Nov 24, 2013

Blood type personality

Do you know your blood type?

If you ask this question in Japan, more than 90% Japanese will answer “Yes”.
Can your blood type reflect your personality?
Interestingly, the theory linking the ABO blood type to human personality traits is very popular in Japan, almost as popular as astrological signs in other parts of the world. Just to refresh your memory, the 4 different ABO blood types are: A, B, O and AB.

Taken from the Internet
Among the Japanese population, 40% are Type A, 30%  Type  O, 20% Type B and 10% Type AB.
Taken from getty inages

So why are the Japanese so obsessed with blood-type personality?

Well the idea was introduced in medieval and early-modern Japan, drawing similarities between blood types and the four social classes of that era.

1.    Samurai (type- O): strong-willed

2.    Farmers (type-A):  mild-mannered

3.    Artists (type-AB): sensitive

4.    Businessmen (type-B): earthy

However, the actual trend was started by Professor Takeji Furukawa, at Tokyo Women's Teacher's School, in 1927, when he published an article in the journal of Psychological Research” titled "The Study of Temperament Through Blood Type". This study was aimed at creating “ideal soldiers” by the reigning militarist government. However, lack of scientific evidence and experience on Mr. Furukawa’s part weakened his “theory” which disappeared in the 1930s. About forty years later, the same idea was revived in a book by Masahiko Nomi, a lawyer and broadcaster, who did not come from a medical background. Mr. Nomi's work also received a lot of criticism from the Japanese psychological community, as it lacked substantial clinical evidence. Nevertheless, his book remains popular even today and his theory has been kept alive through more books written by his son, who also ran the “Institute of Blood Type Humanics” in Japan. 
by Toshitaka Nomi & Alexander Besher

The height of obsession

In Japan, popular women’s magazines regularly highlight blood typology putting emphasis on which blood types are romantically compatible, while many Japanese daily newspapers devote a small section on blood type horoscopes. Even matchmaking services in Japan use blood type personality information when arranging meetings between prospective suitors. Many famous Japanese celebrities include their blood type on their webpages. In 2008, books describing people’s character by blood type ranked third, fourth, fifth and ninth on the best seller list in Japanese book shops! Last but not least, some Japanese shops also sell products ranging from chewing gum to bath salts to suit the individual blood type. 

The dark side

Unfortunately there seems to be a dark side to this interesting theory. Blood type harassment, called "Bura-hara" in Japanese, where children are bullied in schools for their particular blood type has been reported. Rumor has it that in Japan, individuals with blood type B are considered unpredictable and unreliable. There is also a very popular book in Japan called: "Instruction Manual for People with Type B Blood"?

Asking the blood type can be a standard question during job interviews and some employers are known to refuse applicants with the "wrong" blood type.  This attitude has also been witnessed among Japanese politicians.  A former minister, Ryu Matsumoto was asked to step down after he had made rude comments about other politicians. To everyone’s surprise, Mr. Matsumoto defended his offensive behavior by saying:
"My blood is type B, which means I can be irritable and impetuous, and my intentions don't always come across."

The Wikipedia version of the “Japanese blood type personality chart” is given below for your curiosity and reference.

Type A

Best traits

Earnest, creative, sensible, reserved, patient, responsible

Worst traits

Fastidious, over earnest, stubborn, tense

Type B

Best traits

Wild, active, doer, creative, passionate, strong

Worst traits

Selfish, irresponsible, unforgiving, erratic

Type AB

Best traits

Cool, controlled, rational, sociable, adaptable

Worst traits

Critical, indecisive, forgetful, irresponsible, "split personality"

Type O

Best traits

Confident, self-determined, optimistic, strong-willed, intuitive

Worst traits

Self-centered, cold, doubtful, unpredictable, "workaholic"

Finally, everyone in my family has blood type “O” but our personality traits do not confine us to any particular blood group, though we do tend to lean towards “O” and “A”! How about you?

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