The Story Behind Kirin Beer Labels

「麒麟」The KIRIN

The KIRIN is a mythical creature, a messenger of good luck. Derived from various ancient legends, it is said to appear as a prelude to joyous times to come.
The KIRIN, a gentle creature, flies the skies; its feet never touching the ground as not to harm any insects or plants. Also known as a symbol of a peaceful world, it is said to bring days full of peace and tranquility.
For over 130 years, the Kirin brand has wished joy and happiness for all, ever since the day we chose the KIRIN to appear on the Kirin Beer label. We will continue to wish good luck and bring joy to all of our customers.

  • Kirin Beer label from 1888

  • Kirin Beer label from 1889

Find the Hidden Letters in the Label

Look closer, and you can find the hidden Japanese kana letters for "ki," "ri," and "n" in the mane of the KIRIN on the Kirin Beer label. This design has appeared on labels since 1933, but the actual reason behind the hidden letters remains a mystery - the graphic designer decided to be playful, or it may have been a way to prevent counterfeit.

  • Today's Kirin Beer Label

  • Close-up image of the KIRIN