Seppuku

harakirihara-kiriritual suicidesuicidecommit suicidedaki-kubihara kiriHari Karijigaikilled himself
Seppuku (Japanese: 切腹, "cutting [the] belly"), sometimes referred to as harakiri (腹切り, "abdomen/belly cutting", a native Japanese kun reading), is a form of Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment.wikipedia
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Suicide

suicidalcommitted suicidesuicides
Seppuku (Japanese: 切腹, "cutting [the] belly"), sometimes referred to as harakiri (腹切り, "abdomen/belly cutting", a native Japanese kun reading), is a form of Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment.
During the samurai era in Japan, a form of suicide known as seppuku (harakiri) was respected as a means of making up for failure or as a form of protest.

Disembowelment

disemboweldisemboweledevisceration
Seppuku (Japanese: 切腹, "cutting [the] belly"), sometimes referred to as harakiri (腹切り, "abdomen/belly cutting", a native Japanese kun reading), is a form of Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment.
The most common form of disembowelment was referred to in Japanese as seppuku (or, colloquially, hara-kiri), literally "stomach cutting," involving two cuts across the abdomen, sometimes followed by pulling out one's own viscera.

Kaishakunin

Kaishakusecond
In the 12th and 13th centuries, such as with the seppuku of Minamoto no Yorimasa, the practice of a kaishakunin (idiomatically, his "second") had not yet emerged, thus the rite was considered far more painful.
A kaishakunin is an appointed second whose duty is to behead one who has performed seppuku, Japanese ritual suicide, at the moment of agony.

Hōjō Ujimasa

Hojo UjimasaUjimasaHōjō Shinkurō
When the Hōjō were defeated at Odawara in 1590, Hideyoshi insisted on the suicide of the retired daimyō Hōjō Ujimasa, and the exile of his son Ujinao; with this act of suicide, the most powerful daimyō family in eastern Japan was put to an end.
Like many samurai who committed seppuku in the face of shameful defeat, Ujimasa composed death poems:

Bushido

Bushidōsamurai codeWay of the Warrior
It was originally reserved for samurai (See Bushido), but was also practised by other Japanese people later on to restore honor for themselves or for their families.
Under the bushidō ideal, if a samurai failed to uphold his honor he could only regain it by performing seppuku (ritual suicide).

Tantō

tantoAikuchiDagger
The ceremonial disembowelment, which is usually part of a more elaborate ritual and performed in front of spectators, consists of plunging a short blade, traditionally a tantō, into the belly and drawing the blade from left to right, slicing the belly open. With his selected kaishakunin standing by, he would open his kimono (robe), take up his tantō (knife) or wakizashi (short sword)—which the samurai held by the blade with a portion of cloth wrapped around so that it would not cut his hand and cause him to lose his grip—and plunge it into his abdomen, making a left-to-right cut. Some women belonging to samurai families committed suicide by cutting the arteries of the neck with one stroke, using a knife such as a tantō or kaiken.

Decapitation

beheadeddecapitatedbeheading
The kaishakunin would then perform kaishaku, a cut in which the warrior was partially decapitated.
Decapitation was historically performed as the second step in seppuku (ritual suicide by disembowelment).

Wakizashi

short swordwakazashicompanion sword
With his selected kaishakunin standing by, he would open his kimono (robe), take up his tantō (knife) or wakizashi (short sword)—which the samurai held by the blade with a portion of cloth wrapped around so that it would not cut his hand and cause him to lose his grip—and plunge it into his abdomen, making a left-to-right cut.
The wakizashi was used as a backup or auxiliary sword; it was also used for close quarters fighting, to behead a defeated opponent and sometimes to commit seppuku, a ritual suicide.

Minamoto no Yorimasa

Minamoto YorimasaYorimasa
The first recorded act of seppuku was performed by Minamoto no Yorimasa during the Battle of Uji in the year 1180.
Minamoto no Yorimasa's ritual suicide by seppuku may be the earliest recorded instance of a samurai's suicide in the face of defeat, although Minamoto no Tametomo, who died in 1170, ten years before Yorimasa, may hold this distinction.

Yukio Mishima

Mishima YukioMishima Yukio Mishima
In 1970, author Yukio Mishima and one of his followers performed public seppuku at the Japan Self-Defense Forces headquarters after an unsuccessful attempt to incite the armed forces to stage a coup d'état.
When this was unsuccessful, Mishima committed seppuku.

Death poem

death haikudeath poemsdeath verses
Dressed ceremonially, with his sword placed in front of him and sometimes seated on special clothes, the warrior would prepare for death by writing a death poem.
In 1970, writer Yukio Mishima and his disciple Masakatsu Morita composed death poems before their attempted coup at the Ichigaya garrison in Tokyo, where they committed the ritual suicide of Seppuku.

