Dear reader, please, if you will be so kind, imagine your world traveling slightly outspoken narrator (that’s me….) 5 year’s ago when I first arrived in the Land of the Rising Materialism.
I had gotten to Narita Airport and had been met by my friend Michiko, and then, she and I made our way, along with my luggage, to Shinjuku. There, We went to the flat I would use for a month, I dumped off my bags, took a quick shower and changed into all the warm clothes I had, it was December after all and I had left my coat in the back of my friends Truck in LA. I did this because I’m a smart, smart man.
So, we went to dinner at this Izakaya (it’s a special kind of Japanese place where you basically eat appetizers and drink booze and that’s it.) then off to this really slamming home party at a friend’s house named “Yu.”
Ole Yu, this guy knows how to party. He has a lot of experience with it since he is 37, his parents are rich, they bought him the massive 3 LDK flat he lives in and obsessively remodels and he doesn’t work. So, this party was really in full swing.
I was introduced to loads of people and I was being given tons of drinks. Drink and drink after drink. The music was thumping and bumping and Yu has this light show thing set up, flashing red lights, strobes, blues, the works. In about an hour, the booze had begun to mix quite well (well in a bad way) with the bottle of cold medicine I had guzzled after dinner.
It was getting pretty wild. The colors….oh the colors…
I was semi zoning out, only drooling a little bit still managing to hold onto my beer or whatever someone had put in my hand, when this cute girl came sort of, bobbing and popping up to me from across the room. She had a huge smile and was completely drunk yet still very functional. Someone had not skulled her cough medicine;naughty;unfair;GJS act cool; act sober.
Anyway she sort of yells over the music..
“HERRO!” Still dancing…
“Yeah…wow..” shaking my head trying to focus on her.
“I’m a Akiko!” bobbing, bobbing up and down “Whats you name??”
“Aki…ko…I am Eric. Nice to meet you.” I extended my hand. She shook it. Small hands. Little bones. Slightly clammy. She was working up a sweat with all the bouncing and bobbing.
Then it happened. It was intense and bizarre and I have tried to convey this story, this happening, to people before and somehow, it never crosses over…but…she just then, stopped dancing and got closer to me, from the side, my right side, and said right into my ear…
“What is your Blood type???”
My initial response: WHAT THE FUCK?
I turned my head to look at her, convinced I heard her wrong despite those words being spoken in CRYSTAL clear perfect American accented English, and, as I turned my head, her face was not 8 inches from mine, a bright smile spread across her face…with…FANGS! FUCKING FANGS!
I half stood up off the stool I was on, but sort of couldnt and almost fell down and this sweet heart with the Thirst for BLOOD actually kind of steadied me and giggled.
I stared at her cockeyed, my mind reeling. In simple pictures, this is what was occurring from when she approached, to the sinister question and the dead give away of the fact that this country is populated but the Undead…
Now due to Alcohol, Drugs (legal ones!) and jet lag the shade of satan’s dark place, not to mention strobing lights and semi hypnotic music I….
It freaked me out.
It turns out though, that BLOOD TYPES or ketsueki-gata (血液型) are a big thing in Japan. Basically, the Japanese generally think that all the Blood types, A,B,AB and O, all have certain personality traits associated with them and asking a person you just met “Whats your blood type” is not as sinister as one might think.
The break down goes basically like this….
|Best traits||Earnest, creative, sensible|
|Worst traits||Fastidious, overearnest|
|Best traits||Wild, active, doer|
|Worst traits||Selfish, irresponsible|
|Best traits||Cool, controlled, rational|
|Worst traits||Critical, indecisive|
|Best traits||Agreeable, sociable, optimistic|
|Worst traits||Vain, rude|
This all apparently has its genesis in scientific racism. How Romantic.
That’s right, you can have your very OWN BLOODTYPE BATH! Appealing isn’t it?
Oh and to clarify: the VAMP teeth that cutie had, those are Called YAEBA.
Generally, it is used when referring to someone who sort of has those vampire teeth, and is considered CUTE here. I can’t make any more cracks about it, I also have succumbed. Think Patricia Arquette. Cute.
The MORAL: Do not be shocked when someone asks you what your blood type is here. That is, unless you wake up in a bath tub full of ice, sans a kidney. Then, you should be shocked.
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