Various - preussens gloria - Disembowelment - Wikipedia

In Japan , disembowelment played a central part as a method of execution or the ritualized suicide of a samurai . In killing themselves by this method, they were deemed to be free from the dishonor resulting from their crimes. The most common form of disembowelment was referred to in Japanese as seppuku (or, colloquially, hara-kiri ), literally "stomach cutting," involving two cuts across the abdomen, sometimes followed by pulling out one's own viscera . The act of decapitation by a second ( kaishaku-nin ) was added to this ritual suicide in later times in order to shorten the suffering of the samurai or leader, an attempt at rendering the ritual more humane. Even later the knife was just a simple formality and the swordsman would decapitate before the subject could reach for it. The commission of a crime or dishonorable act was only one of many reasons for the performance of seppuku; others included the atonement of cowardice, as a means of apology, or following the loss of a battle or the surrender of a castle .

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