One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A Japanese battle cry.
2A form of greeting used to the Japanese emperor.
- ‘From the simplest (a hearty cry of skäl in Sweden or banzai in Japan) to the winding, poetic, hour-long toasts that briefly came into vogue in Ireland, it has been a long time since the hunting gods took any pleasure in the practice.’
- ‘Some 500 supporters greeted Lee on his arrival by waving Taiwan's national flag and the ‘Hinomaru,’ or Japanese flag, while carrying welcome banners and chanting ‘Banzai, banzai!’’
(especially of Japanese troops) attacking fiercely and recklessly.‘a banzai charge’
- ‘A few miles up the track lies Mt Austen, where the Japanese defended their most important command post with suicidal banzai counter-attacks.’
- ‘Company A beat off several banzai attacks but was bypassed and in danger of being cut off and surrounded.’
- ‘The emperor overrode his military, who wanted a banzai suicide last battle, and broadcast their unconditional surrender.’
- ‘Then, before dawn on 29 May, they launched one of the biggest banzai charges of the war which overran two command posts and a medical station before being halted.’
- ‘They resorted to one last desperate banzai mission that was put down without much of a struggle.’
Japanese, literally ‘ten thousand years (of life to you)’.
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