Story Premise

Seppuku

taken from Seppuku - Ritual Suicide



Seppuku, the Japanese formal language term for ritual suicide (Hara-kiri is the common language term.), was an intregal aspect of feudal Japan (1192-1868). It developed as an intregal part of the code of bushido and the discipline of the samurai warrior class.

Hara-kiri, which literally means "stomach cutting" is a particularly painful method of self-destruction, and prior to the emergence of the samurai as a professional warrior class, was totally foreign to the Japanese. The early history of Japan reveals quite clearly that the Japanese were far more interested in living the good life than in dying a painful death. It was not until well after the introduction of Buddhism, with its theme of the transitory nature of life and the glory of death, that such a development became possible. To the samurai, seppuku--whether ordered as punishment or chosen in preference to a dishonorable death at the hands of an enemy--was unquestionable demonstration of their honor, courage, loyalty, and moral character.

Relevance to Urusei Yatsura

In Mendo's first appearance he attempts to duel with Ataru and loses. Because of his shameful defeat he promises to commit seppuku. This, of course, is a bit drastic.

Back to Cultural References


Home
An Intro to Urusei Yatsura
Cast of Characters
The Comic Book
The Animated Series
Questions and Answers
Frequently Asked QuestionsCultural References
Articles and Reviews
Art Gallery
Music Capsule
Odds and Ends
Links