Blood type personality

Everyone in Japan knows that people with Type AB blood are creative, intelligent, and untrustworthy. Wait, what?

ICSident at German Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Yes, I’m sorry, it’s yet another post about blood. Japan has a widespread belief that someone’s blood type corresponds to their personality. People with Type A blood are patient but stubborn; Type Bs are friendly but unreliable; Type ABs are creative and aloof; Type Os are ambitious but arrogant.

It has about the same validity as a horoscope, but that doesn’t stop people reading horoscopes. (A sidebar: back when I was teaching English to Japanese students, they were all extremely curious about my blood type – now I know why.) I imagine that it’s not always taken seriously. After all, many people read horoscopes as a diversion rather than taking it as gospel.

It has a sadly racist background: apparently some guy in the 1930s discovered that there were quite a few Type 0 people in Taiwan, and decided that rebelliousness must be in their blood. Japan has a history of invading Taiwan, and being resisted. The belief reappeared in the 1970s thanks to a pop-(pseudo)sci book, and it’s now thoroughly mainstream. People have been bullied enough about their blood type that there’s even a word for it: bura-hara. Blood types feature on dating sites and are a field you can put in your Japanese Facebook profile.

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