Seppuku In Japanese Culture Essay

716 words - 3 pages

The Japanese lifestyle during Feudal times is often noted for its emphasis on honor and modesty. Ritual in Japanese culture was regarded as a highly honorable act in most cases, especially among the ranks of the samurai. Each samurai was expected to adhere to the Code of Samurai (Bushido), which included the ritual known as seppuku. This ritual plays incredibly important roles in kinship. It is also gender specific because only samurai were obligated to perform seppuku. This action is often described to be brutal by western civilization not realizing how honorable this practice was to the Japanese people of Feudal Japan.
What exactly is seppuku? Seppuku literally translates into "stomach ...view middle of the document...

How the head of the family was viewed by others was also reflected on to their own families For example, if the head of a family was dishonorable, it was best not to associate with him or his entire family and they would often be viewed with negative connotation. The act of seppuku would help regain the family honor which was the primary motive of almost all samurai. As you can see, the acts of a samurai have a huge impact on their entire family.
Because all samurai were male, only men could officially perform seppuku The one who decapitated the samurai were generally men too The wives of samurai had their own ritual of seppuku however. Jigai was a practice that most Japanese women were taught when they were young that involved suicide to preserve honor and innocence Wives who have committed jigai were often married to samurai that were considered dishonorable or have already committed seppuku. It was also practiced to avoid being raped by invaders.
Seppuku ha1never been observed by foreigners until the year of 1868. A French ship docked near the Japanese city of...

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