How KFC became popular in Japan – hustle
The origin is not that clear. Even KFC officials have stated different versions. One is that shortly after launching the first KFC, Takeshi Okawara came up with the idea of a “party barrel” that would be sold on Christmas. It came to him as he dreamt, once he overheard a couple of foreigners in his store talking about how they missed Christmas turkey.
Okawara thought that a bucket of fried chicken could be a decent substitute for a Christmas dinner, and he took that idea to the market. The Party Barrel became a way to celebrate Christmas.
Another version, which KFC Japan told CNN, Okawara's friend, a nun who worked at a nearby school, asked if he would get involved in a Christmas party providing fried chicken. Knowing his business was on the line, Okawara agreed.
He went above and beyond to leave the best impression. He even dressed up as Santa Claus, danced around the classroom with a barrel of fried chicken and sang a song he made up for this occasion "Happy Kentucky Christmas".
Kids loved it so much, another elementary school hired him to do the KFC-themed Christmas party. Okawara realized that “Kentucky for Christmas” campaign could save his business.
He put Santa costumes on Colonel Sanders statues outside KFC stores and promoted KFC Christmas "Party Barrels" filled with Kentucky Chicken as a replacement to the American turkey Christmas dinner.