In Japan KFC is an important place for Christmas. Many families visit the restaurant to eat the popular Christmas meal of deep fried chicken. So every year the colonel is dressed as Father Christmas to get people in the festive spirit. Throughout the year Colonel Sanders is dressed in other seasonal and unique outfits. Akihabara, famous for its numerous maid cafes, has had the colonel in a maid outfit. Other branches have dressed the colonel up as a samurai, a lobster and even Spiderman. Check out the set of all the different costumes I could find on Flickr.
In Osaka the colonel statue took on a new importance when excited Hanshin Tiger baseball fans celebrated their 1985 national championship series win by launching the mascot into Osaka’s Dotonbori River. Since then they have never won the series again and it’s losing streak is often blamed on the Curse of Colonel. After 24 years, on March 10, 2009, the mascot was recovered from the river, missing two feet, his left hand and the Colonel’s trademark glasses. It’s hoped the curse has now been lifted and the Hanshin Tigers luck will improve.?
On Friday the 19th of March 2010 the Colonel Sanders mascot was put back on display near the Hanshin Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya. The mascot is now behind a protective case as its very delicate. Sankei Shimbun has a video on youtube showing the mascot moved into place. It reminded me that I saw a great mobile phone strap in KFC that I wish I’d bought.