You read that headline right. Japan’s KFC Holdings announced on March 19, 2024, that it has destroyed a Colonel Sanders statue. This is actually a follow-up to the statue receiving its own burial ceremony earlier this month. So why exactly have they done this, and what does a mysterious curse have to do with it?

colonel sanders statue kfc

The ‘Curse of the Colonel’

Back in 1985, the finger lickin’ good mascot was first thrown into the Dotonbori River as part of a victory celebration after the Tigers secured the Central League pennant. Sports festivities in Japan don’t typically rock as hard as they do in the west, but baseball seems to bring a certain quality out of its fans and this is Osaka we’re talking about after all. This act generated the start of an urban legend which says that the ghost of Colonel Sanders was angered by their antics and placed a curse on the Kansai-based baseball team.

They did win the Japan Series two weeks later, but had to wait another 38 years before securing their next one. They also had an 18-year pennant drought. Some fans believed that they would never win another Japan Series again until the statue was recovered. There were even those who went as far as attempting to look for it at the bottom of the river by sending divers down to dredge.

colonel sanders cosplayer

Recovering the Statue

It wasn’t until March 10, 2009, that the statue was finally recovered (initially thought to be a human corpse) in pieces. This didn’t seem to change the fate of the team until last year, when the curse of the colonel was officially broken as the Tigers won Game 7 of the 2023 Japan Series. Their first since 1985. Thankfully, we were able to avoid history repeating itself as no statues were harmed this time. A Colonel Sanders cosplayer was thrown into the river instead as a reference to this weird and somewhat dark past. 

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