Superstitious Beliefs about Blood Types in History and Today
While most of us think of our blood type as being important only for health reasons, other cultures have given this medical information the same type of importance as one’s astrological sign. In Japanese culture, for example, your blood type provides a great deal of information about whom you are and what type of personality you have.
The Roots of the Superstition
According to some experts, the idea that blood types have special meaning outside determining what type of transfusion to give a patient may date back to the German Nazis. Among their experiments were studies of blood. For one, Adolf Hitler was convinced the research was lead to the discovery of specific blood types associated with those from a Jewish background. Plus, the idea that certain blood types include certain attributes would, they believe, have help them build a stronger army. These ideas were picked up by the Japanese during World War II but lost favor pretty quickly. In the 1970s, the idea was revived by a man named Masahiko Nomi. His son now runs one of the leading organizations promoting this connection between personality and blood type in Japan.
Uses of the Superstition in Japan
If you enjoy video games or Japanese animation, you may have already seen this idea at work. Character profiles for these items almost always mention blood type. In Japan, however, it goes beyond pop culture. Dating services use blood types to match potential mates together. In some schools, children are divided up based on their blood types so teaching methods can be geared towards what will supposedly work best for each group of students. Sports teams will base training approaches on players’ blood types. Some employers even ask potential workers about their blood types before making a hiring decision.
Each of the four human blood types corresponds to different personality traits based on the Japanese superstitions. For example, if you have a blood type A then you would be considered a creative and sensible person with a tendency to be a bit fastidious. Type B personalities are usually wild, active, and selfish. Those people who have Type AB blood are rational and critical. However those with the blood type O are optimistic, agreeable, and occasionally rude.
Although some people in Japan dislike this superstition and view it as too deterministic. Basically, they disagree that being born with a certain blood type will determine your personality. Others argue that the predictions using your blood type only provide a suggestion of what your personality might be like; you ultimately have free will over your own personality.
The Superstition from Outside the Culture
For most people outside of Japan, the superstition may seem a bit strange. However, it’s not much different than the Western view of astrology. The only difference is what determines your personality: your blood type or the time of your birth. Either way, relying too much on superstitions is not a good idea.