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Banzaï !
By Be@ - April 23, 2010   

Before becoming a battle cry in the mouth of kamikaze, “Banzai” was used to express respect for the emperor, wishing him happiness and longevity, and it is still in use today.


This expression was introduced in Japan in the eighth century and pronounced banzei (ばん ぜ い in hiragana), meaning “10 000 years”. It was especially used to wish long life to the Emperor. To honor him, kamikaze took this for their battle cry, during the Second World War.
Today, it can be considered as the traditional Japanese form of applause.
In Hawaii, the term has taken on new meaning amongst the Japanese American community. It is used as a toast at celebratory events, particularly weddings. In this context, the Banzai is given twice – the first, “Shinro shimpu, banzai!” means “long life and happiness to the bride and groom.” The second banzai is: “Raihin shokun, banzai!” meaning “Long life and happiness to all the guests!” After each toast, participants shout the word “banzai” three times in unison, raising their glasses each time, and drinking after the third.

Wikipedia – Ten thousand years

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