Blood Type Obsession Splits Japan

Belief that blood type determines personality blamed for discrimination
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2009 8:43 AM CST
Transparent body robot, called Eve, with complex intertwining rubbery tubing inside for honing doctors' skills for surgery on blood vessels in Tokyo Thursday, Dec. 20, 2007.   (AP Photo/Katsumi Kasahara)
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(Newser) – A widely held belief that blood type determines personality has opened a vein of controversy in Japan, the AP reports. The notion persists despite scientific debunking, with sports teams, matchmakers, and even employers making decisions based on a person's blood type. Some see the craze as sinister and the term "bura-hara" has been coined to describe blood-based harassment.

Four of Japan's top best-sellers last year were about how blood type determines personality. Type As are said to be sensitive perfectionists but overanxious; Type Bs are cheerful but eccentric and selfish; Os are curious, generous but stubborn; and ABs are arty but mysterious and unpredictable. Employers have been warned not to ask workers their blood type, but the belief seems unlikely to vanish any time soon; even the prime minister felt the need to reveal in his official profile that he's an A.