Category Archives for History in Japan

Blood Type Theory and it’s Effect on Japanese History + Culture

Japanese Blood Type History and Cultural ImpactKetsueki-Gata – Personality Traits Through Blood Type – A Japanese Pseudoscience or Observed Truth?

What exactly got the Japanese to be so darn interested in their blood type? I’d say it’s not too far off of why people believe zodiac signs and astrology. Could blood type really determine personality traits?

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In Japan there is a theory or belief if you will called ketsueki-gata, it’s the belief that a persons blood type can predict personality, temperament and compatibility with those they surround themselves with. You can say ABO blood type or ketsueki-gata is very similar to astrological signs.

This idea came about from scientific racism which was developed in Europe during the early 1900s, in which Japan used blood type to countermeasure against it. This belief started with the publications of a man name Masahiko Nomi in the early 70’s. Overall though the scientific community in Japan overall discredits and dismisses these beliefs as simply pseudoscience, mostly because of the lack of evidence that personality traits exist based on blood type.

Although, some independent studies are suggesting there is a significant relationship to personality and blood type, it all really depends on which side of the scientific circle you want to listen to. But lets take this almost to a semi Aryian level, as this blood type idea was being used for more so ‘dark’ ideas.

It was 1927 and a professor Takeji Furukawa just finished publishing a paper called ‘The Study of Temperament Through Blood Type‘ in the Psychological Research journal. The ideas within this paper quickly became popular inside Japan, although Furukawa lacked credentials off this basis. But the military at the time was commissioned to study ways to breed the most perfect soldiers. (Adolf Hilter anyone?).

In another study which Furukawa compared was the distribution of blood types between two groups of ethnic peoples. The first was the Formosans of Taiwan and their local Ainu people of Hokkaido. These studies of course stemmed from political interests. After Japan’s occupation of Taiwan which then lead to the invasion of China in 1895, these people vehemently opposed the Japanese as they occupied their lands.

Furukawa’s research was set to expose the inner racial traits of the Taiwanese who opposed the Japanese in such beastly and crude manners. After Furukawa finished his research of the Taiwanese he found that over %40 of them had type O blood and this is where more of the blood type theory continued. He concluded that the rebelliousness came from a genetic disposition stemming from their blood type. This ‘conclusion’ was finalized once they studied the Ainu people and found that only %20 of them had type O blood and overall they were considered to be passive. As we continue down this path the easier it is to see how Japan got along with Nazi Germany so well. ūüėõ

It was soon decided by Furukawa that the Japanese should in essence interbreed with the Taiwanese to reduce the number of people with the type O blood. But no matter what really was behind this idea, there are studies showing certain real differences between stress levels of type O blood and others, so perhaps the Japanese were able to see this, but perhaps acted in very odd ways to perpetuate racial ‘cleansing’. To date Masahiko Nomi’s books are still popular and his son Toshitaka Nomi is still continuing his research by running an Institute called Blood Type Humanics, he also established the Human Science ABO center in 2004.

My personal conclusion to this? I honestly believe there is truth in ketsueki-gata, perhaps not what these early pioneers set off to prove, but there are somethings to consider when looking into this ‘fad’. But what happens in society when a person gets rejected from society because of these ‘predictions’? Overall from the research I’ve compiled and the stories I’ve read, many Japanese are haunted by the fact that they have a certain blood type, and many times will lie to avoid being turned down for a job or University… or at times a romantic involvement.

Japanese blood type personality chart

Type A

Best traits     Earnest, sensible, reserved, patient, responsible
Worst traits     Fastidious, overearnest, stubborn, tense

Type B

Best traits     Passionate, active, doer, creative, strong
Worst traits ¬†¬† ¬†irresponsible, unforgiving, “going own way”

Type AB

Best traits     Cool, controlled, rational, sociable, adaptable
Worst traits ¬†¬† ¬†Critical, indecisive, forgetful, irresponsible, “split personality”

Type O

Best traits     Confident, self-determined, optimistic, strong-willed, intuitive
Worst traits ¬†¬† ¬†Self-centered, cold, doubtful, unpredictable, “workaholic”

For more information check out this katsueki-gata infograph, as there is some additional theories and some more history behind this interesting cultural ideology in Japan.


