, returned to his earlier train of thought. "One night, me and some of my friends sneaked into the American base and spied on the African-American soldiers singing enka in the showers. Do all African- Americans have three legs?"
"If the street performing takes off, I hope to move on to karaoke and then to a recording contract," shared Baro, dropping his sushi in his lap as he fumbled with his chopsticks.
When asked about the cultural shock of moving to Japan, Baro shrugged. "The Japanese have treated me very well since the name change. At first they thought my name was Okama, their derogatory slang for 'fag'. I had a lot more offers then, but I wasn't really doing what I came here to do. Enka is my life now."
Memories of the failed American presidential election seem to be fading for Baro as well. "I tried the American thing for awhile" explained Baro, "white, then Black, then mixed-race, muslim, Christian, what have you. It wasn't really me. I'm Japanese through and through to the bone."
Just don't tell Anaru Sekkusu and the rest of my young Japanese female fans that, ok? They still have this illusion about, well, you know."
Meanwhile in Tokyo, Jero, the authentic African-American enka hip-hop phenomenon with true Japanese roots, had little to say.
"I wish him luck," said an unconvincing Jero. "Maybe if I had bothered to vote for him, he wouldn't have lost his erection. Oh well, win some, lose some, as we sing in enka."