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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_swordsmithing A couple of the claims written in the answers above need to be discussed with counter points; The ancient Japanese samurai sword that we are talking about was specifically developed to address the brittle nature of steel that time, no it was not brittle by yesterday's standard or today's. Precisely ...


In addition to the soul is in the bowels explanation, I read recently that the reason they chose a painful easy to die is to punish themselves. So a samurai who had committed a capital offense was going to die, but by choosing a painful method of dying he is giving himself additional punishment to earn forgiveness. This may not apply to all seppuku cases, ...

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