You learn certain things about the Japanese when you live here. For example, you discover that 5’8″ (172 cm) is actually quite tall, and that when your boss says so desu ne (“yes, that’s so”) in response to the suggestion you’ve just made, he really means, “no, that is not so.” You also learn that Japanese often get really red in the face when they start drinking, a phenomenon known as the Asian Flush Response, which has to do with some Japanese (and many other East Asian people) lacking a liver enzyme that breaks down chemicals in alcohol. It’s hilarious to see — my wife can have one highball and suddenly she turns as red as a lobster, although she’s not drunk at all. You occasionally see this phenomenon represented as a slight reddening of the face in anime characters when they drink too much, but don’t be fooled: the real thing is much more brilliant to behold. A similar phenomenon unique to Asians is the “Mongolian Spot,” a blue bruise-like spot visible on the rear ends of Japanese babies until the age of 2.
The Japanese get very red-faced when they drink.