Friday, January 2, 2009


My brothers, Charles, Joseph and Henry are going to have a field day when they read this post. As boys, they naturally have more interests in war, though I have listened first hand from my Dad.

Banzai in Japanese, or at least during the World War 2, aka as the Japanese invasion, means "Hail to the Emperor." The fierce Jap soldiers required anyone seeing them to prostrate 90 degrees, lift one hand out and say," Banzai!" Then the Jap soldiers will let you go. If you don't, you would be knocked by the gun, and beaten or forced with water into your stomach or thrown to jail.

Whereas, in Hokkien, a Chinese dialect, Banzai means "Go to Shit." So according to my brother Charles, the Chinese were very enthusiatic in saying ," Banzai! Banzai". The soldiers not knowing this, would let them go. The rest of the population like the Malays were beaten really badly.

My Dad, and later Henry related this story. Dad really needed to banzai/shit. When he was heading towards a toilet, he encountered some Jap solders. His quick thinking made him lift his hand to show them his toilet paper, and saying Banzai at the same time. Misunderstanding him, the Jap soldiers let him off. I teased Dad in his later years if he shat his pants, and he only laughed. He said, now we can all laugh, it was no laughing matter then.

This shop in Mt Eden is called Banzai, it sells Japanese snacks. I alway snigger when I see it. You won't catch me going into that shop.

***When the water engineer wears his Japanese cap, I scold him to be a ratbag, his Dad who was beaten up twice by the Japs would roll in his grave. The Japanese caps and uniform were Khaki in colour. The water engineer's hat is blue and made in China. I don't think China would make such a cap in Khaki colour.***

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