ARTICLE:THE IMPORTANCE OF BLOOD TYPE IN JAPANESE CULTURE
THE IMPORTANCE OF BLOOD TYPE IN JAPANESE CULTURE
There are many books about the various blood type personalities. For example, “A, B, O, AB gata jibun no setsumeisho” (A Guide to A, B, O, AB blood types), written by an unknown author who uses the pen name Jamais Jamais, have become best sellers in Japan.
Here is a look at what it’s all about.
People throughout history have sought to categorize themselves and each other. For example, Hippocrates (406-377?B.C.) and Aristotle (384-322B.C.) attempted to classify personalities according to bodily humors and blood. According to social scientists, this recurring desire stems from an urge to define the self and others in specific social and cultural roles. In 1930, Tokeji Furukawa contributed to the classification efforts by choosing blood as a physiological classification characteristic; Furukawa’s assertions caused an impact that would shape the next eighty years of popular Japanese culture.
Furukawa’s research claimed that individual blood types—A, B, O, and AB—reflected the personalities of those who carried them. Using questionnaires but providing no controls or statistical tests, Furukawa presented intricate behavioral charts defining the various blood types and concluded that a correlation between blood types and personality exists. As the study lacked empirical evidence, in 1936 G. N. Thomson refuted Furukawa’s arguments but was followed by a wave of pro- and anti-counter arguments throughout the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1970s numerous books revived public interest in the subject, peaking in 1984-1985 with a total of 204 publications discussing the link between blood type and personality. From this foundation, blood type categorization, or ketsueki-gata, firmly established itself into Japanese culture.
Ketsueki-gata permeates numerous levels of Japanese society, from romance to work. Appearing in a 1990 issue of Asahi Daily, a Japanese national newspaper, Mitsubishi Electronics announced that a team composed entirely of AB type workers had been selected because of “their ability to make plans.” Similarly, kindergarten classrooms are sometimes divided into blood types so that individual teaching techniques can be tailored to blood group personalities. In romance, things become even more complex; young Japanese commonly exchange blood types upon first meeting, thus providing a supposed valuable source of insight into the other person. Popular Japanese women’s magazines combine blood types with the western zodiac signs, additionally synched to four elements (air, earth, water, fire), producing “Love Biorhythm Graphs.” Meshing 16 different female types with 16 different male types, a chart providing 256 fortunes for “You and your boyfriend’s love compatibility” allows a woman to assess a mate’s inherent compatibility and strategize accordingly.
In addition to revealing personality, explanations for ordinary illnesses can be divined through blood types. Popular publications from drug stores and health magazines discuss self-diagnosis through a reader’s blood type, including propensities towards certain types of medical maladies associated with blood types. Using blood types as a means of diagnosis and treatment harkens back to the original Chinese medical influence in Japan that lacked an emphasis on actual disease. The Chinese historically blamed diseases on an imbalance of bodily energies and substances, thus perpetuating the concept of ketsueki-gata by grounding it in a historic cultural context.
Koreans are so obsessed with Blood Types that
- Some of them mention their blood types on resumes
- Even Korean Actors and Actresses mention their blood type on their online bio. Do you know both Lee Min Ho and Lee Hyori are Type A personalities and have a very huge fan following throughout Asia.
- Many Korean WOMEN not only refuse to date Type B men but they also reject Type B as potential marriage partners.
- If two or three Koreans gt together, they invariably end up chattering about blood types.
DIETING METHODS BY BLOOD TYPE
Erica Angyal, a Miss Universe Japan official nutritionist and health consultant, has published books on health and beauty by blood type, such as “Bijo no Ketsuekigata BOOK” (beautiful women’s blood type) and “Bijo no Ketsuekigata-bestu Obento BOOK” (beautiful women’s lunch box by each blood type).
Also, the fitness and health magazine FYTTE’s February edition introduces a dieting method by blood type directed by Angyal.
Here is brief introduction to the dieting method.
Japanese Blood Types and Personality
Every Japanese celebrity writeup and every anime character description with any claim to authority gives the person’s (or character’s) blood type. Why? Because, thanks to a remarkable bit of Science! by a gentleman named Furukawa Takeji, the Japanese believe that a person’s blood type affects their personality.
Each blood type has a personality profile. These profiles—which I took from a site whose location is long since lost in the mists of time, my apologies—are:
The idea that blood type determines personality has been dying out slowly in Japan. At the same time, the West has finally noticed the potential of blood typing. We haven’t quite cottoned onto the idea that blood type is related to personality, but there’s a growing belief in fad diets that teach that each blood type evolved at a certain point in human history, so people with that blood type should eat the diet most common among humans at that point. Instead of balanced, nicely average O’s, we have savage cavemen hunching around the fire and tearing at hunks of meat; solid-citizen type A’s become “docile vegetarians” as well; bouncy type B’s get to indulge in ice cream and cheese; and type AB’s, as always, are half one thing and half another, and get to eat vegan food or dairy-and-everything-else—IF it suits them. Blood type diets are worth looking into if only to imagine your favorite characters’ reactions to their new diets.
Sailor Moon, cavewoman. That image puts me in a happy place.
