Curse of The Colonel: Japan's Obsession With KFC
The Smosh Pit's blogger Lance blogs for us from his new home... in JAPAN!
KFC or “Kentakki” as it is called by the Japanese, is one of the most popular fast-food chains in Japan.
It’s been around so long, and is so common, that most Japanese people believe it is a Japanese restaurant and will often ask Americans, “Do you have Kentucky in America, too!?”
Oh yes, we have “Kentucky” in America...
The Colonel is a well-known figure in Japan, and each KFC has a statue of him out side the store which they dress-up in various seasonal outfits.
Colonel Sanders: Watermelon
Colonel Sanders: Pilgrim
Colonel Sanders: Santa
Colonel Sanders: Samurai
Some even say there is a sort of cult involving the Colonel; with people who believe him to bring either good or bad luck to anyone who touches him.
There is also a well-known curse involving the Osaka baseball team, The Hanshin Tigers and a Statue of Colonel Sanders.
In 1985, the Tigers won the Japanese World Series for the first, and only time. Their star foreign player, Randy Bass, won the triple-crown and MVP and became a legend.
After the victory, Hanshin fans took to the streets of Osaka, hijacking trains, and jumping in the dirty Osaka river. While jumping in, they began yelling the names of Tigers players they thought they resembled.
Well, Randy Bass is a white guy with a beard and none of the Japanese fans looked even remotely like him. So, someone decided to go to KFC, grab the local Col. Sanders statue and throw it in the river. While they threw him over the edge of the bridge, the fans screamed, “RANDYYYYYY BAAASUUU!!!”
And there he stayed, at the bottom of the river. Every year since, the Hanshin Tigers have stayed at the bottom of the Japanese baseball league.
Some said it was the “Curse of The Colonel” and that Hanshin would never win another championship until the statue was recovered and put back in his rightful place in front of the KFC.
But, earlier this year, almost 24 years later, construction workers were dredging the bottom of the river and discovered the statue, and brought it to the surface.
This was national news in Japan, and Tigers fans once again took to the streets to celebrate the lifting of the curse!
Some fans were hoping to have the Statue brought to the Stadium in time for next season, but curse experts convinced them to put The Colonel back where he belongs—in front of the local “Kentucky” where he was kidnapped two decades before.
And so they did.
Col. Sanders back in his rightful place, in front of the local “Kentucky.”
Sadly, the Hanshin Tigers have not made it back to the Japan Series yet, but time will tell how long the Curse of The Colonel will last.
In America, the curse takes on a different form, and affects more than just baseball.