I love stories of Christmas in Japan. Japan is not a Christian nation like America is, so their view of Christmas is a lot more like my non-Christian view. Further it doesn’t have the odd juxtaposition of religion and secular holiday our nation seems to have (see also Chocolate Rabbits, while people talk of the Resurrection of Christ).
Christmas isn’t a national holiday in Japan—only one percent of the Japanese population is estimated to be Christian—yet a bucket of “Christmas Chicken” (the next best thing to turkey—a meat you can’t find anywhere in Japan) is the go-to meal on the big day. And it’s all thanks to the insanely successful “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!” (Kentucky for Christmas!) marketing campaign in 1974.
When a group of foreigners couldn’t find turkey on Christmas day and opted for fried chicken instead, the company saw this as a prime commercial opportunity and launched its first Christmas meal that year: Chicken and wine for 834 2,920 yen($10)—pretty pricey for the mid-seventies. Today the christmas chicken dinner (which now boasts cake and champagne) goes for about 3,336 yen ($40).
And the people come in droves. Many order their boxes of ”finger lickin’” holiday cheer months in advance to avoid the lines—some as long as two hours.
Oh and THIS!
This April, they opened a three-story restaurant at the south entrance of Shimokitazawa station in Tokyo which offers the company’s first-ever, fully stocked whiskey bar—what their website says gives visitors a taste of “Good ‘ol America.”
I hope much of that whiskey bar is good-old American Sour-Mash Bourbon! Scotch and Canadian whiskies would be down-right un-American!
h/t Uncle Jesse