In Japan, a superstition similar to horoscopes, but based on blood type is very common. People believe that the blood type influences one’s personality, weaknesses and strengths. A list of traits ascribed to the various blood types:
Almost every Japanese person knows their blood type due to physical examinations in school, and while even those who believe in it (mostly teenage girls) don’t take it very seriously, the superstition is everywhere: people use it as a conversation starter and especially to determine compatibility of lovers and friends.
The belief was started in 1927 by Takeji Furukawa in a series of articles and books. Even though he had no credentials in the field and scientists objected strongly to it, the media and public gobbled it up. Follow-up studies linked blood type to disposition towards academic success or different types of crime.
Interest in this lore tapered off after Furukawa’s death in 1940, but it was revived in 1970 by journalist Masahiko Nomi by a series of books that sold millions of copies, and that new popularity has lasted until today.
There are four different types: A, B, O and AB. There is also the Rh factor making each either positive or negative. However, in this analysis, the Rh factor does not come into play, they are only concerned what type you are. Now do you recall all those biology classes….and that blood type is inherited?
When I was growing up, there were a few common knowledge characteristics, but depending on which book you read, these can vary….so please take this with a grain of salt.
For more characteristics visit Issendai’s Lair.
They say the majority of Japanese are type A. According to the Racial and Ethnic Distribution of Blood Types these are the breakdown of blood type percentages in various countries:
- Japanese : 38% A, 22% B, 30% O and 10% AB
- Chinese in Beijing: 27 % A, 32% B, 29% O and 13% AB
- Korean: 32% A, 31% B, 28% O and 10% AB
- Vietnamese: 22% A, 30% B, 42% O and 5% AB
- All USA: 42% A, 10% B, 42% O and 4% AB
- U. K.: 42% A, 8% B, 47% O and 3% AB
This is a fun chart to check out so please have a look. Just by looking at the numbers, it is interesting to see so few B’s and AB’ s in the U.S. and U.K.
Similar to other horoscope systems, blood type also has charts that indicate compatibility. My memory isn’t too good so I found this chart at Issendai’s Lair
So here are the Blood Type Personalities in brief.
Books on Blood Type theory
Eat Right for your Blood Type
The Answer is in your Blood Type
Blood Types, Body Types and You
The effects of blood type, societal factors, and physical characteristics are being studied in behavior analysis graduate programs to look for any personality connections. In Japan there are soft drinks based on blood type popular among girls and condoms based on blood type popular among guys. Check the infographic below.
Change Your Genetic Destiny
With Eat Right 4 Your Type and the Blood Type Diet book series, Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo started an international health craze and proved that when it comes to dieting, one plan does not fit all. In ‘Change Your Genetic Destiny’ (formerly ‘The GenoType Diet’), he takes his groundbreaking research to the next level with a customized program that works with your genetic makeup to maximize health and weight loss, as well as prevent or even reverse disease. According to Dr. D’Adamo, a host of environmental factors, including diet and lifestyle, dictate how and when your genes express themselves. With the right tools, you can turn on the good genes and shut down the bad ones.
Using family history and blood type, as well as simple diagnostic tools like fingerprint analysis and measurement of jaw angle, Dr. D’Adamo shows you how to map out your genetic makeup to discover which of the six GenoType plans is right for you. Without expensive tests or a visit to the doctor, ‘Change Your Genetic Destiny’ reveals previously hidden genetic strengths and weaknesses, and provides a precise diet and lifestyle plan for every individual. Based on the latest and most cutting-edge-genetic research, this is a twenty-first-century plan for wellness and weight loss from a renowned healthcare pioneer.
- Buy ‘Change Your Genetic Destiny’
- Blood Type or GenoType: Which Diet is right for you?
- The GenoType Diet Store
- The GenoType Diet Website
What’s Your GenoType?
Tall, thin, and intense, with an overabundance of adrenaline and a fierce, nervous energy that winds down with age, the Hunter was originally the success story of the human species. Vulnerable to systemic burnout when overstressed, the Hunter’s modern challenge is to conserve energy for the long haul.
Full-figured, even when not overweight, the Gatherer struggles with body image in a culture where thin is “in.” An unsuccessful crash dieter with a host of metabolic challenges, the Gatherer becomes a glowing example of health when properly nourished.
Strong, sinewy, and stable, with great chemical synchronicity and stamina, the Teacher is built for longevity – given the right diet and lifestyle. This is the genotype of balance, blessed with a tremendous capacity for growth and fulfillment.
Muscular and adventurous, the Explorer is a biological problem solver, with an impressive ability to adapt to environmental changes, and a better than average capacity for gene repair. The Explorer’s vulnerability to hormonal imbalances and chemical sensitivities can be overcome with a balanced diet and lifestyle.
Long, lean, and healthy in youth, the Warrior is subject to a bodily rebellion in midlife. With the optimal diet and lifestyle, the Warrior can overcome the quick-aging metabolic genes and experience a second, “silver,” age of health.
A Geno Type of extremes, with a great sensitivity to environmental conditions—especially changes in altitude and barometric pressure, the Nomad is vulnerable to neuromuscular and immune problems. Yet a well-conditioned Nomad has the enviable gift of controlling caloric intake and aging gracefully.