Christmas with KFC? Man who popularized Japanese tradition claims he regrets his ‘lie’

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The person who claims he satisfied Japan to rejoice Christmas with KFC says he now regrets his “lie.”

Takeshi Okawara, who reportedly managed Japan’s first KFC location in Osaka, was profiled on a latest episode of Enterprise Insider’s “Family Identify” podcast, the place he spoke out in regards to the frequent Japanese custom of consuming KFC on Christmas Day.

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Okawara — whose claims of being liable for this custom are contested even by KFC itself — says he didn’t discover instant success and “struggled” upon opening the KFC location in 1970, so he jumped on the probability to cater a Christmas social gathering being deliberate by a close-by Christian college.

Okarawa claims he arrived in a Santa go well with, and commenced “dancing, holding the [bucket] of rooster,” he informed “Family Identify.”

KFC’s status in Japan slowly began to develop after Okarawa started catering different events and dressing his storefront Colonel Sanders statues in Santa fits, regardless of solely a small proportion of the inhabitants being Christian (1.5 % at the moment, based on CIA.gov). He says he was later invited to seem on NHK, a publicly owned nationwide broadcasting group and TV community, the place he was requested if individuals within the West really ate fried rooster on Christmas.

“I do know that the persons are not consuming rooster, they’re consuming turkey, however I stated sure. It was lie,” he informed “Family Identify,” laughing.

“I nonetheless remorse that. However individuals, individuals prefer it as a result of [it’s] one thing good within the U.S. or European international locations. Individuals prefer it.”

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Okawara’s account, nevertheless, doesn’t match KFC’s model of occasions. Yum! Manufacturers informed Enterprise Insider it was really a international customer who prompt KFC begin advertising and marketing rooster for Christmas dinner.

A comparable model was shared in a 2012 Smithsonian Journal article detailing Japan’s love of KFC on Christmas. As their account goes, a bunch of vacationers couldn’t discover turkey on Christmas and settled on fried rooster, prompting KFC Japan to rethink its technique.

The chain additionally launched a “Christmas equals Kentucky” marketing campaign in 1974, based on Smithsonian, that grew to become wildly profitable, to the purpose that KFC Japan sees its largest gross sales across the vacation.

As Enterprise Insider additionally discovered, a few of Japan’s residents even conflate Santa Claus with Colonel Sanders, as KFC had an enormous hand in introducing the idea of Santa to Japan.

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Okarawa, in the meantime, later grew to become head of KFC Japan, Enterprise Insider reported. And though he not serves as the pinnacle of the corporate, “he’s like God“ to a few of the executives on the firm, based on the chief advertising and marketing officer for KFC Japan.

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