McDonald’s in Japan

McDonald's 1970's Japan Uniforms

McDonald's Japan uniforms and signage from the 1970's

APA Collections Update from Noriko Sanefuji:

What comes to mind when you think of fast food?  Probably McDonald’s.  McDonald’s has been around since 1940 with nearly 32,500 restaurants in over 100 countries.  They opened their first store in Japan in May 1971, in the middle of Tokyo.  As of today, McDonald’s has over 3,300 stores in Japan, the largest number of stores outside of the U.S.A.

These uniforms were donated to the Smithsonian by the McDonald’s Company (Japan) Ltd. These were the first uniforms in the 70’s.  The one on the left is a crew member uniform and the one on the right is a manager uniform. The uniforms have evolved over the past 40 years.

The National Museum of American History also owns the symbolic store sign from McDonald’s Japan, circa 1970’s.

When McDonald’s first opened in Japan, it created a huge phenomenon by introducing the Western “fast food” concept to a foreign country.

McDonald’s marketed as a stylish place to go to with family and friends.  They have also included special menus for Japanese customers such as American regional burgers and teriyaki burgers. Additionally, a variety of toys unique to the Japanese market are included in the kids’ meal.


Love, John F., “McDonald’s: Behind The Arches” Bantam Books, 1995.


One thought on “McDonald’s in Japan

  1. bushnell tour v2 says:

    I did not know McDonalds was that old! It is amazing and I remember when I was a kid (30 years ago) and I went there with my parents and I was so exited. Today I don’t really like the food…

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