First - a shout out to 'mishenka' who kindly wrote in with the lead for this story.
Just because Japan isn't a Christian country doesn't mean it can't celebrate Christmas anyway it wants. Santa Claus, as everyone knows, delivers toys to all the good little boys and girls all over the world. I know because I watched him do it with my six-year-old son via the NORAD Santa Claus tracker on the Internet a few days ago - keep this link for next year: Ho Ho Ho.
Food-wise, Japan eats chicken, rather than turkey. Because my wife does not care for turkey, I get screwed and have to have chicken. Despite my love of bacon and pork chops, I'm not a big ham eater. And goose? That's Canada's national bird! I think. It's actually the Common Loon, though that's not official, though somewhat appropriate, too. And why isn't it the Canada Goose? It's got the word 'Canada' in it? Common Loon, indeed!
But turkey? Have you ever tried to get a turkey in Japan? It's possible and super expensive (god... just wait a few weeks to read about what I did to get one - in a future blog entry about my life in Japan!). And besides... have you seen the Easy-Bake ovens in most Japanese homes? You'd never get a turkey inside one to cook it!
So... here comes the chicken. But who wants to cook a meal for a made-up holiday like Christmas in Japan anyway? Certainly not most Japanese women.
I say women, because really... men... cooking... at home? Uh-uh. That would mean a blurring of the sexes and their familial responsibilities.
So what do Japanese families do? They get their chicken from KFC.
Yes... KFC. Kentucky Fried Chicken. The fast food restaurant with many somewhat handy locations throughout Japan.
But... it's not just regular KFC chicken... no! It's a special Christmas bucket of chicken!
And it's popular too! There are line-ups out the door as families try to pick-up their Japanese Christmas dinner!
To circumvent the waiting on Christmas Day, KFC allows the pre-order of the special bucket as early as October.
Now that's serious.
Some of the bucket options include a commemorative plate even. In addition to the regular menu, KFC will also sell a whole roast chicken for the heart-stopping cost of ¥5,600 (~US/Cdn $73.75)
Belated Meri Kurisumasu (Merry Christmas) and happy eating!
PS: To quote the immortal John Hannibal Smith of the A-Team TV show "I love it when a plan comes together" or in this case kismet. I had no idea when I wrote a blog a few days ago WHY I put in the stuff about me being a loud-mouth chicken in my blog about Japanese Christmas... but now it seems appropos: HERE's the evidence.