Very Merry KFC Christmas to you a la Japan

Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan 01

Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan 01 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

imagesG6ETCR7G    This post is in response to several folk who have complained I hadn’t been very “Japanese” lately.  Well, here goes dear friends.

I know this is crazy sounding to most of you, but honestly, Kentucky Fried Chicken is THE big meal on Christmas eve –  seriously. Take it from this otaku – since the huge launch in 1974 of a special KFC dinner boasting bucket o’ fried chicken, wine, and the fixin’s cost about the USD equivalent then of $10.  It now runs about $50 and includes cake and champagne and is a huge holiday marketing occasion. Christmas eve buckets are ordered a month in advance, unless you want the experience of waiting for several hours in line for your own bucket to take home. You can’t find a turkey but you can find  KFC in special holiday buckets. This was one of two times I was not with my family for Christmas.  I that bucket as a souvenir for years until my husband decided it was time for the bucket to go in the garbage. I cried a couple of days. That bucket made me smile…but for all the wrong reasons, I’m sure.

The Japanese have been known to be quite successful in taking things American and repurposing for their own purpose. Only 1% of the country is Christian so it is a commercial celebration over there.  Colonel Sanders is top dog. This… is… a …big …big… deal. So tonight for dinner, we are having…KFC!!!!!!!!! I am going to have to affix Christmas stickers to the bucket o’ chicken tonight  but that’s okay.  And for legal purposes: I am not endorsing KFC, getting any renumeration from KFC, any free food – nuttin’ honey….just sayin’, know what I’m sayin?  And none of the photos are mine either.

Hey…..Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii to all of y’all. 

images63IPH8WS    imagesPVD1G2VY



41 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Eric Tonningsen
    Dec 24, 2013 @ 15:51:40

    Simply bizarre, as are so many practices in Japan. Merry Christmas. 🙂


  2. Bill Hayes
    Dec 24, 2013 @ 15:54:02

    Oh yes, the things they will eat in Japan from the West, but but in their own crazy way. A Sandwich shop was selling a “London Fogu sandwich” In another shop you could buy a “Rollwich” a cross between a roll and a sandwich. In a branch of the Siebu dept store was a window display that featured the nativity scene with Sanat standing in amoungst the 3 wise men. I just love Japan.

    Enjoy the KFC and have a great Christmas.


    • kanzensakura
      Dec 24, 2013 @ 16:26:08

      It has just been brought home and ready for Santa and Rudlph stickers to be applied. the one Christmas I spent away from my family was in Tokyo in 1978. There I sat in a hotel room and watched the commecials on the TV. I remembered a KFC across the block from the hotel. I went and had a blast. I was invited to eat with families in the restaurant and made much of, being a lone female and young American. it was a joy. and the chicken? tasted just like what I purchased at home. It made a lonely time a time of much fun. and thus, a Christmas eve custom was born.


    • kanzensakura
      Dec 24, 2013 @ 20:36:30

      They are interesting folk, for true! > Date: Tue, 24 Dec 2013 20:54:03 +0000 > To: >


  3. Uncle Tree
    Dec 24, 2013 @ 16:45:31

    Yes! I know what you mean here.
    I work for Kawasaki Motors in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.
    Going on 37 years, too. Sheesh! We had KFC yesterday for dinner. LoL!

    Peace and luvz to all throughout your holiday season! Cheerz, Keith 🙂


  4. dragonlife
    Dec 24, 2013 @ 19:53:00

    Absolutely true! LOL


  5. huntmode
    Dec 24, 2013 @ 21:16:23

    Makes perfect sense to me, Kanzen! I spent a month in Italy when I was 19 and despite some of the very best food I’ve ever eaten, I wrote home that the very day of my return, I wanted a ham sandwich on white with best foods mayo and lettuce, a large glass of milk and Sara Lee Chocolate Cake. Oh, and of course, Lay’s potato chips!

    We almost had a revolution in the family when I proposed prime rib instead of turkey for Christmas… I won as I was hosting and my brother and nephew at 6 of the 7 lbs. Nary a complaint since! Grin!

    May your KFC Christmas Eve bucket be all you want for it to be!

    Merry Christmas,



    • kanzensakura
      Dec 24, 2013 @ 21:32:57

      That’s right! Best Foods in the west, Hellman’s out here. My poor southern family is scandalized that all I use is Hellman’s – that I refuse to use Duke’s or Sauers or Richfood mayo. but they never complain about the tater salad or pimiento cheese spread that comes forth from my fridge. Nom nom nom. prime rib. My husband requested burgers on the grill for Christmas. So…..Burgers on the grill for Christmas dinner and KFC tonight. I am very pleased with the way I decorated the bucket with Christmas stickers. It makes me smile. My papa would have had a big laugh. Bless you and your precious fur-pies and your wreath. My perfect little tree has the whole house smelling like fir and the colored lights (the little ones, of course) shine out into the darkness. > Date: Wed, 25 Dec 2013 02:16:23 +0000 > To: >


      • huntmode
        Dec 24, 2013 @ 21:45:37

        Of course, little lights! I love them! Makes my home feel warm and cozy! Merry Christmas, Kanzen!


        • kanzensakura
          Dec 25, 2013 @ 09:35:01

          although for bling, I have been known to be more than extravagant, outside draping, with those huge light bulbs. Gotta have bling sometimes. I remember when those little lights first came out…I pestered my poor papa to death on day while we were Christmas shopping, for a couple of strings of those little lights. Bless him, he finally caved – of course!


