Which is your favorite Children’s Day Shogun Sanders?
May 5 was Children’s Day in Japan, a celebration of childhood and the joy of being children. The holiday’s traditions typically include flying koinobori, or carp streamers, for every member of the family, and putting on display a samurai doll or a traditional samurai helmet.
But at Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan, they celebrate Children’s Day by decking out their Colonel Sanders statues in samurai armor!
This year was no different. Despite many restaurants around the country being closed due to the state of emergency, around 30 KFC restaurants remained open and took the opportunity to cheer up their customers and celebrate the fast food chain’s 50th anniversary in Japan by dressing up the iconic white-haired colonel in hand-made samurai armor.
▼ The Colonel Sanders at the Nakagawa branch in Fukuoka Prefecture
Each of the armor sets were designed by the staff of each restaurant, so they’re all different. The staff were free to choose their own themes and create their own ideas, and some of them are truly unique!
▼ The Colonel Sanders at the Komaki City branch in Aichi
Many created looks similar to the Sengoku-era samurai general Akechi Mitsuhide, who was the main character of this year’s Taiga drama, an annual, year-long historical drama TV show aired on NHK.
▼ The Colonel Sanders at the Fukuchiyama restaurant in Kyoto
In fact, designs based on famous samurai were very popular. The Utsunomiya Apita branch in Ibaraki prefecture (shown below) used the famous samurai general Yukimura Sanada as the inspiration, and they weren’t the only ones. Oda Nobunaga was also a featured look.
Some used their armor designs to celebrate KFC Japan’s 50-year anniversary, putting all of their gratitude and appreciation for their customers into their costumes.
▼ The Colonel Sanders at the Kumegawa restaurant in Tokyo, featuring the characters for “love” and “gratitude”
But most simply wanted to design a costume that would put a smile on their customers’ faces, even in these difficult times.
▼ The Colonel Sanders at the Kumamoto Hitoyoshi branch
The promotional period for these samurai-decorated Colonel Sanders statues is over now, so you might not see them around anymore, but this is an annual event, so all you have to do is wait until next year to catch a glimpse of more Shogun Sanders. In the meantime, if you’re looking for another iteration of the popular spokesman, there’s always the shockingly attractive Colonel Sanders that appears in the KFC dating sim. To each their own, right?