Yesterday’s newspaper carried an item about the Japanese belief that blood type and personality are linked. In Japan, it’s perfectly normal to ask “What’s your blood type?” in the course of a conversation, just as here we might ask ” What’s your ( zodiac) sign?” Until recently, job applicants in Japan were asked for their blood type and companies would make decisions about job assignments based on employees’ blood types. Children in some kindergartens are divided according to blood type so that each type can be taught according to the method best suited to their personality. Matchmaking agencies provide blood-type compatibility tests and consumer goods such as womens’ handbags, chewing gum , soft drinks and even condoms are formulated for specific blood types.
Surprisingly, such thinking is not new , having been first put forwarded by Kumata Hara in 1916. Hara was a doctor but subsequent research showed that there is no scientific basis , no link between blood types and character traits. However the idea never died down and it is rumored that during World War II, battle groups were assembled according to blood type. The notion got fresh legs in 1970, when Masahiko Nomi, an advocate with no medical background,popularised it. His son , Toshitaka, continues to push it today . Last year , this was the subject of four of the top 10 bestselling books ( one for each blood type) in Japan .
In brief, these are the supposed characteristics of each blood type:
Type A: Calm, avoid confrontation, uncomfortable around people. Shy, sometimes withdrawn, seek harmony. Never really fit in.Very responsible, creative, sensitve, most artistic, conscientous.
Type B: Most practical of the blood types. Specialists. Very focused, less than co-operative. Strongly individualistic. Pay more attention to thoughts rather than feelings. Can seem cold, serious. Well intentioned, impulsive.
Type O : Energetic, outgoing, social. Most flexible of the blood groups. Start things but give up rather easily. Flighty, undependable. Speak their mind. Very self confident. Value the opinion of others. Considered the ” best” group in Japan.
Type AB: Hard to categorize since they are a mixture of contradictory traits e.g shy and outgoing.Trustworthy, responsible. Can’t handle too much when under pressure. Interested in art and metaphysics. Considered the “worst” group in Japan. Most anime villains are type AB. ( LOL)
As might have been expected, young women are most receptive these ideas and use them to determine who might be best suited to have a relationship with.
In general, people are compatible with others of their own blood type and with type AB. This makes me wonder why Type AB individuals are considered the ” worst” type, particularly since their characteristics don’t seem to be bad.
To us outside Japan, these ideas will seem strange, if not foolish. Even in Japan, they persist inspite of a lack of medical evidence to support them. I suppose that if something has been around for a long time and is being constantly repeated it takes on the appearance of truth.
It doesn’t seem logical that all of humankind could be divided into just four groups. At least astrological signs, another far fetched correlation, recognize 12 separate divisions.I know my personality doesn’t t fit the description assigned to my blood type. I have some traits belonging to Type A and some to type B and some to Type O. That’s what I’d expect.Try it yourself. Check the traits described for your blood type and see if they match.
Adolf Hitler was a blood type A and it’s hard to desribe him as ” calm” or a person who ‘d seek harmony and avoid confrontation” .. both characteristics of Type A’s.
No, the notion that blood type and character are somehow linked absolutely doesn’t make sense to me . It’s harmless providing it isn’t used to dictate the course of one’s life or the lives of others.