In Japan, Kentucky Fried Chicken is an institution. So is putting Colonel Sanders in a variety of different outfits, including anime characters, samurai, and school children. Oh, and maids!
This is a Colonel Sanders statue. There are typically located inside or in front of KFCs in Japan.
For years now, the Colonel statue has been dressed as Santa as part of the fast food chain's big Christmas push. Many Japanese people eat KFC on Christmas. It's a decades-long tradition.
That's not the only costumes KFC chains dress the Colonel in. On Children's Day, which is May 5 in Japan, families with sons display miniature suits of samurai armor. Following suit, many KFCs put the Colonel in D.I.Y. cardboard armor.
But this is just the tip of the Colonel's Japanese cosplay odyssey. Colonel Sanders passed away in 1980, so he can't have a say in the costumes Japanese KFCs put his statue in. Some make him look good. Some, but certainly not all, are part of official anime tie-ins. Others, like the maid outfit above, are kind of questionable! Most are creative and in good fun.
The KFC in Tokyo's geek mecca of Akihabara is famous for its Colonel Sanders cosplay. However, it is not the only KFC to dress the Colonel in interesting costumes.
Here's the Colonel doing a One Piece cosplay.
Neon Genesis Evangelion.
This Dragon Ball get-up was even part of the most recent DB film's official promotion.
Your friendly neighborhood Colonel Sanders.
Sometimes, the Colonel enjoys a historical reenactment. Here, he's Date Colonel after Date Masamune.
Yikes! Check out that Sanders sword.
Here, he is dressed as a member of Japan's special samurai police force, the Shinsengumi.
This outfit marks the Hinamatsuri, the country's doll festival.
Watermelon is delicious in the summer.
Kyoto can get very hot!
It seems the Colonel supports Kyoto's local soccer team, Kyoto Sanga.
Check out the jersey's back: "Nintendo" (任天堂). Neat, huh?
But wait, the Colonel supports other soccer teams, like Vegalta Sendai.
And baseball teams, like the Hanshin Tigers. There was a famous Colonel Sanders curse, you know!
Local KFCs dress the Colonel in different uniforms to root for the hometown teams.
This Colonel is dressed up in a mishmash of uniforms that range from kindergarten to high school. The bag says "Kentucky Kindergarten." The black tube, which is similar to the rolled diploma-filled tubes high schoolers get, reads "Happy Graduation."
Another kindergarten Colonel.
Hitting the slopes. Er, standing still near them.
Dressed for a visit to a hot springs.
Let's just pretend this never happened.
Colonel Sanders as...the Virgin Mary. He's also an angel.
A Shinto priest.
Ah, Colonel, no. Please. Just no.
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