List of Unique Japanese Cafes & History

History of Japanese Cafes and the Interesting List of Diffferent Types of Cafe in JapanDiscover the Amazing World of Japanese Cafes

From Community Centers for the Elderly to Vampire Cafes in Tokyo. Japan Has Anything You Can Think Of… in Cafe Form!

Chances are even if you’ve never bothered to look into Japanese culture, you most likely have heard of Japanese cafes. From cat cafes, maid cafe even to vampires and beyond the Japanese cafe have truly evolved over the last 100 years from when they were first originated in the late 1800’s.

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In 1877 soon after the Meiji period started for Japan (1868), Japan begun to import coffee, and soon after cafes started to appear.¬† At the peak of the cafe boom in Japan there was around 155,000 cafes across the nation, but during WWII supply of coffee stopped being important into Japan and it wasn’t until many years after the war that coffee begun to be imported back into Japan yet again. From that point about 88,000 cafes now exists in Japan.

From that point once coffee begun to be imported again the cafes across Japan started to evolve into something more then just a place to sit down and drink coffee. These cafes started to create places for people to watch TV, listen to the radio and to listen to record players of classical music. But from this point something happened, people got even more creative with how to setup their cafes. These business owners created sub-niches within the cafe scene.

But with all the weird and wacky cafes that are available to visit in Japan, there is one cafe that has started to appear more and more across Japan. The creation of community cafes have begun its rise in popularity, being that the Japanese in general have a long life span, there is now a large percentage of the population of Japan whom are elderly. These community centers are now appearing to give this older generation of Japan a place to go to talk with neighbors and to be of help to one another, in sense it’s like an extremely affordable elderly care program ran through cafes for as little as 300 yen a day per person. This trend will continue to climb, and being that Japan’s birth rate is declining, there will be more elderly in Japan by 2060 and because of this, there will not be enough young people in the work force to take care of the older generation, so the emergence of these community cafes are a basic social evolution at play which will hopefully take some burden off the social structure as time goes on.

But maintaining social connection and movement keep the elderly from becoming sick and then dependent on the system, so it’s a brilliant idea. But besides a very helpful movement within the Japanese cafes what kind of weird cafes are in Japan? I went out on a mission to find as many different cafes in Japan as I could, this is what I found:

List of Different Japanese Cafes:

