It’s all in your blood: Korean blood type superstitions
If you’re going to South Korea, it’s worth knowing your blood type. Why? Because according to Korean stereotypes, a person’s personality, temperament and compatibility (both romantic and platonic) with others can be determined by their blood type.
Many Koreans, although not all, believe that blood types are linked to personalities, a little like how the Western world (but not all of it) believes in a similar idea surrounding the Zodiac and horoscopes. In South Korea, you’ll be asked what blood type you are rather than what Zodiac sign you are.
The concept of blood types determining personal traits has a dark history. It was allegedly used by Nazis and Japanese Imperialists to promote ideas of supremacy over different races and countries in the 1920s and 1930s. However, some decades later, the idea was resurrected by Japanese author Masahiko Nomi in a much more positive and innocent way that holds much more in common with the ideas of the Zodiac than the ideas of racial dominance it once connoted. There is now a plethora of media that surround the idea including songs, books and films. This new, positive linking spread from Japan to Taiwan and South Korea. In today’s South Korea you’d be hard-pressed to find any native who doesn’t know their blood type.
The linking of blood types and personalities is prominent with the basic blood types: A, B, AB and O. The descriptions given are not a full and absolute list – much like the horoscope superstition, the blood type superstition can have adjectives that replace each other and sometimes contradict each other. It has also been suggested that people possessing certain blood types should stick to certain dietary choices. However there is no scientific evidence to back this up.
All of the adorable images are created by Park Dong Sun and can be found on either his blog or his official cartoon page on Naver.com (both sites are in Korean). Whilst these images can at times be seen to oversimplify attributes, they are mostly loved and accepted.
Blood Type A – The Farmers
Those with blood type A are often called ‘Farmers’ in South Korean culture. They can be secretive and reluctant to share their feelings due to their shy, reserved and introverted sensibilities. They can also be considerate to others, patient and are often punctual. They can be highly creative and can be perfectionists, which can cause them to become too focused on the details. They have been said to like to forget reality and hide in their own worlds due to a romantic nature. However, they can be self-conscious and can be unable to express their emotions well. They are said to be stubborn, cautious and tense and can be obsessive and uptight. They are also the blood group least likely to be able to hold their liquor. It is thought that blood type As do best with vegetarian diets.
Blood Type B – The Nomads
Blood type Bs are said to enjoy life and are passionate, wild and active. They can be creative and optimistic and have a ‘let’s go’ attitude. They love animals and are passionate about the people and things that they hold dear. They can have an individual and independent nature and don’t care about what others think of them. They can laugh in failure’s face and have a bright and liberal way of living – however this can cause them to have enemies. They can be impatient and can give up easily. They have often been described as shallow and lazy, self-centred and irresponsible. Men with blood type B aren’t considered good ‘husband material’ as they can be ‘bad boys’ and ‘players’. This makes them desirable to women but only for the short term. Women with blood type B do not share this attribute. Those with blood type B are said to have a strong immune system and do well with dairy.
Blood Type AB – The Humanists
Those with blood type AB are said to have a ‘can do anything’ attitude and have strong concentration. They are said to be interested in anything and can be highly intelligent. They are said to be controlled by their heads rather than their hearts and can be controlled, rational and critical. They can sometimes show an authoritative attitude. They can be shy, aloof and indecisive and can be distant from others. Some even go so far as to say that AB’s prefer to be alone. They are also said to have split personalities and can therefore be emotional and unpredictable. Some consider them to be untrustworthy and two-faced because of this. However, they are said to be good with money. They are also recommended to eat like the Farmers and Nomads do.
Blood Type O – The Warriors
Those with blood type O are said to be natural leaders – they are outgoing, energetic and optimistic. They speak their minds loud and clear whilst being friendly and easy going. They tend to be expressive and passionate with high self-confidence and are highly ambitious. They have a strong physical presence and are unlikely to be overlooked. They tend to be dramatic which might make others feel uncomfortable. They can be arrogant, insensitive, ruthless and vein. They can be obsessively preoccupied with success. However, they won’t leave someone who is in trouble by themselves and are said to be natural athletes. It is suggested that blood type O’s eat a high protein diet and exercise rigorously.
Whilst there is no scientific evidence to back up the blood type personality theory, it is still interesting and fun.
What blood type are you and does your personality match the descriptions above? Let us know in the comments.
Latest posts by victoria (see all)
- South Korean Cinema and Revenge: Why Is It So Prevalent? - 18/07/2013
- Korean Films in Review: National Security - 26/06/2013
- Korean Films in Review: The Berlin File - 24/06/2013