Does bloodtype determine personality?
2012-11-06 0:00

By Ruth Evans | BBC

Are you A, B, O or AB? It is a widespread belief in Japan that character is linked to blood type. Whatís behind this conventional wisdom?

Blood is one thing that unites the entire human race, but most of us donít think about our blood group much, unless we need a transfusion. In Japan, however, blood type has big implications for life, work and love.

Here, a personís blood type is popularly believed to determine temperament and personality. "Whatís your blood type?" is often a key question in everything from matchmaking to job applications.

According to popular belief in Japan, type As are sensitive perfectionists and good team players, but over-anxious. Type Os are curious and generous but stubborn. ABs are arty but mysterious and unpredictable, and type Bs are cheerful but eccentric, individualistic and selfish.

About 40% of the Japanese population is type A and 30% are type O, whilst only 20% are type B, with AB accounting for the remaining 10%.

Four books describing the different blood groups characteristics became a huge publishing sensation, selling more than five million copies.

Morning television shows, newspapers and magazines often publish blood type horoscopes and discuss relationship compatibility. Many dating agencies cater to blood types, and popular anime (animations), manga (comics) and video games often mention a characterís blood type.

A whole industry of customised products has also sprung up, with soft drinks, chewing gum, bath salts and even condoms catering for different blood groups on sale.


In July 2011, Minister for Reconstruction Ryu Matsumoto resigned after being criticised for making insensitive remarks. He blamed his blood type.

"I would like to offer my apologies for offending the people in the disaster-hit areas. I thought I was emotionally close to the disaster victims, but I lacked sufficient words and my comments were too harsh.

"My bloodís type B, which means I can be irritable and impetuous, and my intentions donít always come across.

"My wife called me earlier to point that out. I think I need to reflect about that."

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