  1. Manga Cafe – Tea, Manga, Games and more!
  2. Business Cafe – A central hotspot for the business guru. (Wifi Included!)
  3. Maid Cafe – Yes, be served your cha by a beautiful Japanese maid!
  4. Cat Cafe – Pet your feline friend while enjoying a relaxing day at the cafe!
  5. Community Cafe – Where the elderly gather to talk with others in their neighborhood.
  6. Butler Cafe – That’s right pretty boys to serve you tea, only makes sense!
  7. Vampire Cafe – What would the world do without this? Blood tea anyone?
  8. Alice in Wonderland Cafe – Do you take LSD with your tea?
  9. Kawaii Monster Cafe – Super crazy kawaii monster cafe! Reminds me of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu.
  10. Rabbit Cafe – Enjoy the company of some stinky boring rabbits while drinking coffee.
  11. Peter Rabbit Cafe – Do you love Peter Rabbit? Hopping Down the Bunny Trail…
  12. Dog Cafe – For those whose parents said no when they brought Brutis the bulldog home late one night.
  13. Bird Cafe – Enjoy a screeching good time next to a bunch of noisy birds in the morning.
  14. Owl Cafe – After getting a caffeine high you can totally mess around with an owl.
  15. Soineya Cafe – Literally a sleep together cafe. Also known as the cuddling cafe. Pick your almost not legal girl and sleep with her for $10/hr! (Sicko… I really mean just sleep!)
  16. Mom Cafe – For those who love a good… mmm… Mom, while drinking their coffee.
  17. Kigurumi Cafe – A cafe where employees dress up as full blown Anime characters (complete with the overly large eyes!)
  18. Cross-Dressing Maid Cafe – Also called the Josou Danshi Maid Cafe……it’s a…. Cross-Dressing Maid Cafe
  19. Granny Cafe – For those who want a more refined Mom cafe experience :\
  20. Reptile Cafe – Drink tea, play with reptiles, walk out with blood and scratches all over.
  21. Gothic Cafe – Also known as a Christon Cafe, enjoy a gothic period setting while drinking tea and eating crumpets.
  22. Spouse Cafe – You can literally buy a wife or a husband for the night. They’ll cook you a meal at the cafe once you get ‘home’… But sorry they don’t leave afterward!
  23. Gundam Cafe – For those who like ridiculously large machine battling robots and tea!
  24. Moomin Cafe – For those who love Moomin of course!
  25. Sakuragaoka Cafe – Drink your morning tea with an adorable goat on antique furniture… sounds absolutely smashing!
  26. Jazz Cafe – Smoke a bunch of cigarettes with coffee and jam out to some Miles Davis.
  27. Karaoke Cafe – These are pretty popular, they are more so just karaoke hubs, but many are cafes as well!
  28. Chocolate Cafe – Where everything is made of chocolate!
  29. Cinnamoroll Cafe
  30. Forest Cafe – Cafe’s with a lot of plants. A more natural Cafe experience.
  31. Tree House Cafe – Cafe’s built up high on trees. For those of you who have always loved being high off the ground up in trees.
  32. Gudetama Cafe – A kawaii food place.
  33. Hammock Cafe – Sit or lay in a hammock while you drink, eat, and relax.
  34. Hello Kitty – For all of you kawaii shiro neko fans!
  35. My Little Pony – For everyone who loves colorful rainbow ponies.
  36. Kapibarasan – Cute place to eat.
  37. Mario – For the classic gamer at heart.
  38. Ninja Restaurant – Not exactly a cafe, but still an original of Japan.
  39. Ojipan Cafe – Cute little bear cafe.
  40. Shirokuma Cafe – Similar to the Ojipan cafe, it’s a polar bear and panda bear and sloth cafe.
  41. Peanuts – If you are a fan of the classic cartoon, or Snoopy, there is even a special cafe for you.
  42. Penguin Bar – Not a Cafe, but a cool animal themed place to eat and play with penguins.
  43. Pokemon Cafe – With Pikachu as the main charater!
  44. Pompompurin Cafe – Cute Pomppompurin cafe.
  45. Totoro Cafe – Similar to the Owl Cafe but without actual owls and only cute figurines

So that’s it so far, this is the list I found that I feel comfortable sharing, there are even more specific niche cafes in Japan. But, that’s another story, for another time.


Hokkaido, Japan – Culture, History, Sightseeing an More

Learn the history of HokkaidoHokkaido, Japan ‚Äď History, Cities, Festivals, Food and more.

Hokkaido (ŚĆóśĶ∑ťĀď HokkaidŇć) is Japan’s most northern region island and it’s closest prefecture neighbor is Aomori which is at the very northern part of the island of Honshu. Hokkaido was first ‘stolen’ from the Ainu people and made as a Japanese land mass in 1869 right after the beginning of the Meiji period.

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It’s hard to describe the history and the current state of what Hokkaido is without explaining who first lived on this northern island of Japan before even the Japanese themselves occupied the land of what is now known as Japan. The Ainu people were the indigenous people that first inhabited the lands of Japan.

They are said to have come over from Russia long time ago when a frozen mass connected the island and Russia, and their ancestry has been said to stem back to the Jomon period, which is basically early man kind. I strongly recommend learning about the Ainu people, click here to learn more about Hokkaido the Ainu and where it’s been.

Hokkaido has been known as several names throughout history. Ezo, Yezo, Yeso and Yesso. It’s their second largest island of Japan and of course the most northern area of Japan before you get to the Kuril Islands and Russia. Hokkaido is separated from the island of Honshu of Japan by the Tsugaru Strait, but the two islands are now connected by an underwater railway called the Seikan Tunnel.

