Seppuku, also called harakiri, is ritualistic suicide by disembowelment, practiced mostly by samurai in feudal Japan. And that's about all most people know about it. Maybe it involved katanas? Maybe honor (or dishonor) inspired the act? Well, time to set the record straight, and reveal disturbing and fascinating insights into what seppuku was really about.
First, what is seppuku? The word literally translates as "belly cutting." In its most basic form, seppuku is an honorable suicide, committed ritualistically. The ritual has been around for hundreds of years, and is still occasionally used in modern Japan. Death by this method relieves the deceased of shame, disloyalty, or dishonor, and the ritual surrounding it is so complex that it rivals even Japanese tea ceremonies.
Now that you know what it entails, do you dare to learn more about this bloody act? Hopefully you have a strong stomach, because some of these facts are downright terrifying.
You Needed A Friend To Help You Do It
Proper Seppuku Was So Complex, It Required Master Swordsmen
Stabbing Yourself Involved At Least Three Distinct Motions
Famous Novelist, Poet, Director, And Actor Yukio Mishima Committed Seppuku In 1970
Seppuku Is Honorable, And Preferable To Execution
Women Committed Seppuku Too