by

I came across this story on Flickr while looking for something completely different, which forced me to do some more searching on my own. Of course, the curse is in Wikipedia, as well as in Shane’s atypicallife, but you can read it right here as well. Possibly with a little more snarkiness. Maybe.

What/Who does the Colonel curse?

The Curse of Colonel Sanders is a curse brought down on the Japanese baseball team, the Hanshin Tigers. Starting in 1985 until now, the Hanshin Tigers have never won the Japanese baseball equivalent of the World Series (The Japan Series). Supposedly, evil Mr. Sanders is the one preventing it.

How did they get Cursed?

In 1985, Hanshin Tigers beat the Seibu Lions and won their first Japan Series. A lot of the work was done by their gaijin star, Randy Bass (who was their MVP). After the Tigers won, fans were celebrating wildly in the streets. They gathered at the Ebisubashi Bridge in Dotonbori, Osaka. For some reason (who knows why), they decided that they’d yell out the name of one of the Tigers’ players, and someone who resembles that player would jump off the bridge and into the canal. When they got to Randy Bass’ name, they didn’t have any white, bearded dude to jump into the river for them, so they took the local KFC’s Colonel Sanders statue (which can be found in front of most KFCs in Japan…don’t ask), and chucked it into the river. Because, yeah, all gaijin look alike (kind of like how all Asians look alike, right?). Look at the resemblance!

From here, the Hanshin Tigers had 18 years of bad seasons. There were a few seasons with rays of hope, but they were quickly smashed, letting the legend live on.

So, Are they still cursed?

Technically, yes. They got to the Japan Series in 2003, but then lost to the Fukuoka Hawks (Go Hawks! Ra Ra!). When they got to the Japan Series, 5300 people jumped into the canal (you see, the KFC statue was bolted down, this time), and actually one person died (sounds very cursey to me). There have been diving expeditions into the deep to recover the Colonel, but he was never found. Sounds like the Twilight Zone, to me.

What do YOU Think?

Psshh, hecks yes, I think they have a curse, though it could be my love for baseball that’s blinding all remaining bits of common sense. Maybe that’s why I still follow every Mariners game I can. How about you?

Vocab for This Article:

★野球 (yakyuu)
Baseball

★ケンタッキー (Kentakkii)
KFC / Kentucky Fried Chicken

★ケンチキ (Kenchiki)
KFC / Kentucky Fried Chicken

★呪い (noroi)
Curse

★カーネルサンダースの呪い (Kaaneru Sandaasu no noroi)
Curse of Colonel Sanders

  • http://tofugu.com Tofugu_Erin

    You don't want to mess with the Colonel.

    Nice vocab list, btw.

  • WOTDsctoo

    Hahahaha. Awesome.

    But didn't KFC stop using trans fats? Isn't that like lifting a curse? Maybe it was only in the US…

    Anyway, I like the fact that you can refer to KFC simply as ケンタッキー. Kentucky = chicken. Nothing more. XD

  • kwyjibo

    One think I like doing when visiting other countries is trying the fast food to see how it differs from it´s American brethren. The shrimp burger I had was quite good from the McDonalds in Narita Airport. Another one in Japan even got my order wrong (forgot part of it), and it wasn´t due to miscommunication (I think they were just really busy).
    As for the curse. I´m sure it will falter sooner or later. Maybe they should toss Ronald McDonald into the river so Colonel Sanders will stop being so bitter.

  • Popkornage

    Oh snap. Now I know not to mess with the colonel.
    Random question- Does anyone know the background of why it's pronounced “kernel”, but it is spelled “colonel”? Or is it English just being retarded?

  • ghindo

    This is freakin' hilarious. White males = Colonel Sanders amirite

  • Zaywex

    Well, at least the Mariners are getting back on their feet (is it just me, or do most of their good players get bought off?)

