Many non-Japanese people often ask me why everyone eats KFC on Christmas in Japan.
Many non-Japanese people often ask me why everyone eats KFC on Christmas in Japan. The actual reason is all down to one employee at KFC, Takeshi Ookawara. The story begins in December 1973 – at that time there were only 100 KFCs in the whole of Japan.
In Aoyama, Tokyo, a Christian school contacted KFC and asked them to show up at the school’s Xmas party. None of the teachers at the school had the right body shape to be Santa, so they were hoping an employee could dress as Santa and come instead. In return, they would buy lots of fried chicken, as they figured it was similar enough to turkey to be used as a replacement.
KFC agreed, and a staff member showed up dressed as Santa with lots of fried chicken, which he handed out while saying “Merry Christmas”!
The kids loved it.
Then, Mr. Ogawara had the idea to try and spread using KFC instead of turkey at Christmas to the rest of Japan. KFC was invited to many school parties to dress as Santa and give out fried chicken for Christmas.
There were also children who thought Colonel Sanders was actually Santa Claus.
To be fair, Santa Claus is also a low-income middle-aged part-timer.
The number of Christians in Japan
The number of Christians in Japan is under 1% of the total population. So, rather than going to church, Christmas in Japan is mostly a consumerist holiday, with the presents and dinner and expensive restaurants hiding the real reason it exists – to increase economic growth.
The same reason America goes to war. (Wars have been started over less.)
Three years later, the media interviewed Mr. Ookawara, and asked him if eating fried chicken was the custom overseas at Christmas. He said yes.
The media believed him and reported it as fact, and the misbelief spread across Japan. Fake news – Japan was doing it first.
So now we can’t complain when the western media says that all Japanese watch hentai porn. At least both countries ended up happy – we get to eat delicious KFC, and they get to watch hentai.
In Japan, Christmas Eve is a big event for couples. On Christmas Eve, all KFC, jewelers, and condoms are sold out.
Yes! All good presents come in small boxes.
So if you want to experience a real Japanese Christmas this year,
go to your local KFC!