Illustration from “Sketches of Japanese Manners and Customs”, by J. M. W. Silver, Illustrated by Native Drawings, Reproduced in Facsimile by Means of Chromolithography, published in London in 1867.
Seppuku (切腹?, “stomach-cutting”) is a form of Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment. Seppuku was originally reserved only for samurai. Part of the samurai bushido honor code, seppuku was either used voluntarily by samurai to die with honor rather than fall into the hands of their enemies (and likely suffer torture), or as a form of capital punishment for samurai who had committed serious offenses, or performed for other reasons that had brought shame to them. The ceremonial disembowelment, which is…
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