The main capital of Hokkaido is Sapporo, although there are several large cities in Hokkaido this is the only one that is ordinance-designated by the Japanese government. The Meiji period government had a tough decision to make when they came to renaming Hokkaido which was called Ezochi then.

They had a few choices when it came to renaming the island. They had Kaihokudo and Hokkaido, they of course decided to name the island Hokkaido, but they decided to write the kanji in a way to compromise between similar names then like Tokaido. But according to the Matsuura, the name Hokkaido was brought up because the Ainu people called the region Kai.

The food in Hokkaido is said to be some of the best seafood in the world. But the residents of Hokkaido have been able to manage growing crops on soil that’s been said to be hard to grow on because of all the activity with the volcanoes and the huge amount of volcanic ash that is in the area. But Hokkaido is known for garlic, potato’s and Japan’s largest grow area of corn.

It’s said that the seafood is so good though, that if you have any desire or liking of seafood, you should visit Hokkaido at least once in your life!

Hokkaido has a good amount of Earthquakes every year and also has active volcanoes such as:

Mount Meakan
Mount Tarumae
Mount Tokachi
Mount Usu
Mount Koma

But not everything in Hokkaido is a snowy mass or a volcano. The spring, summer and fall times of Hokkaido have a lot of beauty in them as well. In fact many come to Hokkaido during the summer months to come see the flower farms.

There are over 80 different flower farms or flower lands in Hokkaido that you can visit. Because of the unique summers Hokkaido has by not being too hot or too cold, it’s perfect for growing flowers, and because of this, Hokkaido has a huge tourist industry based solely off of Hokkaido’s flowers, and when the trees start to change in September for a festival called Momijigari. Click here to see the different Flower Lands in Hokkaido.

The wildlife in Hokkaido is extremely rugged being that it’s one of the roughest areas during the winter in the world. But, besides this rough wilderness it has more brown bear in the world then anywhere else in Asia. But it’s also known to have large amount deer and red crown crane that still live on the island. Some mountains will incur up to 400 inches of snow fall during the year and because of this Hokkaido is known for it’s snow sports.

There are several ski resorts in Hokkaido such as:


Hokkaido Festival:

Since it’s roots are in the winter, it’s not surprising to note that Hokkaido hosts several different festival during the Winter but host some famous Spring, Summer and Fall festivals as well:

Sapporo Snow Festival Asahikawa Snow Festival Sounkyo Ice Festival
Chitose-Lake Shikotsu Ice Festival Obihiro Ice Festival Otaru Yukiakari no Michi (Snow Gleaming)
Showashinzan International Yukigassan (Snowball Fight) Sounkyo Hyobaku (Ice Waterfall) Festival) Otofuke Tokachigawa Swan Festival Sairinka
Abashiri Okotsk Drift Ice Festival Lake Akan Ice Festival “Fuyu-hanabi” (Winter Fireworks) Mombetsu Drift Ice Festival
Sapporo Lilac Festival Hakodate Goryokaku Festival Matsumae Cherry Blossom Festival
Non Key Land Moss Phlox Festival Yosakoi Soran Festival Hokkaido Shrine Festival
Sapporo Summer Festival Pacific Music Festival Otaru Ushio Festival
Lake Shikotsu Lake Water Festival Hokkai Heso (Belly Button) Festival Shiretoko Shari Neputa
Noboribetsu Hell Festival Esashi Ubagami Daijingu Togyo Festival Furano Wine Festival
Nemuro Crab Festival Autumn Wine Festival Momijigari (Leaf Watching)
Marimo Festival Sapporo White Illumination Hakodate Christmas Fantasy Festival

Click here to learn more about these festivals.

The cities of Hokkaido are as followed:

Abashiri Akabira Asahikawa
Ashibetsu Bibai Chitose
Date Ebetsu Eniwa
Fukagawa Furano Hokdate
Hokuto Ishikari Iwamizawa
Kitahiroshima Kitami Kushiro
Mikasa Monbetsu Muroran
Nayoro Nemuro Noboribetsu
Obihiro Otaru Rumoi
Sapporo Shibetsu Sunagawa
Takikawa Tomakomai Utashinai
Wakkanai Yubari