Saturday, January 29, 2011

Shit Koreans Say ... about Blood Types.

"What is your blood type?"

"(Insert name of Korean Celeb here) is blood type (whatever)."

At times Koreans seem to be obsessed with blood types. If you look at fan sites for celebrities most will actually have the star's blood type listed. Every Korean knows their blood type.

My students were flabergasted when I told them I didn't know my blood type. When I told them most Canadians, at least the ones I know, don't know their blood type, they thought I was joking. So, I asked why they needed to know a person's blood type. The answer was because it tells you their personality.

Evidently there is a school of thought that says your personality is linked to your blood type. Blood type B can make a bad significant other according to the "study". Most Koreans I knew believe in personality based on blood type. Much like a lot of Westerners believe in horoscopes. I had one Middle School student who was obsessed with the group TVXQ. She knew the blood type of each member. That was kind of ... creepy.

When I looked up blood type personality I was a little surprised that Koreans put any credence in it. It was developed by the Japanese. Considering the level of hatred Koreans seem to have for the Japanese it seems strange that they would embrace the idea of personality by blood type.


  1. I remember reading that it was the Nazi's who first were also interested in blood types. It slotted nicely into their pre-formed, pseudo-scientific ideas about race/purity of bloodlines. The interest was a deliberate agenda-driven study to deliberately demonstrate that all 'true' Germans/aryans were one bloodtype.
    Clearly, for people without a scientific background, this hogwash made perfect sense if one wants to then talk about 'corrupting' the bloodline. Interestingly, this was also behind the anti-smoking movement under Hitler. Smoking was seen as corrupting the bloodline.
    There is something about Japanese research on bloodtypes and national character traits in the 20s but it faded because it relied on faith over fact.
    A Japanese lawyer (apparently) wrote a book about personality and bloodtypes which revived the idea back in the 1970s and apparently the idea made its way to Korea from there.
    Given its pedigree, it is something that leaves me uncomfortable whenever it is brought up but I guess it is as harmless (and idiotic) as horoscopes, cavorting druids, graphology, cold reading, mediums, Royal weddings and Simon Cowell.

    "When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing -- they believe in anything." G.K. Chesterton.

  2. Damn ... Just what I knew about the Japanese belief in it bothered me ... it does smack of nazism (perfect blood) ... and that bothers me more.

  3. Just this afternoon my man and I were watching a Korean tv show wherein a bunch of comedians/singers were doing some kind of "mission" where they had to go have a medical checkup. One of the checkups included a liver scan to detect liver cancer. The doctor then proceeded to tell them that people with type B blood have a higher risk of liver cancer and must be screened twice a year, while people with type A blood should check for stomach cancer. This was a doctor. I couldn't believe it. And my man totally bought into it. I guess Koreans will believe anyting if a medical professional is saying it and despite my saying that no other country anywhere puts such faith in diagnosing via blood types he still insists it's a valid option. I love him, but some times he's just soooooooooo Korean. By the way, the number one killer of Korean men over 40 is liver cancer, followed by lung cancer and stomach cancer. Not hard to believe given the rate of alcoholism, smoking and intake of salty foods in this country.

  4. I know what you mean ... I once had a doctor in Korea tell me that Kimchi prevented STD's.

    Koreans seem to believe anything that a Korean who is older or in authority tells them. Whether it seems insane or not.