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.
Firstly, what is seppuku? The world literally translates as “stomach cutting.” In its most basic form, seppuku is an honorable suicide, committed ritualistically. Stab yourself in the gut, make some slicing motions, die from blood loss or trauma. 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 it rivals even Japanese tea ceremonies.
Now you know what it entrails, do you dare to learn more about this bloody act? Hope you have a strong stomach, because some of these facts are downright terrifying.