It came away in my hands. The dog ate it. Honest. When Ryu Matsumoto, Japan’s minister for reconstruction, resigned after just a week in the job, one of the excuses he offered was almost as lame. He said he had the wrong blood type — B — which made him a more abrasive personality and accounted for his less-than-tactful remarks about some areas of Japan badly affected by the earthquake and tsunami earlier this year.
Most people in the UK haven’t a clue what blood type and aren’t much bothered either way. But in Japan there is a widely held belief that blood groups can predict personality, temperament and compatibility with other people; so much so that many newspapers, magazines and TV shows carry daily blood horoscopes.
The idea took hold in the 1920s, when Japanese doctors were looking for proof that the Taiwanese were racially inferior and found that 41.2% of them had type O blood compared with only 23.8% of the Japanese. Even though this theory was discredited in the 1930s, its influence still lingers in popular culture …
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