In the 1970’s, KFC started promoting party barrels of their famous fried chicken as a substitute for the typical American Christmas dinner of turkey. Since then, it has become a tradition to eat KFC on Christmas Eve in Japan. So why the cake? Well, originally I thought it was a substitute for pumpkin pie, but I was wrong. It actually started after World War 2, when Japan had food shortages. After the economy bounced back, cake ingredients like butter and sugar were more readily available. The new middle class of Japan used cake as a symbol of prosperity, that they’d made it through the hardships of war.