And that's about all most people know about it. The earliest known acts of seppuku were the deaths of samurai Minamoto Tametomo and poet Minamoto Yorimasa in the latter part of the 12th century. Most men kill themselves because of business failures & things like that. But in the 19th century, seppuku was not only a relatively common practice, it was a much-desired death among members of the samurai class. Seppuku, also called harakiri, is ritualistic suicide by disembowelment, practiced mostly by samurai in feudal Japan. It is a uniquely Japanese custom that was mainly practiced by samurai.In the early modern period it came to be used as a method of capital punishment in addition to a form of ritual suicide. Circa 1880. Actually seppuku took two people to do. Well, time to set the record straight, and reveal disturbing and fascinating insights into what seppuku was really about. While martial suicide is a practice found in a lot of cultures, the act of seppuku, or ritual self-disembowelment, is peculiar to Japan.The earliest known acts of seppuku were the deaths of samurai Minamoto Tametomo and poet Minamoto Yorimasa in … Maybe honor (or dishonor) inspired the act? Although highly ritualized suicides like seppuku are no longer practiced in modern times, there are still examples of this kind of redemptive suicide as illustrated by the case of an elderly couple implicated in a scandal in 2004. Seppuku vs. Harakiri The word “seppuku” derives from an on-yomi or Chinese reading of the kanji characters 切腹, while harakiri is a kun-yomi, or native Japanese reading of the same characters in reverse. Men tend to hang themselves. While martial suicide is a practice found in a lot of cultures, the act of seppuku, or ritual self-disembowelment, is peculiar to Japan. Seppuku is the only variation of suicide on this list, but it is here for a good reason. According to the Japanese way of thinking, however, the seppuku ("cutting the belly") meant an honorable death, which was more desirable than a useless life in shame. Maybe it involved katanas? Seppuku is a ritual form of committing suicide in the Japanese society. Here a samurai is shown in the process of committing seppuku, his death poem at his feet. ... it’s still going to hurt like a mother effer. You probably already know that seppuku was honorable, ritual suicide typically practiced by samurai. Seppuku is known in the west as hara-kiri. Many people living in the Western world believe it is horrible and barbaric act. However, it would still be roughly 100 years before its practice had all but been phased out of Japanese culture. Getty Images This source sounds reasonable: A staged version of the Japanese ritual suicide known as Seppuku or Hara-Kiri, circa 1885. The basic reason looks like that historically they believed the spirit lived in stomach. By the middle of the 19th century, seppuku was on the decline along with the samurai way of life. No. Seppuku. ... ” which makes you wonder how they practiced this. A recent posting of an instructional diagram teaching how to perform seppuku has caught further caught the attention of people in countries around the world. Seppuku (切腹) Seppuku is a method of suicide that involves cutting the abdomen with a sword. Once the man cut open his stomach with a short sword, there was another man standing behind him with a long sword who then lopped off the guys head. Japan still has a high suicide rate. Female ritual suicide known as Jigai was practiced by the wives of samurai who have committed seppuku or brought dishonor.. Women have their own ritual suicide, Jigai.Here, the wife of Onodera Junai, one of the Forty-seven Ronin, prepares for her suicide; note the legs tied together, a female feature of seppuku to ensure a "decent" posture in death. 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