Cooking in Anime: Christmas Special

Welcome to Day 9 of the 12 Days of Anime, where the pleasure is mine to introduce to you fine people how you, too, can dine like the Japanese. This will truly outshine your expectations, and you’ll want to enshrine this as a Christmas tradition, so you can eat it again down the line.

… Okay, i’ll stop.

I don’t know what possessed me to try and rhyme like that, so… let’s move on to the meal. What we’re making today is something quick and easy to make. Something very popular in Japan to eat on Christmas day. Something that actually surprised me quite a bit when I learned what it was, and I just had to make a post about it!

So, here are the instructions:

Step 1: Go to KFC

Step 2: Buy Fried Chicken

Step 3: Eat Fried Chicken

Step 4: Profit?

No. I’m not kidding. This is an actual thing. Japanese people eat Kentucky Fried Chicken on Christmas, and it’s extremely popular. Don’t believe me? Look it up!


Honestly, I was pretty surprised by this as well. I mean, why would the Japanese eat KFC, of all things, for Christmas dinner? So, I did some research, as I like to do, and I discovered some very interesting facts about this Christmas tradition…

In the early 1970s, KFC had begun to open various branches in Japan. Starting as a sort of fast-food chain, it was met with, well… poor success. Mostly due to the Japanese being reluctant to try new food, maybe? Well, they changed their marketing strategies a bit, pushing KFC chains into more upscale neighborhoods, which increased the success of the business enormously, but still not to the desired scale.

According to the regional manager of KFC Japan at the time, Mr. Okawara, he was at times so poor, he slept on bags of flour in the back of the store because he didn’t have enough money for an apartment.

However, in 1974, this all changed when KFC launched an ad campaign “Kentucky for Christmas!” (Kentakii ni wa kurismassu!) This deal included a bucket of Christmas chicken, as well as a bottle of wine. With this campaign, KFC exploded in popularity, most chains nearly selling out completely. Every year since, KFC has been a Christmas staple for the Japanese, with some locations requiring customers to order 2-3 months in advance to be able to get their Christmas meal.


Deals can include anywhere from just take-home chicken, to a full candlelit dinner of chicken and champagne, ranging anywhere from $40 to $200 depending on the package. It’s a seriously big deal.

I’m sorry there wasn’t any actual cooking in this one, but… well, this is what I found for Japanese Christmas meals. For a country that’s not particularly christian, Christmas isn’t even a national holiday. I suppose it’s to be expected, then, that the biggest Christmas tradition is one introduced by a Western food chain. In either case, if you’re looking for a Christmas meal, why not give KFC a try?

(Please don’t, it’s awful.)

9 thoughts on “Cooking in Anime: Christmas Special

      1. It’s just so strange how other cultures see American food or how they recontextualize it in their countries. It was interesting finding out about the history, don’t get me wrong (despite KFC not being my thing). What’s next, is some other country going to have a Christmas Chipotle meal? An Easter Burger King dish? A Halloween meal involving Subway?

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not a huge fan of KFC (i’ve gotten food poisoning every time i’ve had it) but i do know that food prep standards are very different in different countries, so KFC in Japan might be a much nicer establishment than it is here in the states. Plus it does seem like they put a lot of effort into making their Christmas package deals quite nice.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Anime Blog Posts That Caught My Eye This Week (December 28, 2018) | Lesley's Anime and Manga Corner

  2. this phenomena is all about skillful marketing. It’s the same thing that convinced Americans to have Bacon and Eggs for breakfast. Freud’s brother did his magic. It’s good stuff. xD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Panties-kun! I haven’t seen you in forever! Where have you been, my friend???

      But yeah, the marketing strategies they used were extremely successful (if a little shady at points), but i guess it ended up working out well, and creating a weird sort of tradition in Japan because of it.

      Liked by 1 person

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