Masakatsu Morita

His second, a 25-year-old man named Masakatsu Morita, tried three times to ritually behead Mishima but failed; his head was finally severed by Hiroyasu Koga, a former kendo champion.
Masakatsu Morita was a Japanese political activist who committed seppuku with Yukio Mishima in Tokyo.

Hosokawa Gracia

GraciaGracia HosokawaTama
By way of contrast, the religious beliefs of Hosokawa Gracia, the Christian wife of daimyō Hosokawa Tadaoki, prevented her from committing suicide.
However, when Ishida attempted to take Gracia hostage, the family retainer Ogasawara Shōsai killed her; he and the rest of the household then committed seppuku and burned the mansion down.

Oda Nobunaga

Nobunaga OdaNobunagaGenma Lord
Nobunaga was betrayed by his own retainers who set the Honno-Ji temple on fire; then, instead of burning in flames, Oda Nobunaga had committed seppuku to escape the flames.

Madama Butterfly

Madame ButterflyMadam ButterflyPinkerton
Mostow's context is analysis of Giacomo Puccini's Madame Butterfly and the original Cio-Cio San story by John Luther Long.
She places a small American flag in his hands and goes behind a screen, killing herself with her father's seppuku knife.

Sakai

Sakai, OsakaSakai CitySakai, Japan
On February 15, eleven French sailors of the Dupleix entered a Japanese town called Sakai without official permission.
French sailors from the Dupleix and Sakai citizens clashed; some French were killed, and subsequently the Japanese responsible for these deaths were sentenced to death by seppuku.

Kaiken (dagger)

kaiken
Some women belonging to samurai families committed suicide by cutting the arteries of the neck with one stroke, using a knife such as a tantō or kaiken.
Women carried them in their kimono either in a pocket-like space (futokoro) or in the sleeve pouch (tamoto) for self-defense and for ritual suicide by slashing the veins in the left side of the neck.

Forty-seven rōnin

Forty-seven RoninForty-seven ''rōnin47 Ronin
The wife of Onodera Junai, one of the Forty-seven Ronin, is a notable example of a wife following seppuku of a samurai husband.
The story tells of a group of samurai who were left leaderless after their daimyō (feudal lord) Asano Naganori was compelled to perform seppuku (ritual suicide) for assaulting a court official named Kira Yoshinaka, whose title was Kōzuke no suke.

Battle of Uji (1180)

Battle of UjiFirst Battle of Ujifirst Battle of the Uji
The first recorded act of seppuku was performed by Minamoto no Yorimasa during the Battle of Uji in the year 1180.
While his sons, Nakatsuna and Kanetsuna were dying to fend off the enemies eager for the old man's head, Yorimasa committed seppuku.

Nogi Maresuke

Maresuke NogiGeneral NogiGeneral Nogi Maresuke
Dozens of people are known to have committed seppuku since then, including by General Nogi and his wife on the death of Emperor Meiji in 1912; and by numerous soldiers and civilians who chose to die rather than surrender at the end of World War II.
His example revitalized the samurai practice of seppuku ritual suicide.

Sakai incident

The first recorded time a European saw formal seppuku was the "Sakai Incident" of 1868.
The French captain Dupetit Thouars protested so strongly that an indemnity of 150,000 dollars was agreed upon, and 29 troop members who admitted firing shots as well as the troop leaders were sentenced to death by seppuku at Myōkoku-ji.

Kunio Nakagawa

On the evening of 24 November, after the battle was lost, he performed seppuku (ritual suicide) in the tradition of Japanese samurai warriors.

French corvette Dupleix (1861)

DupleixFrench corvette ''Dupleix'' (1861)
On February 15, eleven French sailors of the Dupleix entered a Japanese town called Sakai without official permission.
The captain, Dupetit Thouars, protested so strongly that the culprits were arrested, and 20 of them were sentenced to death by seppuku.

Hiroyasu Koga

His second, a 25-year-old man named Masakatsu Morita, tried three times to ritually behead Mishima but failed; his head was finally severed by Hiroyasu Koga, a former kendo champion.
Hiroyasu Koga ( Koga Hiroyasu, born 15 August 1947) is a former Tatenokai member and kaishakunin responsible for the decapitations of Yukio Mishima and Masakatsu Morita during their seppuku on November 25, 1970.

Azai Nagamasa

Nagamasa AzaiNagamasa
Nagamasa had no hope of winning, and chose to commit seppuku.