Why do many Japanese get red faced when they drink alcohol?

Me too! I don’t know if the reason is the same,but it is one of the things that makes me feel right at home in Japan.

“[It is] because of a heriditary lack of the liver enzyme that breaks down acetaldehyde. It is this chemical by-product of alcohol that causes their features to become flushed”

Hokkaido Highway Blues pg 154



  1. kuro said,

    April 29, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Which doesn’t mean that japanese (and other asians) can’t drink massive amounts of alcohol. They can.

  2. natilee said,

    April 30, 2009 at 6:27 am

    i think that it is a bit wierd that japanese people get red faces after drinking alcohol.

  3. Michael said,

    May 2, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    True about the missing enzyme. I hear numbers as high as 20-30%. Also since they can’t break it down, one drink becomes like a Caucasian having 4, 5 or 6 and they have to wait until they pee it out as they can’t metabolize it.

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