AICHI (TR) – Shigeo Yamamoto, the founder of the popular Sekai no Yama-chan restaurant chain, died on Sunday. He was 59 years old, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Aug. 22).
Yamamoto, whose Nagoya-based chain has specialized in reasonably priced chicken wings for more than three decades, suffered a tear in a wall of his aorta.
Yamamoto, a native of Gifu Prefecture, opened the first Sekai no Yamachan under the name Kushikatsu Yakitori Yamachan in Nagoya’s Chuo Ward in 1981. Since then, the chain has become renowned for its spicy tebasaki chicken wings, which are served piled high on a plate for 430 yen.
Though customers have always identified the chain with chicken, Yamamoto is not simply the founder: His likeness appears in a chicken suit as the popular mascot of the chain.
S.Y. Food, the management company of Sekai no Yamachan, announced on Monday that it was closing a number of its outlets — which currently number 75 in Japan and overseas — over a two-day period in honor of the founder.
At 7:00 p.m. on Monday, a vigil will be held for Yamamoto. At 1:00 p.m. on the following day, a funeral service attended by Yamamoto’s wife, Kumi, will be held in Nagoya’s Chikusa Ward.