The guy who declares he persuaded Japan to commemorateChristmas with KFC states he now regrets his “ lie. ”
Takeshi Okawara, who supposedly handled Japan ’ s initially KFC area in Osaka, was profiled on a current episode of Business Insider ’ s “ Household Name ” podcast , where he spoke up about the typical Japanese custom of taking in KFC on Christmas Day.
Okawara– whose claims of being accountable for this custom are objected to even by KFC itself– states he didn ’ t discover instant success and “ had a hard time ” upon opening the KFC place in 1970, so he leapt at the possibility to cater a Christmas celebration being prepared by a neighboring Christian school.
Okarawa claims he got here in a Santa fit, and started “ dancing, holding the [pail] of chicken, ” he informed “ Household Name. ”
KFC ’ s track record in Japan gradually began to grow after Okarawa started catering other celebrations and dressing his shop Colonel Sanders statues in Santa fits, regardless of just a little portion of the population being Christian( 1.5 percent presently, according to CIA . gov). He states he was later on welcomed to appear on NHK, an openly owned nationwide broadcasting company and TELEVISION network, where he was asked if individuals in the West in fact consumed fried chicken on Christmas.
” I understand that individuals are not consuming chicken, they are consuming turkey, however I stated yes. It was lie, ” he informed “ Household Name, ” laughing.
“I still are sorry for that. Individuals, individuals like it since [ it ’ s] something great in the U.S. orEuropean nations. Individuals like it.”
Okawara’ s account, nevertheless, does not match KFC’ s variation of occasions. Yum! Brands informed Business Insider it was really a foreign visitor who recommended KFC begin marketing chicken for Christmas supper.
A comparable variation was shared in a 2012 Smithsonian Magazine post detailing Japan’ s love of KFC on Christmas. As their account goes, a group of tourists couldn’ t discover turkey on Christmas and picked fried chicken, triggering KFC Japan to reassess its technique.
The chain likewise introduced a “ Christmas equates to Kentucky ” project in 1974, according to Smithsonian, that ended up being extremely effective, to the point that KFC Japan sees its greatest sales around the vacation.
As Business Insider likewise discovered, a few of Japan’ s citizens even conflate Santa Claus with Colonel Sanders, as KFC had a huge hand in presenting the principle of Santa to Japan.
Okarawa, on the other hand, later on ended up being head of KFC Japan, Business Insider reported. And although he no longer acts as the head of the business, “ he resembles God “ to a few of the executives at the business, according to the chief marketing officer for KFC Japan.