Japan’s curious obsession with blood type and personality illustrated in one photo

In a number of East Asian countries, but perhaps most strongly in Japan, it is believed that one’s blood type, or ketsuekigata (血液型), determines a lot about one’s character and how we relate to others and the world around us. Although comparatively few Westerners who have never donated blood or had the misfortune of being seriously ill know their blood type, it is rare to meet a Japanese person who does not know theirs, and it’s considered perfectly normal for people to try to guess someone’s blood type when first getting to know them or working together closely.

It’s easy for non-Japanese to forget the character traits that blood types supposedly denote, however, so here’s a handy image – which is currently doing the rounds online in Japan and being suitably nodded at and chuckled over –  to save on your computer or smartphone for the next time someone says, “Oh, that’s typical A-gata behaviour!” when you fold up your napkin or straighten a crooked picture frame.

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