There is a story of Happyaku-bikuni (800 year old nun), which tells of the longevity of the people of Obama.
In Obama, there once was a rich man named Takahashi Gondaiyu. One day, he was invited by a fisherman for dinner.
He went over to the fisherman's house and happened to see the kitchen area. The food that they were preparing was something he had never seen before.
One of the dishes that they brought out was a platter of sliced ningyo (mermaid). Skeptical of eating the ningyo, Gondaiyu ate the other foods and didn't touch it.
The fisherman insisting that this ningyo was gochisoo (special foods for a special occasion) wrapped up the ningyo and sent it home with Gondaiyu.
Gondaiyu reluctantly brought it home and tucked it away in the kitchen where no one would see it.
That night, his 16 year old daughter found the wrapped ningyo and tried a piece. It was so delicious that before she knew it, she had eaten all of the sliced ningyo.
The next day, her father looked around for the ningyo but couldn't find it. His daughter confessed to eating it. Her father worried that something bad would happen to her because she ate it.
As the years passed, everyone but his daughter aged. More years passed and everyone in her family passed away leaving her still looking young but very alone and sad.
Everyone in the village gossiped that her youth was due to eating the ningyo.
Since she was alone, she decided to become a nun and travel around Japan to bring happiness to others. Everywhere she went, she planted a tsubaki (camellia) tree.
Finally when she was 800 years old, she returned to Obama and entered a cave. Near the cave she planted a single tsubaki (camellia) tree and told the people of the village, "when this tree dies, you will know that I too have died".
The tree still stands today next to the cave near an area next to the Yahata shrine.