, a superstition
similar to horoscope
s, 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:
- Type A: calm, composed, serious, reliable, perfectionist, arrogant, suppress their emotions
- Type B: curious, bright, cheerful, enthusiastic, superficial, unreliable, selfish
- Type 0: carefree, generous, independant, flexible, clumsy, flighty
- Type AB: sensitive, considerate, careful, efficient, strict, moody
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.