What is Your Blood Type?
Updated: Oct 24, 2019
Around the world, there are some countries that could not care less about their blood type, some that are aware but do not think twice about it, and then there are countries that believe blood determines our future and fate.
Blood flows through all of us. It is a sign of life, and the human body pumps more than 6,000 liters (1,500 gallons) of blood per day. A large part of our unique genetic make up is the type of blood we are born with, because our blood is only compatible with certain other blood types in the case of an emergency.
For most countries around the world, blood type is simply a letter that I need to know when visiting a hospital or donating blood. But for some countries in east Asia, blood type is so much more than that. In Japan and South Korea, blood type can dictate personality and determine desirable students and employees.
It is a phenomenon that has influenced a lot of behavior and thinking, and it does not seem to be slowing down any time soon.
People throughout history have been attempting to categorize themselves and each other. In 1930, Takeji Furukawa threw his hat in the pool of pseudoscientific personality classifications by choosing blood as the centerpiece. Furukawa's thinking made great waves in Japan and has shaped the mentality of the country ever since.
Furukawa's research claimed that our blood type reflects our personalities. Furukawa presented highly detailed behavioral charts defining the different blood types and came to the conclusion that a connection between blood type and personality exists.
Since the study lacked any real evidence, many refuted Furukawa’s findings, but this was followed by a massive amount of arguments for and against the theory.
In the 1970s, many books revived public interest in the idea, especially a series of books from Masahiko Nomi, and there was a point in the 1980s where a total of 204 publications discussing the link between blood type and personality emerged. From this foundation, blood type categorization strongly established itself into the mainstream Japanese culture.
It is believed that blood type can explain certain illnesses and allergies, and drug stores in Japan actually sell products targeted towards blood types to help combat their weaknesses.
Personalized products are not limited to just medication either. Some companies sell blood type towels, blood type bath salts, and blood type condoms to name a few. In Japan, there is even a dating service specifically to match people with their ideal partner based on blood.
Despite the interesting nature of this belief system, there is also a downside. BURAHARA, AKA blood harassment, is a huge problem. A lot of this harassment comes from the majority blood types, namely Type-A and Type-O. Since Japan is a country that is well off, it is believed that the As and Os are the ones responsible for bringing Japan to its current state.
This has led to workplace discrimination all throughout Japan. Type-B and Type-AB personalities are seen as lesser and are constantly being ridiculed. Type-Bs are seen as selfish and uncooperative, and this stereotype is used against them regularly. There was even a famous baseball player in Japan who was Type-B, and everyone thought he would be a major problem to his team and teammates. Quite the contrary, though, he ended up becoming one of Japan's most popular players, and he wanted to prove that his blood type did not define him.
Another complication is the giving and receiving of blood. Because Type-O is a universal donor of sorts, many Asians who are Type-B and Type-AB seek to receive this blood in hopes that it may help change their personality to a more popular and socially accepted one. Since Type-ABs are universal receivers, they often request the most popular blood, Type-A.
It is fascinating the lengths individuals and companies will go because of the superstition attached to their blood type.
At the end of the day, though, we must simply remember that all personality tests are pseudoscience, including this blood type one. Countries like Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan lean heavily on blood type categorization in the same that many western countries depend on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the DISC Assessment, and the Enneagram.
But if you ever visit one of these amazing Asian countries, you may find yourself in a situation where blood type enters the conversation, or you may even find some products catering towards certain blood types. Who knows? You may even open up a new tab in your web browser right now to see what kind of personality traits your blood type has.
So what blood type are you?