You Are What You Bleed

Welcome to the weird world of Japanese Blood Typing. I would never have come across this fascinating subject had I not given blood today. I really enjoy giving blood – an altruistic activity that makes me feel good without demanding huge sacrifices. This time I was given a wee thank-you card, and a heart badge with my type on it (B+).

The card has this to say about the Japanese:

In Japan blood groups are a national obsession as it’s believed they influence everything from personality to choice of career and partner.You may be interested to know that people with Group B blood are thought to be attractive, emphatic but selfish. They are credited with intuition and are thought to be balanced and flexible. Another interesting fact is that around 40% are thought to be millionaires!

I heartily concur in that judgement. Inexplicably, I seem to have missed out on the millionaire thing, but perhaps that’s in my future. Nonsense on stilts, obviously, but apparently taken seriously by the Japanese. From the Wikipedia article:

Blood type harassment, called “bura-hara” (wasei-eigo-a portmanteau of “blood” and “harassment”), has been blamed for bullying of children in playgrounds, loss of job opportunities, and ending of happy relationships.[15]

Many people have been discriminated against because of their blood type. Employers have been asking blood types during interviews despite the warnings they have been given. Children at schools have been split up according to their blood type. The national softball team has customized training to fit each player’s blood type. Companies have given work assignments according to their employee’s blood type.[16]

Facebook in many Asian countries allows users to include their blood type in their profile.[citation needed]

Jaw-dropping stuff, so I dug out this infographic to explain it all at a glance. If you can work your way through that, I’ve added the classic Tony Hancock episode, The Blood Donor, at the end as a reward.

Japanese Blood Type Infographic