  • Maciel

    HAHAHA this is a nice post
    i just laughed when i saw the title
    and i think its a true curse
    oh and i like the “Vacab for this Article:” part

  • Maciel

    probably for ppl wouldnt get mixed up with the popcorn kernel? lol
    idk

  • Jennifer

    I think its pretty hysterical. The colonel is definitely treated interestingly in Japan. The one at the KFC down the road from me in Fukuoka is currently dressed like a samurai.

  • mistawang

    I think you left out the diphthong on zu in “カーネルサンダースの呪い (Kaaneru Sandaazu no noroi)”

  • Finlay Clark

    No way! Japan has such cool stuff…=]

  • Floatmeon

    Well he may be evil, but i sure do love his chicken

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    oops, or, I accidentally wrote it in English incorrectly, which is really what happened. Thanks for the catch!

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    I love KFC and rice. It's the best combination there is.

  • http://www.vietamins.com Viet

    I don't remember the last time I've eaten at KFC…

  • CG

    I agree Randy Bass is the spiting image of Colonel Sanders : )

  • http://www.hoolan.wordpress.com Rob_Hoolan

    I want a Colonel Sanders Statue now :(.

  • Ana_chan

    @kwyjibo
    Oooooh nice idea! I mean, the whole “toss[ing] Ronald McDonald into the river” thing. Now, there's a place where he could be useful, at last.
    I guess that in poor Colonel's shoes, I'd feel pretty miserable with nothing/no one to kick for revenge. Cursing is good, but having company down there has to make things better somehow. Ranting and raving and cursing is much more satisfying when there's an actual audience.

    @Koichi
    Nice article! The vocab part is pretty neat too.

  • http://mrklo-olstphn.livejournal.com maakusutipen

    What about Colonel Sanders dressed as a meido? Just recently he donned the black and white dress and apron for Akihabara passersby? He did not get mad and cursed the otaku-kei that put him in that situation?

    @Koichi's comment on KFC and rice. I would not have it any other way! Here in the Philippines that is standard fare. We get all KFC meals with rice on tow. I really thought that was normal not until I got to the States as well as one Korean friend reminded me again that even in Korea rice was the staple but they cannot even order rice on KFC.

  • emiko

    omg this is so scary!

    i've never heard of it before, but when i saw the article i remebered that in the beginning of 'higurashi no koro ni' (one of the most disturbing anime i've ever watched) had a scene in the town junk yard. in the junk yard was a girl trying to get out a 'cute colonel sanders statue' . . . she asks the boy to help her get it out and shows up later with a huge knige/sithe thing . . . i wonder if this has anything to do with this curse . . .

    because afterwards the boy becomes paranoid that his friends are going to kill him and he begins to 'practice his swinging' with and old baseball bat that belonged to one of his friends 'dead' brother . . . soon afterward he killed his friends after being injected with a serum . . . and yes, this story is all about curses

  • http://tofugu.com Tofugu_Erin

    Interesting correlation! I think I saw half an episode of ひぐらしのなく頃に but never finished it for some reason.

  • emiko

    it is a good series, it just takes a lot of getting used to . . . it restarts the storyline about four or five times, and you don't truly understand what is going on until the second season

  • http://www.otakuinternational.com BZou

    Man you never mess with the Colonel. They were just asking for it, the power of the fried chicken is too awesome for them to comprehend. http://www.dannychoo.com/fauna/userimg/large/20

    Just look how badass the Colonel is in that picture, you'd have to be crazy to mess with that.

  • http://www.otakuinternational.com BZou

    I don't think theres any relation but damn that was a great anime, both seasons.

    Loved it, it had a creepy element to it, The first episode got creepy pretty fast too, its insane.

  • http://www.tofugu.com koichi

    Damn – images like that make me wish I could draw better than a 6 year
    old

  • emiko

    I heard that there is a third season coming out, but only in OVA

  • http://www.vietamins.com Viet

    Damn. Anyone thinking of stealing the Colonel's recipe better watch out.

