Christmas Post #1

[Morning 2]

Nothing to do with the rest of the post -- I just wanted to commemorate the predictable Christmastime covering of NAKAMURA Hikaru's "Saint Young Men", a comic serial about Jesus and Buddha (a "最聖コンビ", living together as roommates.

Christmas in Japan is always painful because I have to listen to yet another round of dreary whining about "the Japanese" not understanding Christmas because they eat Christmas cake and go to love hotels instead of gathering in the family home for a traditional European-inspired feast.

And let's not forget the legendary Kentucky Fried Coup. I mean, it's simply inconceivable that mere media images could fool so many into believing that certain practices and consumable goods were connected with Christmas when, in fact, no such traditions existed.

Actually, I'm going to dwell on this topic a little. Consider: As a fast food company, Kentucky Fried Chicken never stop trying to associate their brand with things. What things? Anything. Biplanes. Sports. Summer. Even New Year's Day.

Those last two in particular make it quite clear that Kentucky Fried Chicken had no compunctions about annexing Japanese traditions, either, even going so far as to claim that their chicken is "sukkari Nihon no oishisa" ("completely [become] the taste of Japan").

So let's turn back to the Christmas thing (and note how impressionistic it is even by the mid-'80s). Clearly, it stuck not because Japanese consumers are unusually gullible -- otherwise we'd all be eating fried chicken all summer long, and whenever we ride a biplane too -- but rather, because they cared less about authenticity in re some foreign holiday than they did about fried chicken. And I'm sure there were not a few mothers who looked at the order form as a gift from Jesus Himself granting them freedom from the kitchen for that evening.

I will grant that getting people to actually line up for Kentucky Fried Chicken sounds impressive, but we must not forget that, as a nation, Japan's passion for queuing rivals even that of the British Empire at its height. People line up for ramen, for curry, for pachinko, for routine weekly sales at B-list boutiques. Getting them to line up for a bucket of fried chicken on the way home hardly requires an eerie feat of mesmerism.

(Don't miss Young MIYAZAWA Rie's kit kat spot while you're over at YouTube. I knew there was something that could make beefeaters break character.)

Popularity factor: 7


I hope you have a good holiday and enjoy the New Year's celebrations. I really enjoyed reading your blog, and look forward to more 200 year old jokes and/or farting potatoes! And I mean that sincerely (strangely enough)!


I'll take cake and love hotels over European-inspired feasts any day....


Tell us more about Christmas cake :)


"I have to listen to yet another round of dreary whining"

Not limited to Japan: I just came back from a biz trip where I had to listen to dreary whining about how the "liberals" were waging war on Christmas.
It doesn't matter, though, because Shogatsu is the real holiday.


I wish someone really would wage war on Christmas. A war fought with chicken. And then, my homeland will stand proud once again and everything will be, as the old folks say, "finger-lickin' good."



im kinda happy for the guy who fried goki in kfc. im sure their sales will drop significantly.


Bill: Thanks for reading! I'm sure that farting and potatoes will play as important a role for No-sword in 2008 as they have in 2007.

Amida: I hear you. I don't even like big roasted birds that much.

Julie: I've put it on my list!

Denske: True, it must be even worse when people ascribe active malice to the thing.

Morgan: Always with the "South's gonna fry again" talk. (Alternate pun choice: Don't bread on me.)

Yuki: I heard they retracted it, though. And got expelled (uh, "quit") from school. Doesn't make it false, of course...

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