Blood types and pseudoscience in Japan

Ever wonder why some anime and video game character profiles tell you about the character's blood type? Check out this fascinating post at the Providentia blog about the use of blood types as horoscopes and personality tests in Japanese culture. The practice has origins in early-20th century racist pseudoscience, and it can still negatively affect people today. For instance, somebody with Type B blood might have a hard time finding a job. (Via Jack El-Hai)


  1. Sadly this (yet again) proves that in the absence of actual differences that people can use to discriminate against each other, people will make some up.

  2. The Ottawa Skeptics blogged about the Canadian Blood Services’ promotion of this ridiculous pseudoscience:

  3. That Canadian Blood Services thing really is abhorrent. My impression is that most Japanese *know* it’s silly, but it’s just a bit of fun like horoscopes, but having it on the Blood Services webpage makes it look as if it has actual science behind it.

  4. Hm. I’m B-Pos. Maybe that’s why I was so long between jobs. Couldn’t be the economy being in the bin could it?

    1. Hm. I’m B-Pos. Maybe that’s why I was so long between jobs.

      I don’t know my blood type. Maybe that explains why I have no personality.

  5. Ahhhh, so that explains the spec listings on jappydolls, av-girl.nfo and sleepyjohn! Always wondered that. Good to know.

    No, it isn’t the fever… after this long, it’s the plague.

  6. On the other hand, westerners also commonly talk of “type A/B personality”. Asians (Chinese people do that too, not just Japanese) just happen to link it to blood types.

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