Download Hara-Kiri: Japanese Ritual Suicide by Jack Seward PDF

By Jack Seward

Hari-Kiri is a definitive textual content on eastern ritual suicide, sometimes called seppuku.

To the common westerner, the notice hara-kiri evokes a picture of excruciating, self-inflicted soreness; of a deep, deadly incision. To the japanese, this type of suicide embodies the simplest characteristics of braveness, honor, and discipline.

Through huge examine, writer Jack Seward brings to the English-speaking public a dissertation at the topic that's completely enlightening. Fluent in talking, interpreting, and writing jap, he used to be capable of glean details from old records a lot of them scrolls within the jap information that few foreigners have obvious. The earliest writings on hara-kiri (known extra officially as seppuku) are therefore printed, as are the problematic rituals surrounding the ceremony.

"The significant function of this book," says the writer, "is to elucidate the historic and sociological value of a different approach to self-destruction." In satisfying this function, writer Seward has get a hold of a definitive paintings that's guaranteed to arouse curiosity either as a scholarly attempt and as easy, interesting analyzing.

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Extra resources for Hara-Kiri: Japanese Ritual Suicide

Example text

30 HARA-KIRI hara o watte hanasu, "to talk over a matter with an open stomach," meaning to have a frank talk. hara no okii hito, "a person with a big stomach," meaning a generous man. hara-guroi hito, "a person with a black stomach," meaning a sly man. " hara 6 kimeru, "to determine one's stomach," meaning to make up one's mind. The reference to the abdomen in such expressions is not a monopoly of the Japanese. " In French ventre (abdomen) is often associated with coeur (heart, mind). Entrailles means both intestines as well as feelings, tenderness, heart, or pity.

5. Seppuku Why the Abdomen Was Chosen The word hara or abdomen has a common root with the word hari which means tension. Ancient Japanese associated tension in the abdomen with the soul. The abdomen is the place where the soul resides; the more vital the action, the greater the tension. At the same time, it is the physical center of the body; hence they were led to look upon the abdomen as the cradle of one's will, thought, generosity, boldness, spirit, anger, enmity, etc. There are many Japanese idioms that are associated with the word hara.

And threw his short sword at Kira, hoping thus to inflict more serious injury. Unfortunately, this short sword pierced the gorgeously decorated golden sliding door at the end of the Matsu-no-Roka (Pine Corridor), and this incident was the cause behind the Shogun's command that Lord Asano commit seppuku. " When a samurai was put under the surveillance of the lord he served or into the custody of his kinsmen, the responsible party had to prepare attendants both to take care of him as well as to watch over him.

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