Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Curse is Lifted! Colonel Sanders Has Been Found!

(Image borrowed from, 3/10/09)

The upper half of the Kentucky Fried Chicken Colonel Sanders statue that was thrown into the Dotonbori river in 1985 was found and brought to the surface on Tuesday, ending the 24-year mystery as to its whereabouts, and some say ending the curse that has plagued the Hanshin Tigers ever since.

The statue was thrown into the river on Oct 16, 1985, after the Hanshin Tigers won their first, and only, Japan Series championship. Fans who resembled Tigers players jumped into the river, but since no one resembled first basemen Randy Bass, fans grabbed a life-sized statue of KFC mascot Colonel Sanders and threw it into the river.

The statue was discovered by divers at about 4 p.m. Tuesday after construction workers conducting magnetic resonance testing detected an obstruction on the riverbed about 200 meters downstream from where the statue was thrown in. A crane brought the statue up. The colonel had lost his hands, glasses, and his lower body.

Divers on Wednesday found the Colonel’s lower body and his right hand.

Story from Japan Today, 3/11/09.

Where the Colonel was found:

(Image borrowed from, 3/10/09)

Other Links:

Colonel Sanders rescued from river after 24 years in Daily Yomiuri Online

Colonel stages a comeback in Osaka in Japan Times Online

(Image borrowed from The Hanshin Tigers Page.)

Read more about the curse and Tigers' history at The Hanshin Tigers Page.

Osaka is celebrating. And now Hanshin has no excuse for not winning. 2009 will be the year of the Tigers! Go Tigers!


From Mainichi Daily News, 3/11/09

The upper body of the statue was discovered at around 4 p.m. about 200 meters away from where it plunged into the water in 1985. When the figure was being pulled up by the crane on a salvage barge, construction workers could be heard to say, "It looks like a corpse." However, when Tigers fans such as the riverside project foreman saw the statue, they exclaimed, "It's the Colonel!" Passersby also stopped in their tracks to take in the scene.

With the media and locals looking on, divers began their search for the lower body at around 8:50 Wednesday morning, and discovered the right hand some minutes later. About 10 minutes after that, the diver's voice burst from a speaker on the salvage barge, saying, "It's the lower body. There's no mistake about it," bringing on a cheer from reporters and workers alike.

The statue sections are covered in river mud and badly stained, and the figure's feet, left hand and glasses have yet to be uncovered. The Osaka Municipal Government, which is responsible for the riverside, is holding the statue and will consult with Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan on how to handle it.

And what do Hanshin Tigers fans believe the Colonel's discovery portends?

"We'll be number one in Japan this year for sure," they say.

(Image borrowed from Mainichi Daily News, 3/11/09; caption reads: A photograph shows the upper half of a Colonel Sanders figure that was thrown into the Dotonbori River by ecstatic Hanshin Tigers fans in 1985 after the team took the Central League title.)

(Image borrowed from Mainichi Daily News, 3/11/09; caption reads: The lower body and the right hand of Colonel Sanders, which were discovered on Wednesday morning.)

1 comment:

R. said...

This was the first thing I thought of watching "The Japanese Version" when the KFC workers bought out the Colonel. Then I get home and he's been found. No doubt this is good news for you.