So I was thumbing, to the extent one can be said to be thumbing with an optical mouse, through the Sanrio Hello Kitty Wiki, and happened upon this unexpected page:
KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) are a popular international chain of fast food restaurants specialising in fried chicken. Its headquarters are in Louisville, Kentucky in the United States. Its brand ambassador is Colonel Sanders, an American business man who was the founder of the KFC company and appears on the KFC logo.
There follows a list of nine KFC stores “promoted by” Sanrio, four in Tokyo proper and five in Saitama Prefecture. By no means is this the extent of KFC’s distribution in Japan; there are literally a thousand more locations. And their biggest sales day, every year, is the 25th of December, as Japan Today has explained:
The tradition of eating KFC at Christmas [began] when an expat customer at the chain’s Aoyama store observed that, in a land bereft of Yuletide turkey, fried chicken was the next best thing. The store’s canny manager was paying attention and passed word on to the higher-ups, leading the company to launch its ludicrously successful Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii! (“Kentucky for Christmas!”) campaign in 1974.
Why wouldn’t Sanrio want a piece of that? Or maybe an 8-piece bucket.