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KFC Japan introduces new sitting figures of Colonel Sanders

A sitting figure of Colonel Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken. (Photo courtesy of KFC Holdings Japan Ltd.)

While standing figures of Colonel Sanders in his iconic white outfit have been a common sight outside Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) outlets across Japan, the founder of the fast food chain can now be seen sitting in several locations.

    The sitting versions of Colonel Sanders, set aside for four outlets across Japan and at the head office of KFC Holdings Japan Ltd. in Yokohama, are being introduced to bring his face down to the eye level of children, after some children asked why he was standing.

    The new figures are about 126 centimeters high, approximately 60 centimeters wide and measure 92 centimeters from front to back. One has already been installed at an outlet in Tokyo Dome City LaQua in Tokyo's Bunkyo Ward, one at a restaurant in the city of Misato, Saitama Prefecture, and one at an outlet in Sendai. In addition, one will be placed at a restaurant in the city of Suita, Osaka Prefecture, and one at the head office in Yokohama. Both standing and sitting figures will be seen together at the Suita restaurant. The company expects customers will enjoy taking a break on the bench with the figure and taking family photographs with it.

    The company is inviting the public to come up with names to describe the sitting Sanders, receiving submissions until Aug. 15. Each of the four restaurants will present original goods to the first 150 customers who take photographs with the new installations, on a first-come-first-served basis. The company plans to set up more sitting figures depending on the reactions of customers.

    Figures of Colonel Sanders have stood outside KFC outlets in Japan since 1971, the year after the then KFC Japan was founded, when a company executive brought a figure made for an event in Canada to Japan and placed it in front of an outlet. This original Japanese practice of placing a statue of the colonel in front of a KFC outlet spread primarily to other Asian countries, where Japanese staff members were dispatched to help found new KFC businesses.

    Colonel Sanders came under the spotlight in Japan in 1985 after a figure outside an outlet beside Dotonbori River in Osaka's busy commercial district was tossed into the river by fans of the Hanshin Tigers professional baseball team, which won the Japan Series baseball championship that year.

    (Japanese original by Hiroki Masuda, General Digital News Center)

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