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What's Your Blood Type?

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If you live in or visit Japan, you may be asked, "What's your blood type?" When the average person asks the question, he isn't referring to giving blood, illnesses, or medicine. There's a popular notion that a person's blood type influences his personality, character, and romantic compatibility. Although blood types and their effects on personality are far more popular than the usual idea of star signs in the West, it's not so very different. In fact, it's hugely popular. For example, four of the ten books to top the bestseller list in 2008 dealt with blood type and personality.

What can be said about personality types? Type A people are serious and creative, but also seek perfection. Type B people are spontaneous, but also selfish and irresponsible. Type O can be vain and rude. On the positive side, they are curious and generous. As for people who are type AB, they are arty, but tend to be moody as well.

Of course, the scientific community in Japan considers the idea ridiculous. Unfortunately, the general public seems to disagree. Matchmaking services look to blood types when introducing men and women, for example. Women's magazines stock their pages with articles, romantic advice, and predictions too. Some companies have assigned projects based on the blood of employees. And more than a few employers regularly ask interviewees about their blood type, because they intend to determine which applicants may or may not provide a good fit in the company or department.

It comes down to discrimination, and even comes with a term: "bura-hara." "Bura" stands for blood, and "hara" stands for harassment. It also doesn't seem likely to diminish in popularity any time soon.


Preview some of the lesson material:

Warm Up: Do you agree or disagree? Why?

  1. Your birth year has an effect on your personality.
  2. Your birth month has an effect on your personality.
  3. Your blood type has an effect on your personality.
  4. Horoscopes should be followed closely because they offer good advice.
  5. There are certain colors, numbers, and animals that are luckier than other colors, numbers, and animals.

Fragments: Remember how the fragments were used, and complete the sentence from today's article.

  1. If you live in or visit Japan, you may be asked...
  2. Type A people are serious and creative, but...
  3. Type B people are spontaneous, but...
  4. Women's magazines stock their pages with...
  5. Some companies have assigned...

post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!

  1. What do you think about blood types? Do they really affect personality?
  2. How accurate are horoscopes? Why do you think so?
  3. Do you think some signs or blood types are more compatible in relationships? Why/not?
  4. If a horoscope predicted love, money, or problems, would you look for love, money, or problems? Why/not?
  5. Why do people follow horoscopes and pay attention to things like blood type? Please explain your opinion.

Google Search: Type "blood type" into Google. Look at the websites, and/or read additional articles on this topic. Discuss or write an essay about your findings.


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