In the US we remember birthdays and astrological signs, in Japan, blood types

Posted on 24.01.2016


I had a hysterical conversation today with a student about the things we know about people.

aaa1The lesson mentioned donating blood, so I asked him about his blood type. Did he know it? We got into a big discussion about his blood type, what it means for dating and relationships, and what was ‘the best match’ for him. He said his blood type gets a bad rap for being selfish, but organized.

I mentioned the way I organize my closets, and he said ‘oh, you must be type A’. I thought that was a bit funny, since I often get accused of having a type-A personality, which I don’t think exactly corresponds to the Japanese ‘type A’ we were discussing.

He asked me if I knew my own blood type, so I told him about how when I asked my parents what my blood type was, they didn’t know. I was like 20 when that happened. It wasn’t on my birth certificate, on my license, it was nowhere. I had to ask the doctors as I went under for an operation to please let me know what my blood type was when I woke up. When I woke up, they told me it all went perfectly fine, and that I’m A+. Because of course my blood would be overachieving. My mother would be proud.

We had a good laugh about that and then I told him that I knew all of my friends’ birthdays and astrological signs. I said Scorpios get a bad rap because they’re selfish and manipulative. So maybe he also had a November birthday. He said that parents often get readings about their children for their blood type, or discuss it openly. I found this rather interesting, especially since Astrology is often looked down upon as Astrobabble, and it’s not really something we talk about with our parents. I guess blood types are more tangible than star signs?

It’s funny, the things that might be ‘important’ when you’re trying to find a match. In Japan, blood type is often in the first group of questions asked. Whenever I meet someone, it’s usually their birthday, so I can lump them in with other people in the same week. Obviously and of course, every person is different. But on the other hand, I won’t argue with the fact that just about everyone I know with a late August/September birthday is really, really good at complaining.

So maybe the saying holds true: stereotypes have to come from somewhere?