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)

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

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

★呪い (noroi)

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

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  • 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!!

  • Sarah Browne

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

  • 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!