Ethnic Development in Japan
or: How Den Fujita Made Me Spit Out My Drink in Amazement

It's a well-known fact that everybody loves McDonald's. From its incredibly nutritious food to its amazing ambience and all the way down to the absolutely stellar service, McDonald's is the world's favorite restaurant. It's easy, then, to fall into the trap of thinking that McDonald's is merely a provider of great food, family fun, and those little yellow cylinders that you put quarters in and watch them spin around until they fall into the bottom. No, McDonald's is also capable of redefining the ethnic landscape of an entire nation. "Which nation?" you might ask. Let me tell you right now. (Wait for it...)


In 1971, the first McDonald's (Makodonaldo) opened in Japan. I won't pretend to know exactly how well it did, but I think it's a fair assumption that it was pretty successful. Much of this success is owed to the president of McDonald's Japan, the visionary businessman and amateur anthropologist, Den Fujita. Gifted with unrivaled skills in the field of taking foreign products and creating mass hysteria around them in Japan, Den Fujita was also able to summarize the effect that McDonald's food would have on the growth and development of Japan's native population:

"The reason Japanese people are so short and have yellow skins is because they have eaten nothing but fish and rice for two thousand years...if we eat McDonald's hamburgers and potatoes for a thousand years we will become taller, our skin become white, and our hair blonde."

Only 967 years left until Den Fujita's vision of a Nordic Japan comes true.

Pertinent URLs: new_articles.cfm?articleID=846&journalID=75

The quote is from a book entitled Behind the Arches.