Just not my type

December 15, 2006 at 8:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Blood, Sweat and Type O: Japan’s Weird Science – New York Times:

In Japan, using blood type to predict a person’s character is as common as going to McDonald’s and ordering a teriyaki burger. The association is akin to the equally unscientific use of astrological signs by Americans to predict behavior, only more popular. It is widely believed that more than 90 percent of Japanese know their blood type.

“In everyday life in Japan, blood type is used as a kind of a social lubricant, a conversation starter,” said Theodore Bestor, a professor of Japanese studies and anthropology at Harvard University. “It’s a piece of information that supposedly gives you some idea of what that person is like as a human being.

“Japanese tend to have a fairly strong kind of inherent belief that genetics and biology really matter in terms of people’s behavior. So I think Japanese might be much more predisposed to thinking about a kind of genetic basis for personality than most Americans would.”

Japanese popular culture has been saturated by blood typology for decades. Dating services use it to make matches. Employers use it to evaluate job applicants. Blood-type products — everything from soft drinks to chewing gum to condoms — have been found all over Japan.

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