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?
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. 😛
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.
Best traits Earnest, sensible, reserved, patient, responsible
Worst traits Fastidious, overearnest, stubborn, tense
Best traits Passionate, active, doer, creative, strong
Worst traits irresponsible, unforgiving, “going own way”
Best traits Cool, controlled, rational, sociable, adaptable
Worst traits Critical, indecisive, forgetful, irresponsible, “split personality”
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.
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.
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:
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 (北海道 Hokkaidō) 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.
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:
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.
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.