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Seppuku (harakiri) ؕ ()

Ritual disembowelment performed by high-ranking samurai sentenced to death or lower-ranking samurai having lost their master as a sign of fidelity.

Seppuku was also committed when a samurai lost his pride or was captured in a battle. It was considered by samurai as the only honorable way of dying outside a battle or old age.

Seppuku is normally performed in front of other persons, with one other samurai cutting off the victim's head after his self-disembowelment, so as to shorten the agony.

Note that the word hara-kiri is usually used in the West, though the Japanese prefer the term seppuku.



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