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2014年8月11日 (月)

香山リカのココロの万華鏡:今も健在?血液型ネタ /東京

August 03, 2014(Mainichi Japan)
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Questioning the relevance of blood type
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:今も健在?血液型ネタ /東京

I once had the opportunity to appear on a television program as a commentator. That day, a prominent musician from the United States was to feature on the program as a guest.

The studio had prepared several question boards, and as I waited before the program, I wondered what questions would be asked. I then spotted one of them, which surprised me. "What is your blood type?" it read.

The program staff member who had prepared the question believed in the ability to tell people's personalities based on their blood type.

They probably imagined a scene where the guest's blood type would be revealed and the host would liven up the program with a comment like, "Wow, I never would have guessed it!" or "I thought you'd be that type, because you do things at your own pace."

But the practice of deducing people's personalities based on blood type is pretty much restricted to Japan and a few other countries in Asia.

In Europe and the United States, most people haven't even heard of it.

I imagine I would be startled if I were suddenly asked a question about my body, like, "What's the diameter and color of your navel?" I think asking someone for their blood type is the same sort of thing.

I quickly called for the question to be ditched, and other staff members apparently agreed with me. The impending scene of a major star suddenly being asked for personal medical information in the form of their blood type was thereby averted.

The other day, a study released by sociologist Kengo Nawata drew attention in Japan. It indicated through statistical analysis that there is no scientific basis for a relation between a person's blood type and personality.

Nawata targeted over 10,000 people from Japan and the United States in the survey, which analyzed the blood types of respondents in comparison to their attitudes.

The study revealed that blood type bears practically no relation to a person's sense of values and daily habits.

There actually exist other studies giving the same results, and I have presented these at universities, where I repeatedly tell students, "There is no relation between blood type and personality."

"That notion," I say, "is based on a boom that was started in Japan in the 1970s.

We simply assume things like, 'I'm type B, so I must be that type of person.'"

My students look at me with serious expressions on their faces and say they understand.

But then when I share a meal with them, I hear them ask each other, "What's your blood type?" and exclaim, "Really? You're serious, so I thought you'd be a different type."
しかし、いっしょに食事会などをするとやっぱりまた、「あなた何型?」「ホント! マジメだから違うと思った」などと盛り上がっている。

For them, talking about blood type might be a handy tool allowing them to find an entry point to communicate with another person.

As an educator, though, I discourage them from picking friends or partners based on blood type, or using their blood type to pass judgment on their own personalities.

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2014年07月29日 地方版


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