Encyclopedia > Seppuku

  Article Content


Redirected from Seppuku

Hara-kiri (also called seppuku) is a ritual and honorable suicide with Japanese origins. Traditionally, it is done in a spiritually clean temple by cutting open one's abdomen with a wakizashi, thereby releasing the soul. The traditional form is one deep cut down and one across. A slightly less honorable version (and much less painful) is that at the same time, a friend (called kaizoe[?] or kaizoe-nin[?]) severs the head for an instant death.

Hara-kiri was traditionally used as the ultimate protest when one's own morals stood in the way of executing an order from the master. It was also permissible as a form of repentance when one had committed an unforgivable sin, either by accident or on purpose.

In Japanese, hara kiri (腹切り) is a slang term -- literally, "belly slashing". The formal term for honorable suicide, which should be used unless one is deliberately trying to be insulting, is seppuku (disembowelment) (切腹).

See Kamikaze

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article

... explorer, scientist and international statesman O Francisco de Orellana - first to navigate down the Amazon River P William Parry[?], (born 1790), Arctic ...

This page was created in 23.1 ms