Blood type in Japan   血液型

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Blood groups

Blood types

Blood type

Blood type

In the blood

The question "What's your blood type?" inevitably comes up in conversation with the Japanese. Be careful, this question is important! Many people in Japan believe that your personality depends largely on your blood type.

Whether they truly believe in these theories or not, all Japanese know the characteristics attributed to each blood type. As a result, 90% of them know their own type.


A brief history of the blood group

In 1901 Karl Landsteiner, an Austrian scientist, discovered and classified blood groups. In Japan, an article written in 1927 by Professor Takeji Furukawa claimed that blood type determines the personality of an individual. This idea, already developed by the Nazis for racist purposes, had a great influence on the majority of Japanese, and the Japanese army began studies on the subject to better "use" its soldiers according to their blood type.

After the war this theory fell by the wayside, but resurfaced again in 1970 thanks to a book written by Masahiko Nomi, a lawyer with no medical training. Ever since, many Japanese believe strongly in the theory and it inevitable influences the opinion they have of people.


A successful marketing ploy

In the land of the rising sun, it's not only medical establishments that are concerned with someone's blood type. Many manufacturers, especially in the food and beverage industry, claim that some of their products are better suited to specific blood groups! Dating sites and marriage agencies also ensure that their clients meet someone with a compatible blood group, from a personality point of view. There is also a horoscope based on the Rhesus (Rh) factor, and a plethora of books dealing with the subject!


Tell me your blood type and I'll tell you who you are

All these "theories" are interesting, to be sure. But they can sometimes lead to discrimination. Until recently, many employers were actually applying this theory when hiring employees, and could even refuse to give someone a job if they thought the person didn't have a "good" blood type. While this discriminatory practice is now prohibited, it's still not forbidden to ask the question. Some prospective candidates go so far as to lie so as not to be discriminated against. 

Here are the personalities believed to correspond to each blood type :

  • Group A

People in group A have a lot of good qualities. They can be serious, meticulous, honest, calm, responsible and kind, among others. But they can also be stubborn, anxious and conservative.

  • Group B

The B group have a reputation for being creative, flexible, passionate, willing and optimistic. They can also be rebellious, distracted, often selfish, too impulsive and sometimes irresponsible.

  • Group AB

ABs can be rather sociable, flexible, rational and emphatic. But they are also considered distant, thoughtless and fickle.

  • Group O

The O group can be ambitious, passionate, generous and independent. But beware: they can also be arrogant, cold and prone to jealousy.


About 38% of Japanese people are Type A, 30% Type O, 22% Type B, and 10% Type AB. Which group do you belong to? 


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