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Angst-Free Zone

A Work in Progress

29 May 1984
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  • wateredsilk@livejournal.com
  • XArdenX
Most samurai were bound by a strict code of honor (武士道 bushidō) and were expected to set an example for those below them. A disgraced samurai could regain honor and respect by committing suicide by a gruesome and painful means: slicing his stomach horizontally from left to right, typically in a ritualistic manner, using either his wakazashi (short sword) or more commonly, his tanto (dagger), in an act called seppuku (切腹). When time was available, samurai would have a friend or student, called a kaishaku (介錯, executioner), decapitate them after the initial cut across the abdomen. A woman, when commiting seppuku, would thrust the blade into her throat. Before she did this, her legs were tied with rope to retain her elegant posture when she died. Even in death, samurai were beholden to honor.