lifestyle

A crash course in Japan’s blood type theory

17 Comments
By Lucy Dayman

Most people in the western world probably won’t learn what their blood type is until it’s medically necessary. But in Japan, knowing whether you’re A, B, AB, or O blood type is more common than knowing your star sign. That’s because here, people have believed for a while now that there’s a lot more to read than your antigens.

Many Japanese folks believe that personality, employability, temperament, and romantic and platonic compatibility can be determined by what blood type you have. Blood typing in Japan is such a massive deal that there are dating services based around connecting compatible blood types, drinks, gum, and even condoms crafted specifically for blood types. In fact, the next time a Japanese person asks you what your type is, all you need to do is respond with a single letter and that’ll be all the information they need.

For outsiders, it may sound a little offbeat, but is it really any different from believing constellations in the sky affect your personality? Besides, it’s a bit of fun. 

Type O: The optimistic leader

O blood types are considered generally optimistic (rakkanshugi in Japanese). They’re born leaders who are realistic and always willing to take charge and set the tone of a group. They like to look after people, especially those younger than them. 

Strengths & weaknesses: Os make great leaders because they’re great at constructively communicating their feelings and opinions. Resilience and flexibility are also qualities many type O people share, which can make them easy to be around and great team players. Plus, they don’t sweat the small stuff. 

In terms of weaknesses, their lack of care for the ‘small things’ can cause others stress or anxiety. They may give less weight to actions that others feel are important, which can be read as rudeness or insensitivity. Another major weakness: they have a tendency to be late to events.

Romantic relationships: Type Os are hopeless romantics, approaching their relationships wholeheartedly. Though they are normally a take-charge personality type, when they’re in love, they enjoy being spoiled and getting a sense of being protected. Os match best with B folks, as the agreeableness and social ease of O types makes them perfect for cheeky B types.

Workplace habits and career paths: Thanks to their leadership qualities, willingness to help the team, and a mindset of looking out for the little guy, Os make great CEOs or politicians. They’re able to control their temperament well, which means they don’t blow up or crumble under stress or work pressures easily.

Type A: The kind organizer

Click here to read more.

© Savvy Tokyo

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

17 Comments
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Why no mention of the Rh factor?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Burning Bush

Why no mention of the Rh factor?

Because something like 97 or 98% of Japanese (and most East Asians in general) are Rh positive.

I know this because I am O negative, and I can only get blood from another O negative, and people like us have serious considerations when living in Asia.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Correction: I just checked, and its actually less than 1% of ethnic Japanee having Rh negative blood.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Rubbish. Just another Japanese people can assign people to certain groups

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Wasn't this originally a theory devised by the nazis? I thought the crash course in this theory would go into more detail about how it's total bunk!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Well, westerners (at least Europeans) love to talk about their astrological sign, which has as much scientific basis as the blood type. Unfortunately, a large number of people really believe in this bs; it is fine when it is used to break the ice at a party or gokon, but it is worrisome when people get serious about it, including cases of company hiring policies. But we live in a world where cool-sounding theories on the internet sell much better than sound science, and I am not talking only about blood types and zodiac.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Why no mention of the Rh factor?

Because this whole blood type=personality thing is a steaming pile of nonsense, so Rh factor is moot.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

No mention at all that it has roots in eugenics and closely related to the idea that some people are genetically superior?

To ignore that is to publish a poorly researched article.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

timeonToday  11:40 am JST

Well, westerners (at least Europeans) love to talk about their astrological sign, which has as much scientific basis as the blood type. 

I agree that astrology is a pile of unutterable bolleaux, but at least it isn't a throwback to Nazi pseudo-science, searching for blood purity:

https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/how-german-blood-purity-research-advanced-medical-knowledge-a-902865.html

5 ( +5 / -0 )

In fact, the next time a Japanese person asks you what your type is, all you need to do is respond with a single letter and that’ll be all the information they need.

Yeah, I always tell them "x" and then ask if they like Hitler (they never get it). Pseudoscientific nonsense. Explaining it won't work because of the cultural brainwashing they've had since they were born.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Besides, it’s a bit of fun.

It’s not just a bit of fun. Actual profiling and even bullying happens because of this.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Well, at least the stereotypes are convenient when making fictional characters. You can tell your Japanese audience a lot about what to expect just by saying your new character's blood type is X :-)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japanese military from 1927 investigated blood types to find perfect soldiers but thankfully Japanese dropped the whole idea after the war. It was only from the 1970's that this was revived again by a journalist for what amounts to scientific racism. Sad that a fad from the 1900's continues. It has no scientific basis and should be abandoned again to stop discrimination.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Well, westerners (at least Europeans) love to talk about their astrological sign, which has as much scientific basis as the blood type. 

Plenty of people in Japan believe in that nonsense, too.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well, westerners (at least Europeans) love to talk about their astrological sign, which has as much scientific basis as the blood typeWell, westerners (at least Europeans) love to talk about their astrological sign, which has as much scientific basis as the blood type

A minority do, but few take it seriously. Nor is it used to decide whether a person is suitable for a job etc.

Unlike blood types, astrology is not used to discriminate in Europe.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

and should be abandoned again to stop discrimination

It's not always used in a discriminatory way. I know of one Japanese company that used to check that they had a typical share of B types among new employees. As B types are numerically fewer than the A and O types, there was a higher chance that they might not employ any B types. The company's reasoning was that if there was any truth to the idea, they wouldn't want to miss out on the supposed creative abilities of such people.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It's very simple.

Type A means your ancestor is Jomon or Caucasian.

Type B means your ancestor is Yayoi.

Type O means your ancestor is from Southeast Asia/Pacific.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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