It’s one of the most disconcerting questions you could be asked before a first date. As you get ready to meet someone for the first time, with no friends about for support and feeling nervous about meeting this stranger, you get a final message on your phone before you leave the house:
What’s your blood type?
Does this person intend to knock me out and sell my precious blood on the black market? Will the next message be asking me about how healthy my kidneys are? Whether I carry a cross and garlic?
If you’re in Japan it’s likely that the person you’ll be meeting isn’t a vampire, serial killer, organ harvester or combination of all three (sorry if that’s your type). They’re actually probably just hoping to find out a little bit more about your personality. Made popular by some dubious studies done in the 1930’s, the idea that a person’s blood type holds secrets about what kind of person they are remains a pretty common topic in Japan and across East Asia.
As with horoscopes in the west, opinions about how reliable the idea of matching blood type with personality vary widely, with some people dismissing the idea as pseudoscience and others trying to plan their lives around it. In a few extreme cases there’s been discrimination based on blood type, leading to the slang term burahara to be coined, based on the English words ‘blood’ and ‘harassment’. Another in a long list of Japanese haras.
For those who are invested in the idea, their interest is normally in finding out a little more about relationships, work opportunities and even their financial fortunes. It’s a popular question when it comes to first dates, since some people feel that certain blood types might have a stronger compatibility.
In general there are certain trends across Japan. A types tend to be model Japanese citizens, punctual, hardworking and majime (serious), while B types are supposedly rebellious and self-interested, but mostly harmless, and O types are unpredictable but charming wildcards who are best avoided, lest they corrupt you or inspire you with their unorthodoxy. AB types (the rarest in Japan) are said to be aloof and uninterested in human contact, while being naturally gifted and caring about nature.
Quite what information your blood type can offer is up for debate, so I’ve been taking a look at this week’s ‘Anan web’, online Japanese magazine and provider of love advice, beauty tips and fortune telling predictions for your future. I’ve written my own mini summaries of Anan web’s expert advice, but it’s up to you to decide how accurate their assumptions have been.
Blood Type A
This week A types should prioritise tasks and make quick decisions. Your fortunes at work will be up and down, but if you step up and take responsibility you should be able to solve any problem.
Blood Type B
Lots of change this week, so you’ll need to be flexible. Your financial fortune is average, but your luck with beauty is better than normal.
Blood Type AB
Very good luck for ABs this week, keep a clear head and there won’t be any challenges at work. You’ll get new ideas from your favourite female celebrities in regards to your image. If something feels right to you, give it a try!
Blood Type O
Your luck this week is a rather unorganised; you might have to push through the second half of the week. Take care of your health, since it might vary a bit.
Did that seem to reflect your week? (This was the week starting November 16th so you may have to think back). If there’s been any mistakes here, bear in mind that Anan’s fortune telling competitor ‘Uranai Nifty’ predicted betrayal from friends and all kinds of issues for A types, so perhaps I’ve been looking into the wrong future.