Japan is a remarkably homogenous country and people have to invent differences for prejudice to find a play. For, differences bring distinctions for some and inferiority for others.
So they have come up with Blood Type defining the character, temperament and personality of people. In fact people ask Blood type during match-making and even in Job Applications. The popular belief links the blood types to the following personality characteristics:
Blood type A: are sensitive perfectionists and good team players, but over-anxious.
Blood type O: are curious and generous but stubborn
Blood type AB: are arty but mysterious and unpredictable
Blood type B: are cheerful but eccentric, individualistic and selfish
Terumitsu Maekawa, professor of comparative religion at Tokyo’s Asia University, has authored several books on blood types. He says something very interesting about how Blood type and characteristics of the religions play out:
First he points out the distribution of blood types in various areas of the world:
In the Western world, O and A types make up almost 85% of people, but in India and Asia, B types predominate. Japan, he says, is unusual in Asia in that it has more variety of blood types.
Interestingly, he is right about Japan as it has a fairly distributed blood types:
About 40% of the Japanese population is type A and 30% are type O, whilst only 20% are type B, with AB accounting for the remaining 10%.
Maekawa points out the relationship between the blood type and the type of religions that are followed in the different geographies of the world.
“A type societies tend to be characterised by monotheism such as Christianity and Judaism, with one fundamental analysis of human beings and a strong sense of societal norms. But societies dominated by B types are more prone to polytheism – like Buddhism and Hinduism – with lots of gods, and they think people are all different.”
It is true that monotheistic and exclusivist belief systems have originated in the West and Middle East. These belief systems and religions have thrived in that area as well.
It seems this trend picked up in the 1970s when Masahiko Nomi came out with a book on this subject.
Customizing teams and groups with people of certain blood type is very popular in Japan, for various things – from Olympic Sports teams to Schools to Corporate teams to even politics!
The women’s softball team that won gold for Japan at the Beijing Olympics is reported to have used blood type theories to customise training for each player. Some kindergartens have even adopted methods of teaching along blood group lines, and even major companies reportedly make decisions about assignments based on employees’ blood types.
In 1990 the Asahi Daily newspaper reported that Mitsubishi Electronics had announced the creation of a team composed entirely of AB workers, thanks to “their ability to make plans”.
These beliefs even affect politics. One former prime minister considered it important enough to reveal in his official profile that he’s a type A, whilst his opposition rival was type B. Last year a minister, Ryu Matsumoto, was forced to resign after only a week in office, when a bad-tempered encounter with local officials was televised. In his resignation speech he blamed his failings on the fact that he was blood type B.
Finally, Japanese have now, unfortunately, started using the blood type differences as a way to bring down people of certain blood types and perpetuate prejudice in a society that is remarkably homogenous otherwise.
It sometimes manifests itself as prejudice and discrimination, and it seems this is so common, the Japanese now have a term for it – bura-hara, meaning blood-type harassment. There are reports of discrimination against type B and AB groups leading to children being bullied, the ending of happy relationships, and loss of job opportunities.
Source Link: BBC Magazine
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