Monday, October 3, 2011

Bushido Code Of The Samurai - The Ritual Suicide

In mythology, Samurai committed "Seppuku" or ritual suicide to preserve their honor.Seppuku is a Samurai famous ritual suicide by cutting into the belly with wakizashi (a small sword) by disembowelment.It was a key part and strict code of Bushido - The way of the warrior and considered a privilege for the Samurai class family. The ritual would require the Samurai to put the blade into abdomen and moving the blade from left to right in a slicing motion. Samurai was supposed to lower his neck and the second man, who stood behind him will proceed to the last step - blow off the samurai head with a sword. This will shorten the suffering of the suicider by executing a strong and swift blow.The women (Samurai) usually done it by slashing the throat with a small knife. Before the final act, usually the Samurai was expected to write their death poem.

Whether been ordered as punishment or chosen in preference to a dishonorable death, it was unquestionable demonstration of the samurai courage,honor and moral characters.For them, death is still consider better than dishonour although many people think this ritual form of suicide is gruesome and barbaric act.Notable Samurai who committed Seppuku was :

- The legendary 46 of the 47 Ronin; Ordered by Shogun to commit Seppuku instead having them executed as criminal after taking the law into their own hand.It recounts the most famous case involving the samurai code of honor, bushidō.The ronin avenged their master's honor after patiently waiting and planning for over a year to kill Lord Kira. 

- Byakkotai or the White Tiger Brigade; Committed ritual suicide as the boys saw the rising smoke and assumed that the castle they defended had fallen believing their lord and families dead.However,they are mistaken in their assessment of defeat.The castle not actually been breached.

-Takeda Katsuyori: Head of Takeda Clan.Committed Seppuku with his son as his forces were destroyed by the combined armies of Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ilyasu at Temmokuzan in 1582.

- Saigo Takamori , The Last Samurai: The bodies of Saigo Takamori and other leaders of the rebellion were found beheaded. The last samurais had committed seppuku by cutting off each other's head with one strike of the sword. This was the traditional samurai way of committing suicide on the battlefield when no time was left for a ceremonial suicide.Legends claimed the head was never been found.


Saigo Takamori - The Last Samurai by Yoshitoshi Tsukioka
Byakkotai: Wikipedia
47 Ronins: Wikipedia

Images: Googles.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Pulau Langkawi : Home Is Where The Heart Is.

One of my favourite place.. A space that raised me, the birth place of my dreams. I really feel connected like I’m part of its puls...