  • Pingback: OMG KFC curse??? « vthee’s Weblog()

  • Sougen02

    So do i 0.0
    I've there are some on Japan, why haven't i ever seen them here in the USA??!

    Ebay >.> Must… buy…now!

  • Sougen02

    That's a good way to convince people to eat at KFC 0.0
    Ahem…
    Lmao xD

  • Sougen02

    LMao I thought the same thing.Of all things it had to be Colonel Sanders eh?
    xD

  • Captain_Ron

    I bet The Waterboy would have watched out a bit more in Colonel Sanders class if he knew how skilled he was with a blade.

    Adam Sandler is lucky he caught him by surprise when he tackled him. haha

  • karab1n3r_k90

    He funny!
    LOL there's KFC in philippines.I eat there sometimes.
    i HATE spicy!!!

  • http://www.ryeflorida.org/Students/OB/2008-09/georgia.htm Jyojia

    Haha. Poor Colonel. Chucked into the river without a second chance.
    I asked my host parents about this and they just gave me weird looks as I tried to explain in my broken Japanese what the hell I was talking about. XDD
    That goes to show you what reading tofugu blogs will do to you :P

  • karab1n3r_k90

    you're right!

  • Eevee

    ahaha…. That is an awesome story, while very un-educational. The quick edu-save at the end with the vocab list at the end was tricky though. We'll never know if the curse is true or false until a group of snooty gaijin scientists go and check that out…

  • http://www.thegue.com Captain_Ron

    Just like the Boston Red Socks curse, who's to say whats real… if they believe it to be true, it will probably be true for them

  • SarahXin

    Hahaha that's awesome. It's like the goat-curse thing that the Cubs have…but even crazier…:D

    ケンチキ is a really awesome word. I think I'm going to say “Kenchicken” now in English instead of KFC!! xD

  • SarahXin

    http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-col1.htm

    Yeah it's just English being retarded haha

  • Popkornage

    You should call it Kenchiki, sounds more Japanes-y

  • http://www.tofugu.com Viet

    Dun dun dun..

    The statue has been recovered!

    http://www.japanprobe.com/?p=9180

  • Miku_Sakurai

    Dear, oh dear.
    That's scary.

  • Anna
  • pixelskew

    Great post, I snapped a couple of the Colonel dressed up in Japan:

    http://blog.tylerbell.net/2008/03/19/samurai-sa

    http://blog.tylerbell.net/2007/10/28/the-colone

  • pixelskew

    Great post, I snapped a couple of the Colonel dressed up in Japan:

    http://blog.tylerbell.net/2008/03/19/samurai-sa

    http://blog.tylerbell.net/2007/10/28/the-colone

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    Hahahaha. Awesome.

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  • http://twitter.com/PsychoKat21 Kat

    As an update, the statue HAS BEEN FOUND. He’s still missing a hand and his glasses, though, so maybe the curse still stands…?

  • Izumi

    I thought they found the hand further downriver.

  • Jeremyworldwide1

    The Last part is wrong!! They did find Sanders!! About two years ago workers tasked with cleaning up the river raised the statue from the salty depths of the murky water…and what did they find? It was a completely SILVER statue of Sanders in all his cursing glory… To celebrate (profit) they fashioned a key chain with two mini statues of Sanders, one silver and one regular, attached to it. Whether anyone actually bought one is still a mystery… I am not making this stuff up… ONLY IN JAPAN!

    I bet if you look for some pics or even the key chain online you can find some!!

  • http://twitter.com/Trikky38 Sarah Browne

    I wonder if this is why Rena finds a Colonel Sanders in the dump in Higurashi… 

  • http://www.facebook.com/FamousLoser Andrew Smith

    I think that the Colonel was rescued from the murky waters of the Dotonbory in 2009, but apparently he still holds a grudge.  The Tigers have had a terrible season this year…

  • Kiriain

    I wonder; what’s the difference between 祟り (tatari) and 呪い (noroi)?

  • ta0paipai

    This made me a Tigers fan!