          • huntmode
            Dec 25, 2013 @ 14:22:21

            Papas and Dads, Daddys and Fathers are under the sway of their little girls from the moment they see them. 🙂


            • kanzensakura
              Dec 25, 2013 @ 14:31:12

              Yes, they are. Fathers and daughters, mothers and sons….all have their unique relationships. But papa spoiled everyone that came in his presence. My two aunts, much younger than my mother, adored him. they were two little girls when they married and in turn, they adored him. He got a lot of practice spoiling little girls…my aunts taught him well.


              • huntmode
                Dec 25, 2013 @ 14:59:56

                I’m hearing past tense, Kanzen. Is he no longer with us? He sounds like a wonderful man.


                • kanzensakura
                  Dec 25, 2013 @ 15:53:10

                  He died around my 30th birthday. He, my grandmother, grandfather all died within 5 days of each other, in the same year.


                • kanzensakura
                  Dec 25, 2013 @ 15:59:58

                  he was a sweetheart….and one fine cook…one year, we did not have the money for a sled for me. It was deep deep snow so he took one of the porch rockers, tied a rope around the arms, dressed me warmly and pulled me all over our yard. then he and I took turns pulling my aunts around, one at a time because they were standing on the porch, clapping and obviously wanting a ride. then he got in the rocker and we “hitched” up and pulled him around. I remember that day very well. when mama came home from work that day, after she had settled in, we pulled her around under the light of the winter moon. a very grand day of cold winter, snow, fun and moonlight. there was not an animal alive that could resist his charm and gentle spirit. children, animals, and church ladies – all wanted to be close to him. > Date: Wed, 25 Dec 2013 19:59:56 +0000 > To: >


                  • huntmode
                    Dec 25, 2013 @ 17:29:04

                    Kanzen, I think you should post this as a tribute to your papa today – or may I? It is beautiful! Thank you for sharing it with me. What a glorious memory!


                    • kanzensakura
                      Dec 25, 2013 @ 20:55:32

                      I may at some time, but it is so very tender to me. I’ve been in a cycle of depression and this makes me cry. I want to be joyful and grateful for being so blessed with such love from my family. it took me 30 years to write the story of the love of my life and even now, I can hardly bear to go back correct typos or verbiage. But I finally did. This chronicled in my postings about the Samurai and the Wren. I almost went with Misosazai for my blog name instead of “perfect cherry blossom”. Misosazai was his name for me – wren. Someday, I’ll go back and do a better job of it but not now. > Date: Wed, 25 Dec 2013 22:29:04 +0000 > To: >

                    • huntmode
                      Dec 25, 2013 @ 21:07:26

                      In some very Japanese way, we are getting smaller and thinner as we post more on your blog. I can see the fullness of your comment in our notifications. Allow the peace and stillness of an evening bring quiet and peace and comfort to your spirit and heart. xxoo HuntMode

                    • kanzensakura
                      Dec 25, 2013 @ 21:18:30

                      I’m sitting here with my perfect little magic tree, looking inward and remembering “happy golden days of yore”. And looking outward to the now and being so very thankful.

                    • huntmode
                      Dec 25, 2013 @ 22:21:14

                      Kanzen, your reply made me think of “Wishmas” Did you get a chance to read that? I reblogged it –
                      I think you would agree with that little girl. 🙂

                    • kanzensakura
                      Dec 26, 2013 @ 07:07:12

                      Yes I did. It is a wonderful story. I printed it off for my mother in law to read to her Sunday school class this past Sunday. I found the story moving and strengthening. I actually read it several times. > Date: Thu, 26 Dec 2013 03:21:14 +0000 > To: >

  6. mindlovemisery
    Dec 25, 2013 @ 12:58:57

    Merry Christmas =)


  7. Trackback: Christmas is…for Lovers…in Japan | Far East Fling
  8. Mélanie
    Dec 28, 2013 @ 17:14:48

    I love Nihon! 🙂 been there 4 times and do hope to return some day… my very best and sayonara! 🙂 Mélanie – Toulouse, France


  9. Trackback: KFC and Christmas cake – Christmas in Japan | JAPANsociology
  10. Lindy Lee
    Jan 17, 2014 @ 09:06:12

    Thank you for this informative post; excellent…


    • kanzensakura
      Jan 17, 2014 @ 09:55:44

      It is a fun thing. It is interesting to look at the different cultures and their festivities. The first time I experienced the KFC Christmas, a la Japan, it was just too much fun. It still is. When I told someone my husband and I were having KFC for Christmas eve dinner in the style of the Japanese, they said, That isn’t Japanese! I had a big grin and explained it all to them. I think they have it planned for this next Christmas as new way to do Christmas eve. 😊

      > Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2014 14:06:13 +0000
      > To:


  11. T Ibara Photo
    Jun 12, 2014 @ 19:24:15

    😀 😀 😀


    • kanzensakura
      Jun 12, 2014 @ 19:38:12

      And to this day, years later, KFC is Christmas Eve dinner! I had such a good time watching dinners being picked up and being asked to join a couple of families eating in the shop.


      • T Ibara Photo
        Jun 12, 2014 @ 19:39:39

        I will admit that my husband and I don’t follow the KFC traditions… Maybe we are “bad Japanese”? 😀


        • kanzensakura
          Jun 12, 2014 @ 19:47:03

          I wouldn’t think so! Some people don’t like, others are vegetarian, others don’t celebrate at all. I like KFC, I celebrate Christmas, and I remember how kind people were to me, a stranger far from home. That is why it is so special to me. It may even be regional. I was in Tokyo at the time.


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