Harakiri” and “Hara-kiri” redirect here. Chinese readings in taiko eiji yoshikawa pdf announcements, only the term seppuku was ever used in writing.
So hara-kiri is a spoken term, but only to commoners and seppuku a written term, but spoken amongst higher classes for the same act. In some popular western texts, such as martial arts magazines, the term is associated with suicide of samurai wives. Later, disgraced warriors were sometimes allowed to carry out seppuku rather than be executed in the normal manner. The most common form of seppuku for men was composed of the cutting of the abdomen, and when the samurai was finished, he stretched out his neck for an assistant to sever his spinal cord by cutting halfway into the neck. This way the head could, both metaphorically and literally, rest in its owner’s hands. Those who did not belong to the samurai caste were never ordered or expected to carry out seppuku. Samurai generally could carry out the act only with permission.