Colonel Sanders Dressed Up Like Never Before

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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!

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Illustration for article titled Colonel Sanders Dressed Up Like Never Before

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.

Illustration for article titled Colonel Sanders Dressed Up Like Never Before

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.

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Illustration for article titled Colonel Sanders Dressed Up Like Never Before
Illustration for article titled Colonel Sanders Dressed Up Like Never Before
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Illustration for article titled Colonel Sanders Dressed Up Like Never Before

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.

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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.

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Here's the Colonel doing a One Piece cosplay.

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Neon Genesis Evangelion.

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This Dragon Ball get-up was even part of the most recent DB film's official promotion.

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Your friendly neighborhood Colonel Sanders.

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Sleazy Sanders.

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Sometimes, the Colonel enjoys a historical reenactment. Here, he's Date Colonel after Date Masamune.

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Yikes! Check out that Sanders sword.

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Here, he is dressed as a member of Japan's special samurai police force, the Shinsengumi.

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Chicken love.

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This outfit marks the Hinamatsuri, the country's doll festival.

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Watermelon is delicious in the summer.

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Kyoto can get very hot!

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It seems the Colonel supports Kyoto's local soccer team, Kyoto Sanga.

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Check out the jersey's back: "Nintendo" (任天堂). Neat, huh?

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But wait, the Colonel supports other soccer teams, like Vegalta Sendai.

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And baseball teams, like the Hanshin Tigers. There was a famous Colonel Sanders curse, you know!

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Local KFCs dress the Colonel in different uniforms to root for the hometown teams.

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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."

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Another kindergarten Colonel.

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Happy Halloween!

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Hitting the slopes. Er, standing still near them.

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Dressed for a visit to a hot springs.

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Let's just pretend this never happened.

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Colonel Sanders as...the Virgin Mary. He's also an angel.

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A Shinto priest.

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Ah, Colonel, no. Please. Just no.

Photos: blog waskaz, 寺町ブログ, hira2, ぷじょ〜る君の飼い主sのたわ言@京都, わん太ログ, ろぐブログ, ブログのようなもの, Luna C'est La Vie, hira2, Genmai, Koneta, YattarJapan, 日常集0号, 47News, Omiko, 建築をめぐる冒険, 街角の風景, こんなかんじで晩御飯, まいまいのブログ, YoitokoNet, Takuya_Captain, illustshop, Shinshin, takedatake, ちょっくらぶらぶら♪, チョッパーマニア, For Your Smile, 今日、喰ったもの。あったこと。, オトン@ ブログkirakira-mimiAmebaAFOのブログ

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To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.

Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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This was our Christmas card one year, taken in Akiba November 2008.