Voices in Japan
Voices in Japan
May 14, 2019
The Importance of Blood Type in Japan
Play • 39 min

Do you know your blood type? Well, if you are visiting or living in Japan, you should. Knowing one’s blood type is common in Japan and the Japanese are very curious to know yours. There are four main types that most people fall into. The most common blood type in Japan is type A and is the most desired type to be. Why is that? 

Similar to star signs from the Chinese Zodiac, the different blood types represent particular character and personality traits. There are also, supposedly, certain blood types that go well together, and others that are a complete disaster. Would you decide your partner based on their blood type?

Conversation highlights:

  • What are the main blood types and what character traits do they represent?
  • Percentage distribution of blood types in Japan, US and the UK.
  • Why most Japanese aspire to be blood type A.
  • What are Ben and Burke’s blood types?
  • Burke shares the story of finding out his blood type in Japan.
  • Blood type used for compatibility.
  • Why is blood type important to Japanese people?
  • Japanese words of the day.
  • Listener question: Why did Ben and Burke come to Japan?
  • What the hosts think of the TV show “You wa nani shi ni nippon eh?” (Why did you come to Japan).

In the past blood type has been used to judge people in Japan, in particular there were instances when Japanese companies would reject potential employees if their blood type was undesirable. This led to people lying about their blood types on their applications. Fortunately, now, blood type is not a requirement when job hunting. I wonder if there was ever an issue with star signs in western countries? 

Although Japanese people are interested in knowing about blood types, many foreigners still don’t know theirs, and don’t really think it is important. It is necessary to know one’s blood type for medical operations, but when that happens the hospital can find out as and when without needing the patient to know. They should find out for themselves because the patient might even lie about their blood type to be more desirable!

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