When you read IMDb-style or blog profiles of Korean celebrities, you may notice a random section called “Blood type” along with “Favourite food” and “What’s on my iTunes”. This isn’t a case of an overly cautious individual scoping out for a kind soul for a blood transfusion in the event of a deadly accident.
In Korea, one’s blood type is viewed as an equivalent to the astrological sign of the western world. Despite having only 4 types in total, distinct personality traits are associated with each sex of each type. There is even a 2005 romantic comedy film called My Boyfriend is Type B (B형 남자친구) in which the heroine falls – despite a warning from a caring friend – for a Type B male, which supposedly makes him arrogant and hardheaded.
How did this craze with the blood type begin? Apparently it all started from a book by a Japanese author, Masahiko Nomi, in the 1970s. Despite the book being anecdotally-based and not scientifically researched, the idea that one’s blood type can indicate a personality trait and temperament gained huge mass appeal and quickly seeped into Korea’s popular culture. Don’t be surprised if you are asked what blood type you are when meeting people in Korea, especially if you are on a date with one. Judging from the aforementioned film title, if you are a Type B male, however, maybe it’s best to claim ignorance of your blood type on a date. (Being a Type B myself, should I be thankful that this topic never came up on my dates?)
Just like daily horoscopes and tarot card readings, if you take this whole thing too seriously, well, to borrow an expression from the 90s, it’s time to take a chill pill.
But for the curious, feel free to take a quick peek at the list of personality traits based on blood types, courtesy of Wikipedia:
|Best traits||Earnest, creative, sensible, reserved, patient, responsible|
|Worst traits||Fastidious, overearnest, stubborn, tense|
|Best traits||Wild, active, doer, creative, passionate, strong|
|Worst traits||Selfish, irresponsible, unforgiving, erratic|
|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”|