Japanese embrace blood type/personality pseudoscience


"WM, type AB, looking for WF, type O" ... This could be the lead for a Japanese companion-wanted ad, because the country has embraced, in a big way, the pseudoscience of matching character traits with blood type. A series of books, one for each blood type (O, A, B, and AB) have sold over five million copies.

The theory, which makes about as much sense as phrenology or the reading of sheep's entrails, attributes traits to different blood types. Roughly speaking, those with type A blood share characteristics with Jack Lemmon's character, Felix, from the movie "The Odd Couple" (sensitive, perfectionist, anxious.) Type B's? Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man (eccentric, cheery, selfish). Type O? Malcolm Forbes (curious, generous, stubborn), while type ABs supposedly tend toward the mystery and unpredictability of a Greta Garbo.

I'd laugh off such silliness if it were not so widely employed in Japan, in kindergarten classes, job interviews, dating services, and employee tasking. Its purported origins in the Nazi 'racial purity' movement are enough to set my type O blood boiling.

Thank goodness in this country we'd never be so foolish as to segregate people based on such irrelevant physical differences as blood type or skin color.