Much as how astrology is seen in the Western world, some Japanese are very conscious of a person’s blood type, or ketsuekigata 血液型. Personality, behavior and most importantly compatibility (aka aishou 相性) with another person of a different blood type are topics that have become integrated with daily life but should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Books, diet, and even condoms have been customized to each blood type. Television channels have daily forecasts for each type much like the horoscope in the papers. Characters in anime, manga or games are also typecast according to blood type.
However, some Japanese take it very seriously and pass judgment on friends and partners just by their blood type. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy if you ask me; if you believe something of someone, it will happen, if only to your eyes.
What Blood Type are You?
Do you know your Blood Type? I do and I probably know the blood type not only of my family and friends, but of every people I met so far in Japan.
Why? Simply because a percentage of 99% of the population of Japan knows their blood type and associates it with a person’s personality.
Same as the Zodiac, for example. Just that the blood type is quite important when you conceive and is also related to the compatibility from that point of view between a male and a female.
“@gdgdtoday: 血液型の違う家族がみかんの皮を剥いたところこうなりました。クスッとして思わず共感した方、そっとRTで教えて下さると嬉しいです(笑) http://t.co/DurVlocV”
— れぃれぃ（多忙の為低浮上） (@leilei010101) December 13, 2012
In the picture above, you will see a mikan(tangerine) peeled by a family and it represents the way 4 people with different blood types peeled it.
You can see all did it differently and there you can get an image of how each blood type differs from each other.
Blood Type A
They represent 40% of the population in Japan and has as traits: being earnest and neat. However, the people that have this blood type are also considered to be stubborn and anxious.
Blood Type B
The people with this type are said to be passionate and creative, however selfish and uncooperative.
I don’t know about others, but I am B and well, whenever I said this to a Japanese person, they’d look at me and say that I am jikochū 自己中, that means selfish. It is true
Blood Type O
Easygoing and born leaders, but insensitive and always late.
Blood Type AB
A mix of A and B, talented and composed, but pretty eccentric and two-faced. Some say people with this blood type are either genius or mad.
The proportion in Japan of the 4 blood types are 40% for A, 30% for O, 20% for B and 10% for AB. The study of the correlation between blood types and personalities was pioneered in the early 1900s, and was shortly after adopted by the Japanese military even though it remained scientifically unproven.
I am a blood type B and I do identify with some of the stated traits of a B but definitely not all! Blood type A is more commonly found in America and Europe, and type B in Asia. Given with that probability, I would unfortunately have to refute the theory of personalities personally, as people I’ve met do not seem to have an apparent trend between their characters and their country of origin!
As the fad became more widespread and common, it became customary for the Japanese to declare their blood type on dating sites and other online forums. Job application forms also may include a blood type field so as to “better assess the candidate’s fit” to the company.
In general, the minority B and AB groups are seen to be the black sheep who stand out from the norm in the homogeneous Japanese society. The act of discrimination by blood type is termed burahara. Who knew that genetics had so much clout in society!
In a nutshell, be it superstition, sweeping generalizations or popular belief, it is interesting to note the extent of people’s beliefs as well as the impact it has on their outlook on life and human nature.